Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Trevor Bayne - Michigan Preview
CORNELIUS, N.C. — A past champion and a potential champion have enjoyed a pretty good streak of racing lately. Since No. 99 OUT! Pet Care Toyota driver Trevor Bayne came under the tutelage of his “driving coach” Johnny Benson in late July, Bayne has captured two poles and two top-five finishes as well as moved up three spots to eighth in the NASCAR Nationwide Series point standings.
Benson, the 1995 Nationwide Series and 2008 Craftsman Truck champion, will race his late model at area short tracks this weekend so he won’t attend Saturday’s race at Michigan International Speedway. The pair plan several phone conversations throughout the weekend to help speed the 19-year-old’s learning curve on the two-mile oval. Saturday marks the first race for the Nationwide Series’ new car on an intermediate track. The Diamond-Waltrip Racing team will test at MIS on Thursday, practice Friday, qualify and race Saturday.
DRIVING COACH JOHNNY BENSON ON WORKING WITH TREVOR BAYNE: “Trevor has done a tremendous job for Diamond-Waltrip Racing this season. They brought me on board to help him with a few things where my experience could help him move on a little quicker. Trevor has been great to work with so far and you can tell he is a really good kid. What I am really impressed with is his willingness to listen to what you want him to do. He will go out on the track and try anything that I want him to do. I think that really says a lot about him as a person. A lot of young kids don’t like to take advice from people and he has been real receptive. I think the way he takes things and how quickly he learns from his mistakes are going to be a huge positive for him now and in the future.”
CREW CHIEF JERRY BAXTER ON THE ADDTION OF JOHNNY BENSON: “Johnny has been a great asset to the team since we hired him a month or so ago. He is the first person that has focused on Trevor from a driver’s perspective. David Reutimann and Martin Truex Jr. try to help Trevor as much as they can but they just don’t have the time to focus 100 percent on him. If we would have had Johnny in February, Trevor would be light years ahead of where he is right now. Johnny helps Trevor stay focused and helps him relay what needs to be fixed about the car. I also think Trevor has done a great job in trusting Johnny and taking all his advice.”
TREVOR BAYNE ON RACING THE NEW CAR AT MICHIGAN: “I’m actually pretty excited about it more so than the current style cars. That’s because I have the opportunity to drive for a team at Diamond-Waltrip Racing that has the affiliation with a Cup team (Michael Waltrip Racing) under the same roof. We can feed off them. MWR’s COT program in the Cup series has been really strong here lately. David Reutimann won at Chicago and they’ve been running top-five almost every weekend. I’m actually pretty excited about it. We got to go test our car at Milwaukee and we ran with the current style cars. We were just as quick so I know that the new cars are going to be fast and have a little bit more drag. They’re going to be a handful. It’s going to separate the boys from the men a little bit. I love how you have to hustle them. It’s fun.”
NOTES OF INTEREST
• Bayne started second and finished 30th in June at MIS—his lone appearance at the track.
• Bayne will hold a media availability session in the media center on Thursday at 12:10 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.
• Bayne owns 37 NNS starts. He has four poles (Indianapolis –2009, 2010, Gateway—2010 and Iowa 2010), four top-fives and eight top-10s and has led 129 laps. His best finish (third) came at Gateway International Raceway on July 17.
• Bayne continues to remain consistent in his qualifying efforts over his first 36 starts. During his short career, the Knoxville, Tenn., native has grabbed four poles (Indianapolis –2, Gateway - 1 and Iowa-1), 11 top-five and 20 top-10 starting positions. He boasts an 11.3 starting average and has only started 11 races outside the top 15