Gus Dean Eyes Fourth Straight ARCA Top-Five Finish at Michigan International Speedway
BROOKLYN, Mich: Returning to the ARCA Menards Series scene for the first time since Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in May, ARCA veteran Gus Dean invades Michigan International Speedway as a man on a mission for Friday night’s Henry Ford Health 200.
In his second season as a part-time driver for the potent Venturini Motorsports (VMS), Dean returns to the driving duties of the No. 25 Dean Custom Air | Folds of Honor Toyota Camry looking to produce his second top-five finish of the season but chase his third career ARCA Menards Series victory.
In his last outing at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Dean raced inside the top-five with a brand new No. 25 Mobil 1 | Dean Custom Air Toyota Camry, but a flat tire late in the race regulated the Bluffton, S.C. native to a frustrating 15th place finish at the checkered flag.
Having some time to get over the disappointment of racing in the team’s backyard, the popular South Carolinian driver returns to the Irish Hills of Michigan International Speedway – a track that overall has been one of Dean’s best.
“I am stoked about going back to Michigan International Speedway this weekend,” offered Dean. “It took a few days to get over Charlotte – because I felt like we had a car capable of contending if not battling for the win, but I am refreshed and refocused on going to Michigan and putting this Venturini Motorsports No. 25 team in Victory Lane.”
Dean has raced at the 2.0-mile Michigan International Speedway three times during his ARCA tenure and he has produced top-five finishes in all three races dating back to the 2017 season. In the 2022 event, Dean finished fifth after starting sixth in what was then his final race of the season for the Concord, N.C.-based team.
Returning to one of the fastest tracks on the ARCA circuit a year later, Dean believes he is in a much better place with his Venturini Motorsports team than he was last August.
“We had a good car last year, but just missed the setup a little bit that kept us from contending for a better finish,” recalled Dean. “I want to go to Michigan this weekend and compete for the win.
“I feel this is my time to shine and I believe that I can step up to the plate and put our No. 25 Dean Custom Air Toyota in Victory Lane.
“Michigan is about having that perfect balance and getting your car to maneuver through the bumps and being able to position yourself to make moves at any point in time. I have learned a lot about Michigan over the years and I plan to apply all of that knowledge on Friday afternoon.”
In addition to Daytona, Talladega, Charlotte and Michigan, Dean will return to ARCA competition with Venturini Motorsports at The Milwaukee Mile later this month.
Additional ARCA races with Venturini Motorsports could be added as the second half of the season officially kicks off.
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.”
For the second time this season, Dean will carry the Dean Custom Air colors as the primary partner on Venturini Motorsports’ flagship No. 25 entry. In addition to Dean Custom Air, IMPACT Race Products and Folds of Honor will serve as associate marketing partners for Dean’s 63rd career ARCA race.
Since 2016, Dean has 62 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, 19 top-five and 35 top-10 finishes.
The Henry Ford Health 200 (100 laps | 200 miles) is the 11th of 20 races on the 2023 ARCA Menards Series schedule in the 71st consecutive ARCA season. Practice begins Friday, August 4 from 1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying in a timed session will start a short time later at 2:30 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag later in the day shortly after 6:00 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.