JEFFERSON, GA -- There are 200 mile separating Hudson, North Carolina, home to Tri-County Speedway, and Jefferson, Georgia, home of Gresham Motorsports Park, but for Gus Dean, the results of his weekend road trip would seem worlds apart.
On Friday night Dean competed with his regular series, the CARS X-1R Pro Cup Series at North Carolina’s Hudson Speedway. After dominating the event early from the pole, Dean crossed under the checkered flag in the fourth position and was pleased with the start to his long weekend.
“We sat on the pole and had an awesome race car,” said Dean. “I’ve got a massive amount of outside poles, but that was my first actual pole. JP (Morgan) got around us in that second half while we were trying to save our tires. He was pushing his just a little harder.”
Dean would ultimately push his car a little too far in his quest to re-take the top spot.
“Everyone was running the high line,” Dean said after the race. “I had another lane cleaned off up high because that was the only place I could beat him was up high. I couldn’t get him any lower. After I tried him a couple times up there he started running that lane."
With Morgan taking up the real estate that he needed, Dean made one last ditch effort to search for anything the track had to offer further up the racing surface, to no avail.
“I tried to dust off a little higher, just trying to make something happen there towards the end and got into the wall a little bit.”
All in all, leaving the track Friday for the trip down to compete with the Southern Super Series in his Super Late Model at Gresham Motorsports Park (GA), Dean was feeling pretty good about the outcome Friday night. After the contact with the wall, Dean was able to salvage a good top-five finish.
“I crinkled the right front and had to run it crippled for about 40 laps. Still came home fourth so not too bad,” said the 19-year-old racer.
Saturday night Dean headed back down South and got back behind the wheel of his Super Late Model, a seat that has not seen much action in 2014. The lack of recent seat time in the car may have showed just a bit in qualifying.
“We qualified 15th. Not exactly what we wanted but it was decent being that we haven’t been in the Super (Late Model) all that much this year.”
When the race ended, Dean had to settle for a disappointing 16th-place finish after struggling to find a balance in the car between loose and tight. Humid conditions in Jefferson, Georgia seemed to have most of the drivers in the field scratching their heads. It seemed every team was contending with the track to find the right set up. Gus Dean was no different.
“It felt like the car got loose on us so we tightened it up. As soon as we did that it got too tight on us.“
Another issue was the discovery of something amiss in the rear of the car, however Dean left the track confident in his crew that they would get everything squared away before their next trip to the track.
“We think something may be wrong with the rear end due to the way the stagger measurements came out and what not,” said Dean. “We’re going to have that looked at. I’m sure they’re going to put in their best effort at the shop like they always do.”
Next up for Dean will be a trip to Orange County Speedway (NC) with the CARS X-1R Pro Cup Series on Saturday, July 26.
For more information on Gus Dean, follow him on Twitter at @GusDean.
-51 Sports Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com