DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Two-time ARCA Menards Series winner Gus Dean is returning to the ARCA Menards Series this year with Venturini Motorsports on a part-time deal beginning with the season-opener at Daytona Int’l Speedway on Feb. 19.
Dean will run a minimum of three ARCA races this year with the team.
A competitor in the ARCA Menards Series since 2016, the Bluffton, S.C., native returns to the World Center of Racing for a sixth time focused on delivering Venturini Motorsports its fifth consecutive ARCA triumph at the 2.5-mile superspeedway aboard the No. 55 Toyota Camry.
Dean scored his first career ARCA Menards Series victory in his second start at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in 2016 but Daytona hasn’t been nice to Dean the previous five races.
“I am very excited about this opportunity to join Venturini Motorsports at Daytona,” said Dean. “Ever since I’ve been competing at ARCA, Venturini Motorsports has proven to be a dominant fixture in the series, especially on the superspeedways.
“To have the chance to pilot one of their Toyota Camrys, work closely with their dedicated and experienced crew and be surrounded by great teammates is sure to bring all the emotions of when I first joined the ARCA Menards Series. I’m just thankful to be a part of the team’s superspeedway lineup this season and look forward to putting myself in contention for the victory.”
Venturini Motorsports’ Billy Venturini has been wanting to add Dean to his driver roster for years and is thankful that the opportunity presented itself for the new season.
“It’s great to have Gus with us,” said Venturini. “We’ve been racing with him as a competitor for years and it’s great to finally have him under our banner this year. With his experience and Venturini Motorsports’ success at superspeedways, we believe have a wonderful chance at getting to victory lane.”
Added Dean, “While we have been fierce competitors on the track, I have always had the utmost respect for Billy, Mr. Bill Venturini and the entire Venturini Motorsports team. Not having the chance right now to race in a premier series on a weekly basis, I have to make the most of any opportunity and being a part of Venturini Motorsports provides me a shot to not only have fun but hopefully that opportunity to experience the bliss and emotions of celebrating in victory lane again.”
In addition to Daytona, Dean will return to ARCA competition with Venturini Motorsports at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in April and at Michigan Int’l Speedway in August.
The 27-year-old South Carolinian is poised to have a busy season between ARCA, pavement late models, mud truck racing and perhaps an appearance or two in one of NASCAR’s three National Series.
“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. Venturini Motorsports is going for an unprecedented fifth straight ARCA victory at Daytona and I want to be that driver that gets it done for them.”
Before Dean buckles in at Daytona, he will have a busy week leading up to the ARCA season opener, as he’ll also be competing at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway in the World Series of Asphalt for DLP Motorsports.
Dean will kick off his new tenure with Venturini Motorsports by competing in the open ARCA Menards Series test at Daytona on Jan. 14-15.
Sponsorship for the Feb. 19 Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire for Dean will be announced later.