CORNELIUS, N.C. — After working with veteran drivers most of his career, No. 99 OUT! Pet Care crew chief Jerry Baxter carries the added responsibility of overseeing a NASCAR Nationwide team with a talented rookie. Baxter and his 19-year-old driver Trevor Bayne have turned in impressive performances throughout this season as well endured some disappointments—not all of their making— like closing lap accidents in the last two races that ruined runs by Bayne. This weekend at Gateway International Raceway Bayne and Baxter hope 18-year-old driver Ryan Truex’s Nationwide Series debut as Bayne’s teammate should help both drivers on the 1.25-mile St. Louis oval.
BAXTER ON VETERAN AND ROOKIE DRIVERS: “There is a big difference between working with Michael (Waltrip) and Trevor Bayne. The veteran drivers know what they want in a race car because they have done it for so long and you set it up the way they want it. With Trevor, we have to let him tell us what he is feeling and then we make a decision based on his input and our past experience. He hasn't been at these tracks a lot so he can’t relate past experiences so I think getting the car right lies more on my shoulders now than it did in the past.”
BAXTER ON WHAT YOU TELL A YOUNG DRIVER AFTER A TOUGH RACE: “Trevor doesn’t seem like he carries things over from the past weekend. He does a really good job of not carrying a grudge over from a prior incident. He does a really good about letting things roll of his chest and get focused for the next weekend.”
GATEWAY INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY: “(Ryan Truex Crew Chief) Mike Greci and I have worked really hard together over the past couple of weeks to get both of our cars ready for this weekend. I think it gives me an extra person do bounce ideas off of. Trevor and Ryan are both young drivers and they get along really well so they should be able to help each other out. We think this will benefit our whole Nationwide organization.”
BAYNE ON RYAN TRUEX: “I have been looking forward to having a teammate all season. It gives me someone to bounce ideas off of and it also gives us another car to try different setups. I believe there are some things that we can learn from each other that will make us better racers. We plan go to Gateway this weekend with identical setups and hopefully between the two cars, we can come up with a setup that can win the race.”
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.
• Bayne will sign autographs on pit road on Friday at 3:15 p.m.
• Bayne started 12th and finished 27th last year in his only Gateway start.
• Bayne is 11th in points, but fifth 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.”
• Bayne has five top-10 finishes in 33 career starts. His best finish (fifth) came at New Hampshire International Speedway on June 26.