Gus Dean returns to Kentucky Speedway with Rookie of the Year title lingering
SPARTA, Ky. – Hold on.
For everything it’s worth.
ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards SCOTT Rookie of the Year candidate Gus Dean (@gusdean) returns to Kentucky Speedway looking to keep his eight-point rookie lead intact but race for a good finish in Friday night’s Crosley Brands 150.
Dean, driver of the No. 32 GREE Cooling Products Toyota is battling fellow competitors Riley Herbst and Bret Holmes for the title and with every position waging in the balance between winning or losing, Dean’s stress level has spiked – but not anything he says he can’t manage.
“Hard to believe that there’s just two races left,” said Dean.
“I’m coming back to Kentucky with a lot on the line. We’re looking for our 15th top-10 finish of the year and to put an exclamation point on this Rookie title.”
With his focus from the series’ championship to the rookie race, Dean says you can expect a different approach for his Win-Tron Racing team. While the team still hopes to contend and battle for their first win of the year, the Mooresville, N.C.-based team will be more attentive to where his challengers are on the race track.
“We just need to keep doing what we’ve been doing,” offered Dean.
“Chicago – we fell into a pace where we were minding our manners and found ourselves in the top-six late in the race. We had a mechanical issue on the last lap and it cost us some spots and some crucial points. This weekend, it’s head down, fin up.”
To help the Bluffton, S.C.-native prepare for his Kentucky return, the 23-year-old participated in the postponed ARCA open test at the 1.5-mile speedway Wednesday and while Dean says there is some work to do before Friday night’s race, he believes when push comes to shove, his blue and white Toyota will be in the mix.
“The test was productive,”
offered Dean. “We still have some work to do, but I’m thankful that we had the test, because we know what we need to do get better for qualifying and the race.
“Kentucky is a momentum track, where you need that rotation through the corner so you can have the speed to propel you on the straightaways.
“I’ve been debriefing a lot with Todd (Myers, crew chief) since the test on what we can do to make sure we’re in the hunt on Friday night. There’s a lot of good cars at Kentucky this weekend, but we’re up for the challenge. We just want to have a good night for GREE and everyone to set us up for Kansas.”
In 25 career ARCA Racing Series starts, Dean captured his first career victory in his second ever start at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway after starting second in Apr. 2016. Overall, Dean has eight top-five and 17 top-10 finishes and has led 37 laps in ARCA competition.
The Crosley Brands 150 (100 laps / 150 miles) is the 19th of 20 races on the 2017 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Fri., Sept. 22 with an hour and a half practice session planned from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 5:10 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag later shortly after 8:00 p.m. The event will be broadcasted live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the week’s activities. All times are local (ET).
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.