Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion, has had a whirlwind week after winning Sunday's Daytona 500. Bayne, who is running the NASCAR Nationwide Series race as well as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, held a Q&A session Friday morning to talk about the last few days.
HAVE YOU HIT THE GROUND YET? "It's definitely been way more than I expected. I was just telling them over here that I knew myself and everybody in our community thought the 500 was a really big deal. We all look forward to it every year, but I just didn't realize the support we were gonna get from outside our community. The rest of the United States is just really fired up about everything for the Wood Brothers and the history and then the youth part of it. It's just been a really, really cool week and a humbling experience.
HAVE YOU HAD ANY MARRIAGE PROPOSALS OR STUFF LIKE THAT? "I did, but I think the craziest thing that kind of kicked it off was when I got that private call. I didn't know who it was and I ignored it the first time. They called back and I'm like, 'Alright, I'm gonna answer it.' It was the night of the 500 and I answered it and it was the White House. They said that the president would like to talk to us and I was like, 'Well, this is kind of cool.' But then I think it was two days ago, this was probably the craziest series of events. Before I went on the Ellen Show I got a call from Vice President Joe Biden, so I'm talking to him on the phone. Then I run in to do the Ellen Show. I meet her. I come out and I'm on the phone with Tim Tebow talking to him about our faith and everything. Then I hang up from him and as soon as I do that Pamela Anderson comes in the room to meet me. Then I get done with that and I go over to film the George Lopez Show and while I'm in the waiting room Bobby Valentino, the singer, asks me for my phone number in case he wants to come to a race or something. I'm like, 'What is going on? What is this?' That whole series I was like, 'This is kind of a big deal.' It's cool. There have been so many cool things that have happened and just getting to go around and tour around the country for a week. That was a cool experience in itself.
WHAT DID THE VICE PRESIDENT SAY AND WHAT WERE YOUR INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OF PAMELA ANDERSON? "Joe Biden, I guess he's a big car guy. He used to drag race and he was really excited. He's like, 'We're proud of you. You represent everything good.' So it was very complimentary, which was awesome to get that kind of credibility from the vice president. He was pumped up about watching the Wood Brothers. He said he used to watch them a long time ago, so he talked about both ends of the spectrum - the oldest and the youngest. And then he said, 'Hey, you want to come and check out the White House? Bring whoever you want.' He said he would take us and give us a tour and President Obama would be really happy to meet us, so I thought that was pretty neat. And then Pamela Anderson, the first thing she said was, 'You remind me of my son,' because I guess she has a son my age. She's getting a little older now. I wasn't born when Baywatch was on, so it was cool just to meet her. I remember watching Borat when he puts her in the bag and runs off to marry her. That was pretty cool to meet her."
HAVE YOU HAD ANY OVERSEAS CONGRATULATIONS? "I actually did. The girl that I was dating before she went into the mission fields, she's in India and has been there for three months, and I've got a picture on my phone with a lot of the kids that are around in the slums. They've been working in the schools there and she had a picture with them. She's wearing the Indian outfits and all that, and she's sitting there and all the kids have a banner that says 'Good Job, Trevor. We're proud.' I thought that was just neat to get a text with a picture from kids in India. That was probably one of the coolest experiences, too.
WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO GET READY FOR THIS WEEKEND? "I just can't wait to get back in the race car. That's where I feel the most comfortable and I can just zone in on something. I've not been scatterbrained, but just pulled in a lot of places and just kind of looking around and saying, "thanks, appreciate it' with everybody. So I can't wait to just get back in the car and be able to focus on one thing - the track in front of me, worry about what the car is doing and communicating with the crew chief. That's where I feel the most comfortable, so I think as soon as I get in there I'll be in the zone. Plus, I tried all week not to ever get out of that zone. I tried not to ever get distracted by everything going on or get wrapped up in it. The whole time I've been in communication with the teams and just trying to focus on, 'OK, how do we keep this going?' We've got to perform. On the Nationwide side, I do feel like we need to be performing, but on the Cup side, we're gonna have learning curves. We were never expected to do this our first race, even though the Wood Brothers and Donnie Wingo and everybody involved are capable, it just doesn't normally happen this way. This weekend is our third race ever in Cup and we need to remember that. If we finish 15th or 20th, we've got to be excited about that because that's a pretty good day for us in our third race, so we just have to keep expectations in perspective. I think on the Nationwide side with Roush Fenway, we've got a great team there, too. Chris Andrews, and I think we'll have a good shot at it this weekend. Our cars are fast here. I like this kind of race track, so I'm pumped about getting in that thing, too.
DO YOU KNOW THE WOOD BROTHERS HISTORY OR HAS THIS WEEK BEEN A LEARNING EXPERIENCE? "The whole Wood Brothers experience, ever since I signed with them has been the biggest lesson in history I've ever gotten. I went through and looked at their pit stops, even from the Indy 500 that they did when they won that race with that fueling system. They took me through and showed me all the convertibles and how you could look at his head in the car and tell what kind of car it was because it would either be in the front window or the back window depending on where they moved the seat and moved the dash to try and set up the cars that way. They've been taking me through the Tiny Lund story and David Pearson. They took me through all the drivers. They've got pictures up in the shop. I haven't been to Virginia yet to see the museum, but they've done a really, really good job of filling me in on everything. For Donnie Wingo, when he told me it was 31 years in the making, that was really, really, really cool to hear that from him. To see his excitement, he didn't seem that surprised in victory lane. I was like, 'Man, did you think we could do this?' He's like, 'I knew we could.' That's what took me back the most. I figured Donnie would be all surprised by it, but he had the confidence in everybody and that's what it took."
