CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 99 OUT! Pet Care Toyota driver Trevor Bayne knows from experience that finishing a race in one piece at Daytona International Speedway has a lot to do with luck. In the season opener, Bayne started the race 17th but only ran six laps before another competitor sent him into the outside retaining wall and ended his day with a 41st-place finish. However, Bayne hopes his momentum from the past three weeks will help him to a solid finish this weekend. Over the last three weeks, the Knoxville, Tenn., native has grabbed three consecutive top-15 finishes, two consecutive top-10 finishes and a career-best finish of fifth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He has also moved up to 10th in the NNS championship point standings. Friday marks the debut of the new Nationwide Series car.
TREVOR BAYNES THOUGHTS ON THE NEW NATIONWIDE CAR: “We tested the new car at the Milwaukee Mile and they are a driver’s race car. You can really hustle them. They’re just as quick as the old Nationwide car. I thought they were going to be about a half-a-second off when we were there testing, but they were actually just as fast. They were a lot of fun through the center of the corner and they turn really well. The complaints of the COT when it first came out were how tight it is so they took that, they fixed it for the Nationwide car now and it’s pretty unbelievable. I think the Daytona race is going to be a lot of crazy stuff happening just because they are so free. We were looking at our data from the test and we had more wheel to the right than I did to the left sometimes, but they’re fun to drive and I think it’s going to go back to making the cars handle rather than just go fast even at those superspeedways. They’re still easy to adjust so I think it’s going to be good racing.”
ON BEING IN THE TOP 10 IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS: “It’s cool to work our way back into the top 10 after the season we have had so far. We have had a lot of ups and downs. We started the season off with a 41st-place finish at Daytona and just have struggled since. However, over the past couple of weeks we have started to hit our stride and grab some solid finishes. We had a good car in Kentucky and finished 11th then stayed on the race track at Road America and finished 10th. had a really fast race car in New Hampshire and finished fifth. It’s like we are finally starting to get the finishes we deserve. When we have solid weeks like this at the race track it gives us something to build off of.”
ON RETURNING TO DAYTONA: “I like Daytona a lot but honestly I didn't get to learn a lot at Daytona since we got wrecked on lap six. I kind of see this as my Daytona debut. I really didn’t get to learn a lot in Daytona. We didn’t get to qualify and we didn't get to race so I am going to Daytona kind of blind. I think the best spot to run is out front. If you are one of the lead cars 90 percent of the time you will stay out of the wrecks.”
ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST
- Bayne will sign autographs in the Sprint FANZONE under the Goodyear Legends area on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
- Diamond-Waltrip Racing is owned by Gary and Blake Bechtel along with Michael Waltrip Racing. It fields Toyota Camrys out of the MWR shop in Cornelius, N.C. The Bechtels have owned cars in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series since 1990. The Morgan Hill, California residents’ teams have visited victory lane 10 times in the Nationwide Series.
- After a career-best finish of fifth-place at New Hampshire, Bayne jumped into the top 10 in the championship point standings for the first time in his young career. He is also fourth among the non-Sprint Cup drivers in the Nationwide Series.
- Get your dog’s picture on Bayne’s No. 99 OUT! Pet Care Toyota by going to www.outpetcare.com and register for the “Top Dog of the Week.”