Gus Dean fights for 11th in Springfield debut
While his consecutive top-10 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards streak will stop at 11, SCOTT Rookie leader (@GusDean) fought through a series of obstacles to earn a hard fought 11th place finish in Sunday’s Herr’s Potato Chips 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
A day after enjoying his 23rd birthday, Dean traveled to the 1.0-mile clay, hoping for a solid finish to carry him towards the final stretch of the season. Never seeing the dirt before, Dean leaned on close friend and former NASCAR dirt champion Ricky Bozard to guide him through the trials and tribulations of his first trip on the dirt in a stock car.
After practicing ninth Sunday morning, Dean impressed with a third place qualifying effort nearly an hour and a half later.
With his best time trials result of the season, the Win-Tron Racing team were optimistic about earning their 12th top-10 finish of the season.
Maintaining a spot inside the top-three during the opening laps of the race, Dean found himself out of the top groove on Lap 3 and spun his No. 32 GREE Cooling Products Toyota but did not receive any damage.
Finding himself at the rear of the field for the restart, Dean patiently worked his way back through the field and found himself back inside the top-20 when another caution waved around the 1.0-mile clay track.
By Lap 40, the Bluffton, S.C. native had moved to seventh but when a caution flew four laps later, Dean elected to join the leaders on pit road for tires, fuel and adjustments.
With a tight pit road and varying adjustments around him, the Win-Tron Racing developmental driver found himself 17th on the restart approaching the halfway point.
Steadily during the second-half, Dean would do a masterful job avoiding the carnage around him and found himself back in the top-10 by Lap 75.
Over the final quarter, however, Dean began to notice the loss of power from his motor which pedaled him backwards in the running order. Occupying 10th with five laps remaining, Dean lost a position to Dalton Sargeant two laps for the finish before taking the checkered flag in 11th for his 12th top-11 finish of 2017.
Unofficially, Dean maintains a season-high third in the championship standings heading to the lone road course race of the season next Sunday at Road America (Wisc.)
“It was a day of learning. I’m really proud of the guys on this No. 32 GREE Cooling Products Toyota.
“We started the day off with positive progress and then earned our best starting spot of the season with third. However, at the start of the race, we struggled to keep the balance on our car where we could compete for a better finish.
“I put a lot of this finish on my shoulders. I’d never raced before on the dirt in a stock car and there was a lot to learn. It will make it better at DuQuoin and I’ll make it up to everyone at GREE. Thanks to my buddy Ricky Bozard for coming to help too.”
“The engine was also giving up towards the end of the race, so we’ll look at that and make sure it’s fixed before the next race. I hate that our top-10 streak got broke, but at the end of the day, an 11th place finish isn’t so bad either.”
- Gus Dean finished 11th in the Herr’s Potato Chips 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in his ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards debut at the iconic 1.0-mile clay oval.
- In 14 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards races this season Dean has logged five top-five, 11 top-10 finishes and 12 top-11 finishes including a season-high second at Salem (Ind.) Speedway in April.
- Grant Enfinger won the Herr’s Potato Chips 100 followed by Austin Theriault (second), Tyler Dippel (third), Christian Eckes (fourth) and Shane Lee (fifth).
Dean, No. 32 GREE Cooling Products Toyota Camry
ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards
Illinois State Fairgrounds / Herr’s Potato Chips 100
Box Score Report
Race No. 14 of 20
Laps: 100 / 100
Next Race: Road America 100 at Road America (Wisc.) on Sun., Aug. 27, 2017. Tape-delayed on MAVTV.
Dean tweets too. Follow him on Twitter @GusDean.
In 1991, GREE set out to make the world a cooler place. To this end, we’ve become a global leader in air conditioners, developing some of the most advanced commercial and residential air conditioners in the world. Based in Zhuhai, China, GREE is now the world’s largest specialized air conditioner company integrating R&D, manufacturing, sales and service. It’s our mission to innovate and create new ways to help people live well and stay comfortable no matter where they live, work or play.
About Win-Tron Racing:
Located in Mooresville, North Carolina, Win-Tron Racing is a professional race team headquartered in “Race City USA.” Owned by former racer Kevin Cywinski, the team will compete for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship in 2017 with driver Gus Dean in the No. 32 GREE Toyota Camry. The team will also field a second entry in the No. 33 Toyota Camry with Justin Fontaine and others. Learn more at WinTronRacing.com or on Twitter @WinTronRacing.