CORNELIUS, N.C. — Diamond-Waltrip Racing has worked extremely hard over the past couple of months to prepare 19-year-old driver Trevor Bayne for the NASCAR Nationwide Series’ two upcoming road course races. Bayne has attended what he jokingly refers to as the “Michael McDowell school of racing.” The duo have spent several weeks at Virginia International Raceway driving a two-seater built by Michael Waltrip Racing. This weekend the series makes its debut at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. The Knoxville, Tenn., native finished third at Watkins Glen and 17th at Lime Rock in the 2008 K&N Pro Series. Bayne visited Road America May 3 doing promotional work and raved about the track and the challenges it will present the drivers.
TREVOR BAYNE ON ROAD AMERICA: “Road America is an awesome track. It’s a very high speed road course. There are a lot of elevation changes and some spots that could potentially be dangerous. The trickiest part of the track to me is 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 racetrack at Road America, you can bring home a top-10 finish.
ON ROAD COURSE RACING: “I really like racing on road courses. It’s something a little different from what we do every week. I have only raced on two road courses in my career but we have run pretty well. Road course racing can be a challenge. Michael McDowell has been working with me over the last couple of months to get me ready. He keeps telling me to think ahead. You have to get yourself set up for the next turn. You can’t just focus on where you are currently on the track.”
ON BEING ON AN EVEN PLAYING FIELD THIS WEEKEND: “It’s pretty cool that a large majority of the field has the same amount of experience as I do at Road America. There are going to be some road course ringers out there like Ron Fellows but at least this puts me on the same playing field as most of the Nationwide Series drivers. The open test that we have on Thursday is going to mean a lot for us. It will give us a chance to try a bunch of things and have a pretty good car come Friday and Saturday.”
ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST
- 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.
- On Monday and Tuesday, Bayne and the Diamond-Waltrip Racing team tested the new NASCAR Nationwide car at the Milwaukee Mile. The new car will race at Daytona, Michigan, Richmond and Charlotte.
- Bayne owns 29 NNS starts. He has a pole (Indianapolis), three top-10s (Indianapolis, Richmond and Las Vegas), 12 top-15s and has led 34 laps. His average starting spot is 12th and a finishing spot of 19th.
- Bayne is 12th in points, but sixth among the non-Sprint Cup drivers competing in the Nationwide Series.
- Bayne posted consistent qualifying efforts in his first 29 starts. Over his short career, he has grabbed a pole (Indianapolis), six top-five and 16 top-10 starting positions. He boasts a 12.3 starting average and has only started eight races outside the top 15.
- To get your dog’s picture on Bayne’s No. 99 OUT! Pet Care Toyota, go to www.outpetcare.com and register for the next “Top Dog of the Week.”
- OUT! Pet Care products will be on the No. 99 Toyota Camry for 16 of the final 21 races with Aaron’s on the remaining races.