With superspeedway racing in the rearview mirror, for now, Dean, 23, is set to hone his short track skills with his Mooresville, N.C.-based team and new crew chief Jamie Jones in the second race of the season.
“I had a lot of fun at Nashville last year, but we had a mechanical failure take us of the hunt,” said Dean. “That was unfortunate – because I thought we had a good race car.”
Even though Dean, a former Talladega ARCA winner was confident in his GREE Racing car last spring, Dean and Jones recently tested at the historic short track and their results left them upbeat and hoping they’re a serious contender in Saturday night’s 200-lap fight.
“Our test went really, really good,” added Dean, who finished fourth in the championship standings last year. “Jamie and I are really starting to gel, and he’s focused on giving what I need behind the wheel of the race car and I’m determined to drive the wheels off our No. 32 GREE Chevrolet.
“Every change we made, the car reacted, and our lap times were consistent whether it was a short run or a long run. That’s’ important for a track like Nashville. You have to be prepared for both.”
As quick as the GREE Racing team was at Nashville on Mar. 30, Dean realizes that rebounding from Daytona is one of the team’s top priorities.
“We need a good finish to bounce back from Daytona, he added. “I know it’s still early in the season, but you need to start collecting points now. It’s super important. Last year, we got behind in the first two races and collectively we know that we can’t afford to do the same this season.”