It’s often said in racing, sometimes you would rather be lucky than good.
Those words couldn’t have been farther than the truth for Win-Tron Racing driver Gus Dean (@gusdean) aboard his No. 32 GREE Cooling Products Toyota in Monday afternoon’s General Tire GRABBER 100.
The one-day show on the famed DuQuoin dirt didn’t start off well for the No. 32 GREE Racing team, but perseverance and a little luck paid off allowing Dean to earn his sixth top-five finish of the season in overtime.
Dean, 23, had to start the race at the back of the field after his Win-Tron Racing noticed a puncture in their radiator shortly before qualifying. Needing to correct the issue before the race, the team forfeited their right to qualify and landed a provisional starting spot for the race.
When the green flag flew, Dean steadily worked his way forward, moving inside the top-15 by Lap 5.
Hovering inside the top-15 through the halfway point, the Bluffton, S.C.-native informed his Todd Myers led team that he was experiencing brake issues with his No. 32 GREE Toyota forcing Dean to adjust his line around the track and using a different technique to circle his way around the 1.0-mile race track.
With a caution flag waved with five laps to go, Dean sat a comfortable 12th and even with their struggles of the day, the team was prepared to lick their battle wounds and leave DuQuoin with a race car intact.
However, when the race restarted for a green-white-checkered finish, a multi-car accident ensued out of Turn 2 collecting several of the race contenders in the process. Dean, with guidance from spotter and car owner Kevin Cywinski sliced and diced his way through the carnage to move inside the top-five.
Secured in fourth, Dean made the most of another green-white-checkered restart moving his blue and white Toyota into third and kept Ryan Unzicker at bay to earn his 13th top-10 finish of the year.
It was Dean’s first top-five since a fifth at Winchester Speedway in early August.
“I’m proud of my Win-Tron Racing team. “We had to overcome some obstacles early in the race and I thought we were going to have to settle or a finish around 11th, but then things happened in the race where we were able to take advantage of the doors open to us.
“I can’t thank GREE for standing behind me and our team. We have four races left and we really want to use that opportunity to do everything we can to get GREE in Victory Lane before the year.
“We never gave up on Sunday and it just proved that you can’t quit until that checkered flag waves because you just never know what’s going to happen.”
- Gus Dean finished third in the General Tire GRABBER 100 at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds in his ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards debut at the historic 1.0-mile clay oval.
- In 16 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards races this season Dean has logged six top-five, 13 top-10 finishes and 14 top-11 finishes including a season-high second at Salem (Ind.) Speedway in April.
- Austin Theriault won the General Tire GRABBER 100 followed by Sheldon Creed (second), Gus Dean (third), Ryan Unzicker (fourth) and Brandon Grosso (fifth).
Next Race: Eddie Gilstrap Motors Fall Classic 200 by Meadow View / Salem Crossing on Sat., Sept. 9 2017. Tape-delayed on MAVTV.
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.