Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Trevor Bayne, No. 99 Diamond-Waltrip Racing Toyota Phoenix Preview

CORNELIUS, N.C. —  Diamond-Waltrip driver Trevor Bayne owns three top-10 finishes in his first 20 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts and sits 13th in the championship point standings.  But those numbers only tell part of the 19-year-old’s 2010 story.

Bayne posted top-12 finishes in each race except at Daytona and Bristol where accidents caused by other drivers led to poor finishes. Still, Bayne is seventh in the standings among the series regulars despite those drivers (Justin Allgaier, Paul Menard, Mike Wallace, Michael Annett, Steven Wallace and Scott Lagasse Jr.) owning 539 more career starts.

This weekend, the Knoxville, Tenn. native travels to Phoenix International Raceway where he’ll drive the No. 99 Aaron’s Dream Machine Camry in Friday night’s race. He drove from 37th starting spot to 14th in his PIR debut in November.


BAYNE ON GOING TO PHOENIX: “I really like Phoenix – I think Phoenix is a cool city.  I don’t know why I like it so much.  Ever since I’ve been going out there, I went out there for the Bondurant Driving School a couple years ago when I was driving for DEI (Dale Earnhardt Inc.) and I just really liked the city.  It’s the only place I’ve ever played golf, too.  Scared every prairie dog out of the bushes in Phoenix that day -- it was bad.  They turned the sprinklers on me and everything, it was pretty bad.  It’s a cool city, it’s really clean with a lot of new stuff.  It seems like a younger crowd out there so I think that’s why I like it. Being 19, it’s just more my style out there I guess.”

CREW CHIEF JERRY BAXTER ON BAYNE’S PROGRESS: “Trevor has progressed a lot since last year at Nashville. He has a lot more confidence about himself now. He has been able to gain that confidence by logging laps and just getting behind the wheel during practice and the races. I think he always had the ability to driver the race car he just needs to keep gaining confidence.”

BAXTER ON HOW BAYN’ES COMPARES TO THE OTHER YOUNG DRIVERS: “When you compare Trevor to all the other young drivers running the Nationwide Series he is above the curve. If you look at the points right now, even though it’s early in the season, he would be leading the Rookie of the Year points. He doesn’t have any more experience than they do. I think that alone shows you he is above average. Trevor is a very talented driver and I think by the end of the season he will be competing for top fives every weekend.”


  •  MEDIA OPPORTUNITY AT PIR: On Thursday at 12:20 p.m. Bayne will meet with another young athlete backed by Diamond-Waltrip majority owner Gary Bechtel. Bayne will show Michael Flores, a 15-year-old member of the 2010 Junior Olympic Shooting team, a few tips on how to race around PIR in a pace car. Afterwards the pair plan to visit a local shooting range where Flores will give shooting lessons.

  • On Tuesday and Wednesday Bayne attended the Bondurant School in Chandler, Ariz. to prepare for the three upcoming road course events on the Nationwide Series schedule. The Knoxville, Tenn., native also received private road course instruction from driver Michael McDowell.

  • Bayne made his first start at the one-mile desert oval in November. He started the race 37th but moved to 13th by lap 37. He continued working his way through the field climbing into the top 10 by the halfway mark. With just 50 laps remaining, the car’s handling began to slow his progress and he crossed the finish line in 14th.

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