DO YOU ANTICIPATE YOUR COMPETITORS DRIVING YOU ANY HARDER NOW OR WITH MORE RESPECT? "I don't know. I think on the Nationwide it's probably gonna be some tough racing. Those guys want to be the next thing too, so I know they're all gonna race hard. Maybe they won't lay as many fenders on us because they know everybody is kind of watching, but I'm sure they're gonna be racing hard. They want to be the best. I'm not saying I'm the best, but we won the last race and they want to beat that person that just won last weekend. I think we're all competitive either way. I think they're gonna race really hard, but through the garage and just seeing the crew guys coming up. I talked to Logano a minute ago and all the drivers have just been really, really supportive. It kind of shocked me. I expected them to have a little bit of resentment because it was our first one and we came in and won, but they've actually showed a whole lot of support, more than I could have asked for, so I can't thank them enough for that.
WHAT ABOUT THE RING ON YOUR FINGER? "I've been trying to talk to Simpson about some special gloves so I can keep it on. I left it on most of the time, just to get in the shower is the only time I took it off because the first couple of nights I was scared I'd wake up and it would be a dream, so I wanted to keep it on so I could wake up and look down and make sure it's still there. It is a lot of bling and normally not something I would wear, but maybe here in a couple of weeks when it finally sets in I can take it off and know that it was still reality, but it is a really, really, really cool ring. Jostens did a great job with it and I just can't believe I'm wearing it.
DOES YOUR SCHEDULE INCLUDE THE REMAINING PLATE RACES AND IS THAT YOUR NEXT BEST CHANCE TO WIN? "Not at this time it doesn't. I don't think the first Talladega is on there. I don't know about the second one, but we have talked about moving the races around a little bit. Maybe in these first seven races we can get some momentum and some companies will want to come on board. Our goal would be to run the full season. That would be awesome if we could do that with the Wood Brothers and for Roush Fenway. You'll see this weekend, our car is solid white and that's not because we think it looks cool. We need some people to come on board and I'd love to run Talladega. I think we learned a lot at Daytona. Obviously, we've got fast restrictor plate cars, so if we could go, I would love to.
HOW MUCH DIFFERENT DO YOU EXPECT THIS WEEK TO BE FROM LAST WEEK? "I'd like to have the same success, that would be nice, so hopefully that won't be different, but this is totally different. Daytona requires the crew chief to find speed in the car. This requires the driver and crew chief to communicate. The communication is a totally different deal here, I think. You've got a little bit of feel at Daytona, but it's mainly mental and knowing what to do with the car and where to put it. Here it's going by feel. What's the car doing. It's physically draining and a totally different kind of race. Obviously, you've got to drive totally different. You're not working with people, you're racing against everybody. I would agree to that to some extent (about the season really starting this weekend), but this is like the first team/communication/driver kind of track where you're going off that short track kind of instinct. Hopefully we can be good here. This is one of my favorite tracks even though I haven't had a ton of success here yet, but Carl Edwards was really fast here last time. I know we're bringing something similar to that and hopefully we can be successful again.
HOW DO YOU STAY GROUNDED THROUGH ALL OF THIS? "I didn't do this on my own. I've had a lot of help from a ton of people growing up since I was five years old - my family, Dale Earnhardt, Inc., Michael Waltrip and Gary Bechtel at Diamond Waltrip Racing, and now Roush Fenway and the Wood Brothers and all my crew chiefs along the way. If I thought I did this on my own, then I probably would be floating away, but that would be a complete lie. To see what God has done here, positioning me even through the tough times, he knew this was gonna happen. This isn't for me. It's not anything I did by myself and I can't ever think that way. That in itself should be enough to keep us humble because in racing you have your ups, but you definitely have more downs so we've got to keep that in perspective and not get too much on the mountaintop here." FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES Subway Fresh Fit Advance 400, Page 4 February 25, 2011 Phoenix International Raceway
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO IN VEGAS NEXT WEEK? "Sleep. I didn't get to do a lot of that this week, but I'll be doing some sleeping in Vegas. Obviously, I can't go to a casino and I don't even know I would if I could, but they've got rollercoasters there in some of the hotels and water shows. I think they might have a mall with a toy store in it. I'm sure my team will pick on me about that, but, I don't know. I'll probably do what we do in every other city - kind of soak it in and walk around a little bit. That's a cool place, but I've never been a Vegas, flashy kind of guy anyways. I'm pumped to go there. I love the track. We finished sixth there, I think, last year in Nationwide and it's a really fun track, so I'm looking forward to that most of all.
