Former Talladega ARCA Winner Gus Dean Hungry to Win Again
TALLADEGA, Ala.: Since his unexpected departure in the 2023 ARCA Menards Series season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Gus Dean has been eagerly awaiting Saturday afternoon’s General Tire 200 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
Paired with the potent Venturini Motorsports team, the Bluffton, S.C.-native returns to the 2.66-mile superspeedway determined to put his No. 25 Dean Custom Air Toyota Camry in Victory Lane.
In 2016, Dean stunned the ARCA Menards Series garage with an impressive Talladega victory in just his second career start.
Since then, Dean won again on the ARCA Menards Series tour in 2018, but this weekend, the South Carolinian returns to the monstrous Talladega Superspeedway hoping to capture the checkered flag again.
In six previous Talladega ARCA starts Dean has one win, two top-five and four top-10 finishes. He hasn’t finished worse than 16th and carries an average track finish of seventh.
“I am so excited to get back in a race car this weekend,” said Dean, who recently spent this past week on his honeymoon with his wife Briar in Bora Bora. “When we were heading home from the honeymoon I was getting excited about returning to Talladega this weekend knowing what it felt like to win back in 2016. I’m certainly ready to do it again.”
United with Venturini Motorsports crew chief Kevin Reed Jr., Dean says he and his crew chief have unfinished business on the ARCA Menards Series tour, especially believing that they had one of the cars to beat at Daytona in February but experienced mechanical gremlins early in the race.
“I’m just cursed at Daytona,” Dean said with a chuckle. “Man, I love racing at Daytona. It’s such an awesome place where I’ve always had fast cars but for some reason or another, bad luck strikes. Thankfully, I’ve fared much better at Talladega Superspeedway and I hope I’m able to showcase that for my Venturini Motorsports team on Saturday.
“I really feel like we had the car to beat at Daytona. Our car was so fast. Unfortunately, as quickly as the race started, I feel like it was over. It’s a bummer, but that’s just part of racing. With that being said though, Talladega is the perfect opportunity for us to rebound and not only contend for my third win but continue an impressive superspeedway trend for Venturini Motorsports.”
Dean, a veteran of the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series continues a limited ARCA schedule with the Concord, N.C.-based Venturini Motorsports team this season but recently added Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway to his 2023 schedule on May 26.
“I’m super pumped up about running at Charlotte with Venturini Motorsports,” continued Dean. “They have a lot of success at Charlotte and I know Kevin (Reed Jr.) is looking forward to having me in the seat. I know that anytime I can climb in an ARCA car with Venturini Motorsports, I’ll have an opportunity to win and Charlotte will be no different.”
In addition to Daytona, Talladega and Charlotte, Dean will return to ARCA competition with Venturini Motorsports at Michigan International Speedway in August and Salem (Ind.) Speedway in September.
Additional ARCA races with Venturini Motorsports could be added as the season progresses.
Dean, a fan favorite is poised to have a busy 2023 season between ARCA, Late Models, Mud Truck Racing and a hopeful sporadic appearance or two in NASCAR.
“With no championship on the line for me this season, it’s about having fun,” sounded Dean.
“Whether that’s competing with Venturini Motorsports in ARCA, DLP Motorsports in Late Model competition, or the other racing endeavors we have planned for this season. Of course, the urge to still compete full-time is there, but it takes marketing partners and a lot of financial commitment to make it happen.
“Until we can hopefully put ourselves back into that position again, we’ll take the path that has been laid out before me and make the most of it.”
Since 2016, Dean has 60 ARCA Menards Series starts to his credit with two wins at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in 2016 and Elko (Minn.) Speedway in 2018 respectively. Overall, he has earned two poles, two wins, 18 top-five and 34 top-10 finishes.
The General Tire 200 (76 laps | 202 miles) is the third of 20 races on the 2023 ARCA Menards Series schedule in the 71st consecutive ARCA season. Practice begins Fri., April 21 with a one-hour group session from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. The field will be set by the 2022 ARCA car owner standings. The race is set for the following morning on Sat., Apr. 22 to take the green flag shortly after 11:30 a.m. CT (12:30 p.m. ET). The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) with the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM Satellite Radio (XM channel 391 | online channel 981) handling the radio waves. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities.