Monday, July 27, 2009

Bayne Thrills in First Trip to ORP

Clermont, Ind. (July 27, 2009) – Trevor Bayne grabbed a career-best seventh-place finish in Saturday night’s Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

Additionally, in only his seventh NASCAR Nationwide Series start, the 18-year-old posted the fastest time (22.296 seconds) to earn his first career pole award in the No. 99 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota.

Bayne paced the field to the green just after 8 p.m. before an estimated crowd of 40,000. The Knoxville, Tenn., native secured the lead from Brad Coleman going into turn two and led the next 34 circuits.

The young Bayne lost the lead in a bizarre situation after Michael Annett crashed his Germain Racing Toyota in Turn 3. As Bayne took the yellow flag and slowed into Turn 1, the pace car hit the track in the middle of the corner.

The rookie driver slowed to stay behind the caution car, and Wallace rammed him from the rear, spinning both cars out. NASCAR ruled that since they didn’t maintain caution speed, they took their positions where they blended in, which place Bayne 11th for the lap 43 restart.

Another caution flag flew on lap 48 for a single car incident in Turn 4. Crew Chief Jerry Baxter summoned his driver to pit road for four fresh Goodyear tires, fuel and a minor air pressure adjustment to the right-rear tire. Since some teams were on different pit strategies, Bayne restarted 23rd on lap 53.

The adjustments seem to help the No. 99 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota and Bayne began to work his way through the field. He was 20th on lap 56, 14th on lap 59 and worked his way back into the top 10 by lap 67.

The Kroger 200 pole sitter continued to race inside the top 10 until the fifth caution flag flew on lap 90. Bayne made the hard left hand turn down pit road to the attention of his crew. Another routine four-tire pit stop that included a minor chassis adjustment was in order for the No. 99 machine. A lightning-fast pit stop by the Aaron’s Dream Machine over-the-wall crew netted Bayne two spots on pit road and he restarted eighth on lap 96.

Over the next 100 laps¸ Bayne held his own in the top 10 and crossed the start finish line seventh in the final run down.

Carl Edwards grabbed his second win of the season followed by Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski and Steven Wallace.

Next weekend the NASCAR Nationwide Series rolls into Newton, Iowa, for the division’s first ever stop at Iowa Raceway.

The US Cellular 250 will be televised live on ESPN at 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The race will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius Satellite Radio. Qualifying for the 21st round of the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship will be televised on ESPN2 the same day beginning at 1 p.m. EDT.

It’s our first top-10 so you’ve got to be really happy about that but it’s disappointing in the fact that I think we had a car that could win. It’s just so hard to pass here. I think if we could have got back to the lead we could have maintained it but we never had the opportunity to get back there. Overall, it was a good day for the No. 99 team.”

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