CORNELIUS, N.C. — Trevor Bayne, one of NASCAR’s rising young stars, is building momentum in the 2010 season. The 19-year-old driver has finished in the top 15 in three of the last four Nationwide races and has jumped from 17th to 13th in the points standings.
The Knoxville, Tenn. native hopes to continue that momentum this weekend at Richmond International Raceway where his seventh-place finish in September is one of three top-10 finishes in his 23-race career. Bayne also posted a seventh-place finish at Indianapolis last year but topped that with a sixth-place finish at Las Vegas in February.
During last year’s run at Richmond, he enjoyed a driver rating of 107.2, an average running position of 6.6, four fastest laps run, while running all 250 laps in the top 15. If history repeats itself, Bayne could be on the path to another career day. Bayne and his Diamond-Waltrip Racing teammates tested on the quarter-mile oval at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga. on Monday.
BAYNE ON RICHMOND: “Richmond is a cool track. It’s a track that I have experience on. I love racing on short tracks like Indianapolis and Richmond. I have been racing on short tracks since I was 13 years old. I think I can excel at Richmond more than I have on the mile-and-a-half tracks this season. I think Richmond is a good place to turn around our luck and hopefully grab our first top-five finish of the year.”
BAYNE ON RACING UNDER THE LIGHTS: “Racing under the lights brings me back to my roots. Everything from racing go-karts to the East Series has been night races. It’s really cool for the fans as well. They can see our brakes glowing and see sparks fly when we make contact. It’s a lot cooler at night so it makes for a good day in the race car.”
BAYNE ON TESTING AT GRESHAM MOTORSPORTS PARK: “Anytime I can get in the race car is good. It keeps things fresh on my mind. We learned a lot about the car at Gresham. I also learned a lot as a driver. I worked with Martin Truex Jr. He got in the race car and drove some and worked with me on a lot of stuff. I think that was a great opportunity for me. He taught me a tremendous amount about braking and rolling the center of the corners which is going to be a big help at Richmond.”
ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST
- Currently, Bayne is the sixth highest series-only regular in the NNS driver point standings. He is only six points behind Brendan Gaughan, 11 points back of Tony Raines, 22 points away from Scott Lagasse Jr., 44 points behind Brian Scott and just 339 points away from Justin Allgaier.
- The 19-year-old driver owns 23 NNS starts. He has one pole (Indianapolis), three top-10s (Indianapolis, Richmond and Las Vegas), 11 top-15s and has led 34 laps of competition.
- Michael Waltrip enters the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame Wednesday night joining notable inductees such as: Muhammad Ali, Tubby Smith, Adolph Rupp, Phil Simms, Johnny Unitas, Secretariat and other Bluegrass state heroes. Proceeds from the banquet benefit Kosair Charities. Tickets are $75 and may be obtained through Jo Barrett at Kosair Charities: (502) 637-7696, ext. 104. MWR cars will carry a special decal this weekend honoring Waltrip’s induction.
- Steve Hallam, executive vice president and director of competition at MWR, will receive a degree of Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Huddersfield in England on July 12. The university has a globally respected automotive engineering department. Hallam, who worked in Formula 1 from 1982 to 2008 with Lotus and then McLaren, joined MWR in 2009.
- This weekend, Bayne’s No. 99 Toyota will run a plain hood with Diamond-Waltrip logos on the quarter panels in hopes to show potential sponsors inventory is available. Currently, Aaron’s is scheduled to sponsor the No. 99 in six of the final 27 races. Those races include: Kentucky, New Hampshire, Chicago, Iowa, Gateway (2) and Phoenix.