After winning a race in his first year in the ARCA Racing Series and running only seven races in 2016, Gus Dean of Bluffton, South Carolina followed it up in 2017 with seven top-fives and 14 top-tens in his second year of competition and running full-time. He closed the season fourth in points as part of a two-car operation with Win Tron Racing.
With that kind of success, it seems logical there was an opportunity for the organization to grow. Win Tron, owned by Kevin Cywinski, however, decided to go in a different direction and downsize to a single car to streamline the program and put the sole focus on the No. 32 team and with Gus Dean as their driver.
“I think for our situation, that was best,” says Dean. “You know, obviously, both structures have their pros and cons. You know, last year we had a driver in the 33 and I don’t want to say that driver, that team struggled a little bit.
“A multi-car team structure really works when all cars are doing well. Last year we didn’t feel like the 33 was doing as well as it could have. You know, when that happens, that tends to hinder the other teams so for our situation, I think it was best that we went with a single car team.”
Part of the restructuring plan was also to bring in a new crew chief, Jamie Jones. Gus Dean credits a lot of the team’s success this year to Jones and their relationship.
“Me and him really connect very easily,” says Dean. “We have a very good driver to crew chief chemistry and I think that’s making all the difference. I trust him and he trusts me. We’re just having a lot of fun out there this year.”
As the team continues to build on the success it is having, with Gus Dean sitting sixth in points after 11 of 20 races this year, picking up two top-fives and five top-tens, they still have their eyes on the future. It just won’t necessarily be back in the direction they came from.
“We’re looking to move forward next year, you know hopefully to run the premier ARCA races and some truck races, still with Win Tron. We will be making an expansion but I think it will be more in that direction than a second car.”