In a relatively short amount of time, Gus Dean has made a name for himself.
A native of Bluffton, S.C., Gus Dean began racing go-carts at the age of six. Three years later, he would become a factory sponsored driver for Millennium Racing chassis at the tender age of nine.
Three years later, Dean was crowned the 2007 American Kart Racing Association Junior II national champion.
From go-carts, Dean moved into the next phase of his racing career joining the Allison Legacy Series, a local touring series in the southeast that run ¾ scale sprint cup cars. In 2008, Dean finished 15th of the 53 registered drivers.
A year later, he would improve finishing 10th out of the 42 drivers entered. What made his top-10 feat more astounding is that Dean missed six races during the season due to a broken knee. Dean was also named the Allison Legacy Series most improved driver.
2010 brought more of the same for Dean in the Allison Legacy Series. Despite running only 14 races, Dean managed two wins and eight top-five finishes. One of his wins occurred at the famed North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway making him the inaugural race champion in the Allison Legacy Series and the first to ride the elevator to Victory Lane since four-time Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon did so in 1996 before the track was closed.
Elevating themselves up the motorsports ladder, Dean and his Dean Racing team hit the ground running tackling Super Late Models out of their shop in Bluffton, S.C. In their first outing during Speedway in Florida, Dean turned heads running in the top-10 every night and bringing home two top-five finishes in his first outing in the bigger, more powerful race cars.
Dean also dabbled in the Pro All Star Series (PASS) Series in 2011 finishing a respectable ninth in his series debut. Overall, he competed in 10 PASS Series races and placed inside the top-15 every race.
Dean even qualified for the inaugural Beau Slocumb Memorial and the World Crown at Gresham (Ga.) Motorsports Park. Dean ended 2011 finishing third in the point standings for Lanier National (Ga.) Speedway’s “Super 6 Series” and was named Rookie of the Year.
From 2012 to 2014, Dean participated in the X-1R Pro Cup Series where in 33 races, he earned his first career victory at Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park in 2014. Overall, Dean earned one win, one pole, 22 top-five and 31 top-10 finishes.
Graduating from the Pro Cup Series, Dean moved into the CARS Super Late Model Series in 2015 while also continuing to race in various Late Model divisions across the Southeast.
While running a limited Late Model schedule in 2016, Dean also turned his attention towards the ARCA Menard Series where he teamed with Mason Mitchell Motorsports for what was then a one-race deal at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
After grabbing the headlines with one of the fastest speeds during preseason testing, Dean continued to mount a charge in the opening race of the season. However, Dean found himself a victim in the race, completing only two laps.
With a second opportunity on deck a few months later at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Dean bounced back in spectacular fashion. With a new sponsor on board, Dean qualified second, led 21 laps and earned his first series victory in just his second start.
A limited schedule soon ensued with Dean competing in seven races overall before moving to Win-Tron Racing for the full championship assault in 2017.
Despite not winning a race, Dean finished fourth in the championship standings and earned seven top-five and 14 top-10 finishes overall.
Returning to Win-Tron Racing for a second season with new crew chief Jamie Jones, Dean earned his second career victory at Elko (Minn.) Speedway while producing five top-five and 10 top-10 overall and claiming sixth in the championship standings.
In 2019, Dean graduated to the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series where he drove the No. 12 LG Air Conditioning Technologies Chevrolet Silverado for Young’s Motorsports full-time, while also competing in a limited ARCA and Late Model schedule.
The Coronavirus pandemic stalled Dean’s momentum briefly and out of an abundance of caution, Dean catered to a part-time 2020 schedule that consisted of competition in the ARCA Menards Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Super Late Model competition.
Dean picked up the pace in 2021 competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway but spent the rest of the year with an aggressive Pro Late Model Schedule which instantly brought Dean back to Victory Lane.
Under the guidance of DLP Motorsports, Dean picked up four consecutive wins in the Carolina Pro Late Model Series. Away from the track, the popular driver asked the love of his life, Briar Foran to be his wife.
With confidence back on his side, Dean returned to the ARCA Menards Series in 2022 apart of the potent Venturini Motorsports banner. Dean was one of the fastest drivers in preseason testing at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and backed up the effort with an outside pole and a top-five finish in the season-opening race in February.
His success continued with Venturini Motorsports throughout the season where he delivered additional top-five performances at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Kansas Speedway and Michigan International Speedway respectively.
In October 2022, Dean and his fiancé Briar married in South Carolina.
For 2023, Dean will return to the potent Venturini Motorsports for a limited ARCA Menards Series schedule in addition to continuing to hone his Late Model skills with competition in the CARS Pro Late Model Tour and the Carolina Pro Late Model Series this summer – as well as tackle Mud Truck events throughout the Southeast with “Vengeance.”
The South Carolinian is also still hopeful to make a return to one of NASCAR’s top-three national series as well.