Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion, has had a season of extremes - from winning the Daytona 500 to sitting out with an unknown illness. Now he's back on track with a third-place finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series already under his belt. This week he'll pull double-duty with his Nationwide car and return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series behind the wheel of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion at his sponsor's hometown race. Find out what he's doing to prepare. Also, we talked with Brett Wheatley, Director, Marketing, Ford Customer Service Division about the season from the sponsor's point of view.
TREVOR BAYNE, NO. 21 MOTORCRAFT/QUICK LANE FORD FUSION
HOW DID YOU CELEBRATE GETTING BACK INTO YOUR NATIONWIDE CAR IN CHICAGO? “We didn’t celebrate yet. I think I am waiting on the win to do that in the Nationwide Series, but we were really excited about the Top 3 finish. I was kind of kicking myself in the butt that I didn’t push it a little harder the last couple of laps and go for the win, but we thought we were going to run out of gas, too. Coming home third, we were just pumped to be back. Just to be back in the car was good enough for me, much less have a good run too. I’m really excited to be back behind the wheel of that Nationwide car and also, we’re going back to the (Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion) Sprint Cup car again this weekend, too, so I can’t wait for that one.”
YOU HAD A GREAT RACE IN CHICAGO IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES. HOW HAVE YOU PREPARED TO GET BACK INTO THE MOTORCRAFT/QUICK LANE FORD FUSION NASCAR SPRINT CUP CAR? “I’ve just been really working out hard and running and doing all that kind of stuff to try to help myself physically as much as I can because of the issues I had before. I don’t think there’s anything I did to induce that, but I definitely want to do all I can to prevent it again now. So I’ve been doing that. I’ve been hanging out at the shop a lot with the guys. I’m just ready to get back to the track. In this kind of sport, there’s only so much you can do until you get to the track to prepare. I just can’t wait to get out there and get practice underway and start working with (No. 21 Crew Chief) Donnie Wingo again and get that Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford back at the top of the board again.”
“This will be my first time going double-duty since I’ve been back. Going back and forth between the two cars again is going to be…I wouldn’t say new to me again because it’s like riding a bike. It comes right back to you. But it’s definitely a lot more of an intense weekend when you’re running both Series. Twice as many laps. These kind of weekends take it out of you, so you’ve got to prepare a lot for them and just get your mind right before you go. I think that’s where I’m at now.”
YOU’LL SPORT A SPECIAL PAINT SCHEME ON THE NO. 21 AT THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP RACE AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY IN AUGUST. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE ON YOUR FORD FUSION? “I’ve been in a paint scheme contest before, and it ended up being a rainbow car. I’m hoping we can beat that. I’m hoping we can get some kind of cool flames going on, or something cool going on. I know somebody’s got it in them. I know there’s a couple weeks left to vote in the JDRF Paint Scheme contest. I’m going to have to go in there and vote on one that I like, too, to try to help us out a little bit.”
BRETT WHEATLEY, DIRECTOR, MARKETING, FORD CUSTOMER SERVICE DIVISION
AS HIS SPONSOR IN THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES, WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO WATCH TREVOR COME BACK TO THE TRACK IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES AND DO SO WELL IN CHICAGO? “I was really happy for Trevor. It was great to see him back in the driver’s seat and I thought he ran a fantastic race in Chicago, finishing third in his first time back in the chair since he’d been out. I’m really, really proud of Trevor and I think he actually had a shot to win that race. It’s great to see him back.”
He’s excited; we’re excited, and we’re expecting big things.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO SEE HIM SIT OUT AFTER THE HIGH OF WINNING THE DAYTONA 500? “We’ve definitely had the highs and lows with Trevor this year. I really feel for Trevor more than anything else. He had such a fantastic start to this season at the Daytona 500 and he’s really had some challenges since then. You have to feel for the kid. But I think he’s handled it fantastic. His health was the No. 1 concern. We were very patient. Our number one concern was for Trevor to get well. He’s feeling better now, so he’s back at the track and we expect big things from the rest of the season.”
TREVOR WILL BE BACK IN THE MOTORCRAFT/QUICK LANE FORD FUSION IN THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP RACE AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY (MIS) THIS WEEKEND, THE HOME RACE FOR FORD AND THE FORD CUSTOMER SERVICE DIVISION. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS WEEKEND? “I know Trevor is really, really pumped up for the race and we are too. We’re going to have a big contingent at the race. We’re going to have a lot of the local dealers and a lot of the company people here to wish Trevor well. He’s excited; we’re excited, and we’re expecting big things.”
THERE ARE ONLY TWO WEEKS LEFT TO VOTE IN THE JUVENILE DIABETES RESEARCH FOUNDATION (JDRF) PAINT SCHEME CONTEST, WHERE FANS CAN VOTE WHICH PAINT SCHEME WILL BE ON THE NO. 21 AT MIS IN THE FALL. HOW FULFILLING HAS THIS PARTNERSHIP BEEN FOR YOU AND THE FORD CUSTOMER SERVICE DIVISION? “The last two years I’ve been able to see when we’ve revealed the paint schemes to the contestants who had the winning paint schemes, and it’s just been fantastic to see the excitement in their eyes and their family’s eyes when they actually see what they put on paper get onto the car and then eventually actually make it out to the race track. Last year we had a winner named Carson Luther and he was a great kid and a great family and it was really, really exciting for them, and very rewarding to be part of Ford Customer Service Division and see this whole contest come together, and what it means to the individuals and for JDRF. I’d ask everybody if they could please go on www.jdrf.org/ford and take a look at the great entries that we’ve gotten from individuals for the paint scheme. There are some great paint schemes out there and we just ask everybody to please take a look and if they’re in the mood, to please vote.”
-source: ford racing