With the strength of two consecutive top-six finishes in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, Gus Dean (@gusdean) treks north to Toledo Speedway looking for another strong finish in Sunday afternoon’s Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care.
A runner-up performance in the most recent short track race at Salem (Ind.) Speedway followed with a hard-fought sixth place result in the most recent event at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Dean returns to Toledo looking to put his No. 32 GREE Cooling Products Toyota Camry in contention for his second career ARCA win.
“I’m ready,” said Dean who has climbed 32nd in the championship standings to sixth during the first four races. “We have some really good momentum the last pair of races and we’re heading to Toledo knowing we can continue that trend on Sunday afternoon.
“I’m excited that we’re bringing the same car that we finished second with at Salem. Todd (Myers, crew chief) feels that the same speed that we had in our No. 32 GREE Toyota there we can keep for the race on Sunday.
“Toledo is a neat race track. I learned a lot last year and I hope with what I learned and what we have to work with, good things will happen.”
Last May, Dean qualified 12th and rallied from an early-race spin to post a lead lap seventh place finish.
While a top-10 performance is gratifying for any ARCA competitor, the Bluffton, S.C.-native wants more.
“We know that we have some good cars at Win-Tron Racing,” added Dean. “I’m spending a lot of time in the shop seeing what the cars are building and I’m excited about the heart of the ARCA schedule. Last year, I was plenty satisfied leaving Toledo with a top-10 finish and even though we didn’t test there, I feel confident in our ability to go there and run well.
“At Toledo, you need to really be able to roll out of the corner. There’s room to pass on the frontstretch and backstretch, but in and out of the corners is where you can really set up for a pass. I know we’ll work hard on the setup for practice and then turn our attention towards the race. Anything less than a top-five (finish) this year and I’ll be disappointed. Everyone at Win-Tron and GREE deserves that.”
For Sunday’s fifth race of the season, Dean’s No. 32 GREE Toyota will look a little slightly different.
Showing their support and dedication towards Autism awareness, the team’s car will carry puzzle pieces pledging their support.
On a nationwide level, the puzzle piece symbol reflects the mystery and complexity of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Also, since every puzzle piece is different in some way, a puzzle piece accurately represents the diversity of the individuals affected.
“To show our support towards Autism awareness is something that’s very important to us,” said Dean. “I really appreciate GREE letting us utilize the extra space on the car to show our support and encourage others to do the same throughout the year.”
For Sunday’s anticipated thriller, Dean will carry the Valvoline onboard camera.
In 11 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 five top-10 finishes and has led 21 laps in ARCA competition.
The Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care (200 laps / 100 miles) is the fifth of 20 races on the 2017 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Sat., May 20 with an hour and a half practice session planned from 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 4:00 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag the following day on May 21 shortly after 2:00 p.m. The event will be same-day taped delayed on FS1 (FOX Sports 1) at 5:00 p.m., while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the weekend’s activities. All times are local (ET).
Gus Dean PR