Gus Dean Impresses With Top-10 Finish At Anderson
“First Career PASS Start Grabs Attention”
WILLIAMSTON, South Carolina (March 15, 2011) – – 16 year-old Gus Dean is definitely turning heads. After a solid outing in World Series of Asphalt Stockcar racing Crate Model division at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway last month, the Bluffton, South Carolina native headed to Anderson Motor Speedway this past weekend looking for a similar performance in his Pro All Star Series (PASS) debut.
Under the leadership of USARacing Pro Cup Series veteran A.J. Frank, the youngster climbed into a Super Late Model for the first time in his career at the tight short track Saturday morning.
In practice, Dean quickly found his comfort zone in the No. 56 Whirlpool Cooling and HeatingChevrolet Impala. Following the foot steps of some of the series’ most developed drivers, Dean posted respectable practice times while communicating with Frank about the handling of his race car.
Looking for a solid starting position in time trials, the former American Kart Racing Association’s Junior II National Points Series champion posted the 18th fastest lap in qualifying, just a few tenths off the pole sitter.
Despite taking the green flag in the “eye of the storm” on a short track, Dean immediately began throttling forward through the field. Patiently, he studied his prey and took one position at a time while still climbing the No. 56 Whirlpool Cooling and HeatingChevrolet Impala up the leader board.
Reaching the top-10 by the halfway mark, Dean would continue to adjust to the heavier Super Late Model but impress the members of his Gus Dean Racing (GDR) team by posting lap times comparable to the leaders.
In the second-half of the event, the field would be stretched out into a long-green flag run which would allow the leaders to eventually lock onto the bumper of the No. 56 Chevrolet. Wanting to earn the respect of his competitors, Dean cautiously-aggressive tried to maintain his lead lap status but to no avail.
Thankfully, Dean’s determination kept his machine in the “Lucky Dog” position and when a late race caution flew, Dean would retain his lap lost.
Starting from the rear of the field, Dean methodically and diligently worked his way again though the lead pack and landed back in the 10th position when the checkered flag waived. “I learned a lot out there,” said Dean following the event. “A.J. (Frank) and the team gave me a good race car. This place is no piece of cake in this heavier car, but I just kept my head straight and focused on my goal that I set earlier in the day, finishing in the top-10.” He continued, “We’re running good and that’s a great feeling. I just want to thank Whirlpool Cooling and Heating, MODOC Research Group and The CornerStone Grill for their support and faith in this race team. Also a huge thanks to my Mom and Dad and the team for their hard work and encouragement.”
A.J. Frank, who’s become Dean’s driver coach as well as his crew chief, commented on his pupil’s performance. “I’m real proud of Gus,” he said. “The kid has impressed me a ton with his ability to get up to speed at some very difficult tracks. His feedback is right on and his heart is in the right place. It’s a real honor to work with him. I want to thank Gus, the guys on the team, our sponsors and RE Suspension for their help and support this weekend. We enjoyed competing in the PASS Series and look forward to coming back soon.”
In addition to PASS South Series competition, Dean and Co. will run in the Late Model (LM) and other Super Late Model (SLM) events across the Southeast all year long.
For more on Gus Dean, please visit GusDean.com. For additional input on Whirlpool Cooling and Heating, please logon to WhirlpoolHVAC.com.