HOW ARE YOUR PARENTS KEEPING YOU GROUNDED WITH ALL THIS ATTENTION? THE GIRLS MUST BE ALL AROUND YOU RIGHT NOW. "It's been pretty wild. I didn't have a valentine this year, and I don't think it will be that way next year (laughter). It's been different. I got my first police escort in San Francisco. I'm like, 'What is going on?' We've got two black trucks here, cops going everywhere guiding us and we get out on the red carpet and girls have, 'Marry me' signs and I'm like, 'What is going on?' One of the reporters said, 'Would you be asking him this if he finished third?' And they were like, 'Oh yeah, yeah.' Of course they were gonna say that, but it's been cool to see the whole support of the United States outside of our community. I get Twitters and Facebook that say, 'I'm a fan of NASCAR now because of what you and the Wood Brothers have done this weekend.' It's just the storyline, but to see the support from the young crowds. Being on the Ellen show and the Lopez show and just getting out there, I think it's cool to make the young people see that our sport is cool because I think a lot of people have lost that. Even my friends, they're like, 'Oh, it's NASCAR.' And then they come to a race it's like, 'Wow, this is something. I never thought it would be like this.' So we've got to show them that this is an awesome sport. It's something that I love and I think they all would if they just get that little bit of insight, so maybe this story will get them involved in it again.
WERE YOU NERVOUS GOING ON THOSE SHOWS? "I was actually more nervous for this kind of stuff because you know what I'm saying, you know what I'm talking about. I can say anything on their show and they're like, 'Oh, great.' When I go to do that it's kind of fun because they don't know much about racing and we can kind of take it wherever and just talk and that was cool. But the first two days were kind of tough. There were a lot of interviews and a lot of tough questions. It's kind of backed off the last couple of days and just been more fun stuff. I was a little bit star struck backstage on a couple of them. Bobby Valentino, Pam Anderson and even meeting Ellen and George Lopez. It was different, but I enjoyed it."
WHAT SHOWS UP ON YOUR SCREEN WHEN THE WHITE HOUSE CALLS YOU? "It was just a private number, just like if someone was prank calling you, and that's what I thought it was. Actually, my hometown radio station called and said that Obama was supposed to be calling, so I get a private number and I answer, it's like six in the morning here and eight at home. I'm sleeping and I answer and they're like, 'Hello, Trevor. This is President Obama.' I'm like, 'Hey, what's going on.' And they're like, 'Hey, we got you. It's Andy and Allison.' So everybody is having fun with it, but the phone just says 'private.'
HAS ANYONE FROM NASCAR TALKED TO YOU ABOUT TRYING TO BRING IN YOUNGER FANS, AND DO YOU FEEL ANY RESPONSIBILITY TO TRY AND HELP WITH THAT? "I think what is going to involve the youth is just people being real - not having cookie-cutter drivers and just being yourself. They've taken to it. That's why they love the Travis Pastranas, and the Ryan Shecklers and Justin Biebers or whatever because they're real and that's what we have to be here, and I think we're starting to see that more and more in our sport with Carl Edwards, Dale, Jr., Jimmie Johnson. They're just themselves. It just so happens that I'm 20, so I get a little bit more of an outreach to that community. They haven't pushed that, but, definitely, that's something we were focusing on going into the year and this is kind of a natural fit for that, so it's just been a really fortunate situation."
HAVE YOU GONE BACK AND WATCHED THE RACE? "I haven't watched the whole thing. I catch clips. Like when we were up doing ESPN and stuff, they have the reels running and NASCAR Now and the Hub. They'd have clips and I'd watch that, but I haven't seen the whole thing yet.
HAVE YOU REPLAYED IT IN YOUR HEAD? "There was such deep thought when it was going on. I had a lot of it planned, but I didn't plan it that way. I figured I'd be the pusher and make the last-lap pass, but as it happened I knew what I had to do. But now that I try to look back at it, it's like a blur. Everything was just happening so fast and I just remember driving to the start-finish line and it was like slow motion. It was like, 'What is going on? There is now way that this is happening.' When I watch the race and watch things that happen, it was like from about five laps to go to the beginning of the race I can remember everything that happened and the last five laps is like a complete blur. It's like I was just driving and I can't tell you everything that happened at that point.
YOU'VE GOT A BIG DAY PLANNED IN KNOXVILLE, RIGHT? "Yeah. Monday, I actually think they're doing a rally in Market Square and doing a key to the city and all kinds of cool stuff, so, hopefully, we get good weather here and we can make it back."
Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion, was involved in a single-car practice accident and will be forced to a back-up car for Sunday's race. He spoke about the incident afterwards.
TREVOR BAYNE - No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion -- "On pit road I told them the brakes felt like they weren't working right. I paced myself getting into the corner and the brakes just never worked. It was either just one of them working and it locked them up. Even down the backstretch I was playing with the bias trying to get them to dial, but then I went off in the corner and they just never worked and it never slowed down. When I went into the corner as soon as I let off the gas I said, 'I'm crashing,' because I knew it wasn't gonna slow down and it happened. There was not much I could do there. I don't know what happened there. I don't know why. It's the first back-up car I'm gonna have to go to, but I don't know what happened to the car and why the brakes weren't right there."
-source: ford racing