CORNELIUS, N.C. — NASCAR’s youngest fulltime Nationwide Series driver Trevor Bayne enjoyed his first real look at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., on Monday during a NASCAR media tour. The Nationwide Series will hold its inaugural race at the road course on June. 19.
The Knoxville, Tenn., native raced the track several times on his IRacing (computer) simulator but he said nothing compares to actual track experience. The 19-year-old Diamond-Waltrip Racing driver along with Brian Scott gave several Wisconsin media members rides around the four-mile road course in a Toyota Camry pace car. The drivers showed the media how they planned to race the track and pointed out potential trouble spots. To cap off the event the two young drivers raced go-karts with Bayne grabbing the fast lap of 40.31 seconds. Scott wasn't far behind with a lap of 40.82 seconds.
This weekend is sure to be a learning experience as Bayne makes his first appearance at Darlington Raceway in Friday’s Nationwide Series race. Bayne said he hopes his Darlington performance is the first step toward developing the consistency needed to climb from 12th-place in the championship standings.
BAYNE ON DARLINGTON: “I am not sure what to expect at Darlington. I am pretty sure I will have a Darlington stripe before the first practice is over. I am really excited about racing there. It has such a rich history. It’s one of those tracks that all the drivers seem to talk about. Since we get an extra set of tires this weekend we are going to try and make the most laps we can. I think track time is going to be really important for us this weekend. We need to get a good starting spot and just try and stay out of trouble.”
BAYNE ON ROAD AMERICA: “Road America was awesome. It’s a very high speed road course. There are a lot of elevation changes and some spots that could potentially be dangerous. The part of the track that stuck out to me the most were turns five and six. You have to get your car slowed down to get through five and then you have to remember the blind turn that is after the hill on six. The car is going to get really light coming up the hill. You have to slow down heading up the hill or you won’t make it. I think if you can stay on the race track at Road America you can bring home a top-10 finish.
BAYNE ON THE 2010 SEASON: “We have run OK this season. We have had some really good runs and some really bad runs. We need to find some consistency. Right now, we are a top-10 team and we need to find a way to become a top-five team. I feel like we have made a lot of progress as a team since last season but we still need to keep moving forward. I get frustrated because we haven’t made it to victory lane yet but I need to remember most of the guys that are beating us each week have a lot more experience than I do. Our goal at the beginning of the year was to finish in the top five in the point standings so we aren’t to far off.”
ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST
Bayne will again wear rookie stripes on his No. 99 Diamond-Waltrip Racing Toyota this weekend in Friday’s 200-lap Nationwide race. Bayne is making his first career start at the track “too tough to tame.”
Crew chief Jerry Baxter led David Reutimann to a third-place finish in the 2008 race at Darlington Raceway. That season the duo grabbed a pole (Chicago), eight top-fives, 15 top-10s and finished seventh in the championship point standings.
Bayne is the fifth highest series-only regular in the driver point standings. He is only 12 points behind Tony Raines, 23 points back of Brian Scott, 44 points away from Brendan Gaughan and just 357 points away from Justin Allgaier.
Bayne owns 24 NNS starts. He has a pole (Indianapolis), three top-10s (Indianapolis, Richmond and Las Vegas), 11 top-15s and has led 34 laps of competition. He has a starting average of 12th and a finishing average of 18th.
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.