TALLADEGA, Ala. – Fresh off a second-place finish in this past Sunday afternoon’s Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200 at Salem (Ind.) Speedway, Gus Dean treks to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, where the driver of the No. 32 GREE Cooling Products Toyota Camry looks to defend his race title from last April.
In just his second-career start, Dean steered his No. 98 GREE Chevrolet from the outside pole to his first career win in a dramatic finish edging out Josh Williams for the trophy. Dean’s thrilling victory naturally helped seal GREE’s commitment to a full ARCA Racing Series season in 2017 with Win-Tron Racing.
A little more than 12 months later, Dean is set to return to the 2.66-mile superspeedway and hope magic strikes twice and delivers his second-career victory in Friday afternoon’s race.
“Talladega means so much to me, I don’t think anyone could ever understand,” said Dean. “We had a great car last year and put ourselves in a good place to win the race. This year, we have that same mentality and hopefully, it all works out.”
The Bluffton, S.C.-native isn’t superstitious or anything, but since Daytona, the 22-year-old has been looking at numbers, coincidences and even routines all hoping it will lead to success on Talladega’s high banks this week.
In the season-opening race, Dean suffered his second straight accident at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway with the incidents looking nearly identical to each other from 2016 to 2017. The next superspeedway race, Dean ended up in Victory Lane.
Dean also looks at the number “2.” A second-place finish at Salem Speedway in his track debut on Sunday afternoon was his best finish of the season after a rough start to the year at Daytona and Nashville. Starting second at Talladega last year, Dean hopes finishing second at Salem will mean he’ll finish first in the 76-lap race Friday.
And finally routine. Dean is doing a lot of what he did in 2016. From appearances to certain decals on the car, Dean is rolling the dice – hoping it will all pay off with Win-Tron Racing’s first victory since Brandon McReynolds at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in 2012.
“It can’t hurt,” said Dean of his superstitious strategies. “I had a lot of luck, I listened to my spotter Tyler (Green) and was fortunate to have people behind me that believed in me. I’m finding myself in that same position this year. I’m looking forward to the week and hoping the Lord will bless us with another good and safe race.”
For Talladega, the team has rebuilt their No. 32 GREE Toyota Camry that was destroyed following a Lap 49 incident at Daytona. Dean knows the car had natural raw speed and is hopeful it will have the same again.
“I was laying back when we got taken out at Daytona,” offered Dean. “Our No. 32 GREE Toyota was fast, we just found ourselves at the wrong place at the wrong time. This week at Talladega, we’ve got a game plan and I like it. Hopefully, it pays off in a big way.”
Before his activities on Friday at Talladega, Dean and a host of other ARCA Racing Series drivers will visit the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind in Talladega, Ala. on Thursday, May 4 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Like Daytona, Dean will carry the GREE onboard camera for Friday’s anticipated thriller.
In 10 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 two top-five and four top-10 finishes and has led 21 laps in ARCA competition.
The General Tire 200 (76 laps / 202 miles) is the fourth of 20 races on the 2017 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Fri., May 5 with an hour and a 50-minute practice session planned from 8:30 a.m. – 10:20 a.m. General Tire pole group qualifying is set for later in the day at 2:30 p.m., with the race set to take the green flag shortly thereafter at 5:00 p.m. ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the weekend’s activities, while the race will be live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1). All times are local (Central).
For more on Gus Dean, please visit his all new website at GusDean.com or like him on Facebook.
Dean tweets too. Follow him on Twitter @GusDean.
To learn more about GREE Racing and their expansion into Motorsports, please hop on GREERacing.com or follow them on Twitter @GREE_Racing.
Follow Win-Tron Racing on Twitter @WinTronRacing, like on Facebook (WinTron Racing) or click on WinTronRacing.com.
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.