CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Gus Dean will move up to the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series in a full-time opportunity for the 2019 season, Young’s Motorsports announced Wednesday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Dean will drive the No. 12 Chevrolet Silverado with crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz and primary sponsorship from LG HVAC and Baker Distributing — their first voyage into the sport.
“I’m in one of the big three (series) with a full-time schedule, unveiling my truck at the NASCAR Hall of Fame,” Dean said following the announcement. “The sun was definitely shining a little brighter when I woke up this morning. … If you can imagine a kid for the first time walking into Disney World, that’s about where I’m at right now.”
The 23-year-old joins Spencer Boyd after Young’s Motorsports unveiled Monday that Boyd would pilot the No. 20 entry for the upcoming season.
Dean is optimistic about joining an organization that continues to grow in the Truck Series and feels he can be a strong contender for Sunoco Rookie of the Year.
“To build and grow as a driver with a team as they’re building and growing, you can lean on each other, learn from each other and really progress forward,” Dean said. “That’s a quick and easy way to really turn heads.”
Dean has competed in the ARCA Racing Series for three years, participating in the full-time schedule for the past two seasons. In 2016, Dean ran seven races and scored his first career victory at Talladega. Dean finished fourth in the final points standings in 2017 and notched another victory and a sixth-place points position last season.
The Gander Outdoors Truck Series NextEra Energy 250 season opener at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 15 will be Dean’s first NASCAR national series start.
“I’ve always loved the big tracks and restrictor-plate racing,” Dean said. “I know these trucks are going to handle a lot different in the air, so I’m excited to learn about that, but I think that we’re going to do great.”
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In 2018, Austin Hill ran the full-time schedule with the organization in the No. 02. The seat opened up for Dean in a renumbered truck as Hill will move over to Hattori Racing and the No. 16 truck for 2019.