CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 99 Diamond-Waltrip driver Trevor Bayne hopes his rocket flight up the NASCAR Nationwide Series point standings continues this weekend at his home track of Bristol Motor Speedway. The 19-year-old owns the biggest jump in the point standings in the first three races. The Knoxville, Tenn. native dropped to 41st after Daytona, moved up to 24th after California and leaped to 13th after posting a career-best, sixth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Bayne excelled on the 1.5-mile oval in Las Vegas outracing several Sprint Cup drivers and showing why so many experts feel Bayne is one of the most promising stars on the sport’s horizon.
WHAT DO YOU CONTRIBE TO YOUR RECENT SUCCESS ON THE TRACK? “I think Jerry Baxter (crew chief) and I are really starting to work good together. We’ve started to have weekly meetings and those have helped a lot. Todd Gordon (Raceday Engineer) has also brought a lot of new ideas to the table. I think I’m getting more comfortable behind the wheel and starting to get a lot of confidence. I hope we can continue carrying momentum into the weeks to come and move into the top 10 in the point standings. Diamond-Waltrip is looking hard for sponsorship so every good run gives us a better chance to get the corporate folks join our team. I’m pleased where we are now but all of us want to keep getting better.”
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO WIN AT BRISTOL? “It would be in front of the home crowd so it would be awesome. Plus it would be my first win so that would mean a lot. Anywhere you can win is a big one. I would love to win at Bristol. That is a track where it is up to the driver to make things happen. At Bristol you have to get down to the nitty gritty and make things happen. I love short track racing. Bristol is almost seems like a superspeedway compared to what I’m used to racing. It’s just an awesome place and a lot of fun to drive. If you can tame that track then you can do it anywhere.”
HOW IMPORTANT IS TRACK POSITION AT BRISTOL? “Track position is huge at Bristol. Before they repaved the track you stayed single-file and had room to move or bump people out of the way. Now when they’re two and three wide, you can get shuffled out in a hurry. We need to qualify well. That will help us stay out of all the havoc that happens in the middle of the pack. They race like maniacs in the back of the pack. You can go a lap down pretty quick at Bristol so you really want to stay with the leaders and stay out of trouble.”
ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST
Bayne made his first career NNS start last March at BMS. He started 26th and finished 23rd.
The 19-year-old driver is no rookie to BMS. He has five career starts at the .533-mile oval with his best finish of third coming behind the wheel of a USAR Pro Cup Series car in 2007. Additionally, in 2006, Bayne was leading the USAR field with 15 laps to go when he was spun out by another competitor and finished outside the top 20.
Currently, Bayne is the sixth highest series-only regular in the NNS driver point standings. He is only 26 points behind Mike Wallace in 12th, 27 points back of James Buescher in 11th, 39 point away from Scott Riggs in 10th, 103 points behind Steven Wallace in sixth and just a mere 129 points away from Justin Allgaier in fourth.
In last falls race at BMS, Bayne qualified the No. 99 machine in the fifth position. He was running in the top 10 with about 100 laps remaining when he got turned into the wall by another competitor. The young driver eventually crossed the finish line 24th, four laps down to the leaders.
The he Knoxville, Tenn., native will sigh autographs at the Food City Race Night. He will be at the Knoxville Expo Center on Thursday 6–8 p.m. The Diamond-Waltrip driver will also be at the BMS event on Friday 7–8 p.m.