On the strength of seven consecutive top-10 finishes in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards competition, SCOTT Rookie of the Year leader and Bluffton native Gus Dean heads to the Midwest looking for another worthy performance in Saturday night’s Fans with Benefits 150 at Iowa Speedway.
Dean, the driver of the No. 32 GREE Cooling Products Toyota Camry, has never been to Iowa Speedway before, but that doesn’t mean the Win-Tron Racing development driver has anything to be worried about.
“I can’t wait to get to Iowa this weekend,” said GREE Racing driver Gus Dean. “I heard it’s an extremely fun track with a lot of room to race. Todd (Myers) and Mr. Kevin (Cywinski, team owner) have experience there, so I’m going to be leaning on them, but one thing is for sure. I know we’re going to be in good shape come race time.”
For the sixth time this season, Dean will look to crew chief Myers for guidance at a new track. Despite his inexperience at tracks of different configurations and driving styles, the 22-year-old has been impressive.
Outside of a mechanical failure at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville where he was running inside the top 10, Dean posted top-five runs at Salem Speedway, Elko Speedway and Michigan International Speedway — tracks he had never seen before arriving on race weekend.
Dean looked assured another top-five run in his debut at Madison (Wis.) International Speedway two weeks ago, but a late race caution worked against the Mooresville, N.C., team, leaving them with their seventh top 10 of the year with a ninth-place result.
“I had a blast at Madison,” Dean said. “Our GREE Toyota really came to life, especially on the long runs. We were able to put ourselves in contention for the win, but after getting spun out earlier in the race — that late race caution allowed others to put on tires, and we didn’t have any.
“That’s just how it goes sometimes. We really fought hard at the end of the race and were able to rack up another top 10 and lead some laps. I’m proud of that.”
Still, momentum continues to rain on the GREE Racing team, and it’s something that Dean hopes to stretch entering the second-half of the ARCA Racing Series season.
“I’m really proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish,” said Dean.
For his Iowa Speedway debut, Dean will carry the General Tire in-car camera for the MAVTV race broadcast.
The Fans with Benefits 150 (132 laps/150 miles) is the 10th of 20 races on the 2017 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Saturday with a 1 1/2-hour practice session from 12:30 to 2 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for 4:15 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag shortly after 9 p.m. The event will be broadcast live on MAVTV, while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the week’s activities.