In 1991, Dean built a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) drag bike, winning the Pro ET NHRA/Winston Series. He continued his success on the track in 1992, winning multiple “Wallys”, the highest honor in NHRA, named for the Association’s founder, Wally Parks. Dean was also awarded the Sportsman of the Year award for helping anyone and everyone. “This almost meant more to me than winning the championship,” Dean said.
In 1998 Dean built a rock buggy and never looked back. With over 80 rock crawling wins, 16 Pro National titles and five world rock crawling championships, these are the achievements that set Dean on a path to the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.
With the birth of Ultra4 Racing and King of the Hammers in 2007, Dean decided it was time to go fast, so he built a 4400 unlimited buggy that could race both the desert and rocks, competing in several King of the Hammers races and both the Ultra4 Racing and Best in the Desert series.
In 2012, Arctic Cat came out with the Wildcat 1000 and Dean immediately started building one for King of the Hammers, which he won. That set Dean on a new course, and Team Wildcat Racing was born. That same year, Dean started another company, Wildcat Willy’s, which builds custom race UTVs and develops aftermarket UTV parts and accessories. In 2015 Arctic Cat released the Wildcat Sport 700, which Dean and his Team Wildcat Racing took to six WORC titles and two world championships.
In 2016, D&P Performance suffered a devastating fire that completely destroyed the facility. Dean put his racing on hold for nine long months to rebuild his shop into a state of the art facility.
In 2018, Dean took delivery of four Arctic Cat Wildcat XX models. He built one into a rock crawler, two into short course cars, and one into a desert car. The team had great success that year, including a win at the Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno race, the longest off-road race in North America.
In 2019, Dean decided that his time in the driver’s seat had come to an end. He retired from racing but remains involved as a team owner. When he’s not enjoying riding for fun on his ranch, he spends time promoting and marketing the off-road industry. He enjoys teaching people how to ride and drive safely off-road and how to correctly tackle each obstacle.
“There are a lot of things that have brought me great honor during my years of racing,” says Dean, “but what really stands out is the great friendships I have gained. These are friendships that will last a lifetime.”