Continued from part 1 THE MODERATOR: Trevor, you with us? TREVOR BAYNE: Yes, ma'am. THE MODERATOR: That's great. We're now making the switch from Joey Logano over to another young driver, Trevor Bayne. He drives the No. 99 Diamond ...
Continued from part 1
THE MODERATOR: Trevor, you with us?
TREVOR BAYNE: Yes, ma'am.
THE MODERATOR: That's great. We're now making the switch from Joey Logano over to another young driver, Trevor Bayne. He drives the No. 99 Diamond Waltrip Racing Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Trevor is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and will be running in his second straight race in his home state. Two weeks ago the NASCAR Nationwide Series ran at Bristol Motor Speedway.
We appreciate your time today. Doesn't it seem like a long time since we've had consistent races due to our three open weeks in March, but back at it this weekend in Nashville. And you're racing at another track that you call a home venue. You started on the outside pole for your Nashville track debut last June, and you do, unlike Joey, happen to be one of the drivers who is eligible for that $25,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus. Can you talk a little bit about those elements, racing at home, your season to date, and what it would mean to win that bonus at home if that fell your way.
TREVOR BAYNE: Man, I got nothing left to say after that intro there (laughter).
I'm excited about going to Tennessee again, going home for Easter weekend. We had a great car at Bristol last time we were in Tennessee. I think we're going to be the same in Nashville.
I think these guys stepped up the program since our debut last year. We had a solid run even then. It's going to be awesome to see what we can do this weekend with all the progression we've done this season, getting better and better.
Like you said, we're about to get on a streak of continuous races. I'm looking forward to that. I think the most Nationwide races I've run in a row so far was probably three or four without having an off weekend. See what we can do after we've run five or six races in a row is going to be great.
I think our season is going really well so far. We had a couple mishaps there with Daytona and Bristol, but as far as the team and the chemistry and everything that's going on at Diamond Waltrip Racing, it's all uphill.
THE MODERATOR: All right, thanks for that opening information there. We'll take questions for Trevor Bayne.
Q: Trevor, we sat down last year at Phoenix and later that day you made the announcement you were going to Diamond Waltrip. Is it meeting your expectations being with that organization? What are some of the goals for later in the season with more of a consistent schedule?
TREVOR BAYNE: They've actually exceeded my expectations to be honest with you. When we announced we were going there, I had confidence, but I wasn't sure what we were going to be able to achieve and be able to do. I knew what my goal was and what their goals were. They matched up.
We had to take a leap of faith. We've both proven that we can do it now. We had fast cars. We had a sixth-place finish at Vegas. I think we keep looking to step it up every weekend. I think if we can come out of here with a top five, it will be our best career finish. We've got to look to get better and better every weekend. Diamond Waltrip is a great place to be, running a full season.
Still actively searching for sponsorship. Just because we don't have a white car like some of those Roush cars, doesn't mean we're not looking. Everything seems to be strong there with the team aspect, with the crew chief, race day engineer, everything they've done has really been a plus.
Q: NASCAR is a very unusual sport in that the sport's top stars go down a level quite often in the Nationwide Series and run. Do you ever find yourself behind some of those Cup veterans, make a few laps behind them, see how they drive the cars as well?
TREVOR BAYNE: Yeah, I mean I think you have to. You have to be a sponge. I think I heard Joey say that a minute ago in his teleconference. You definitely have to do that. I enjoy racing with those Cup guys because I think it makes me better as a driver overall. We may not win as many Nationwide races now, but I think in the future for the big goal, the Cup Series, it's going to make us better.
I really enjoy racing with them. We've been able to mix it up with them some this year. That's been exciting and cool for the fans that like seeing young drivers come up and being able to compete. I remember in Vegas, this sticks out in my head, we were three-wide with Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick. That's something I've been looking forward to do one day and now we're doing it so it's been pretty cool.
Q: Trevor, can you talk about what the adjustment has been like going to the Nationwide Series? What has been the biggest obstacles and also talk about returning to Nashville and what that track means to you.
TREVOR BAYNE: Well, I think the biggest adjustment has been the tracks, not so much the cars, because we ran the Camping World East Series and the Hooter's Pro Cup which were around 630 horsepower, they were big, heave cars, above three thousand pounds. They're really close to what these Nationwide cars are.
But going to these mile-and-a-half tracks, even places like Nashville, have been big adjustments, just getting used to the arc the corner. I remember last year, I was following Mike Bliss into the corner the first time at Nashville. Man, I thought he was going to mow the wall over getting into the corner because he was so wide getting in. I was like, There's no way he's going to turn. Then he just arced in and kept digging.
That was a big learning curve there. But other than that, it's been a pretty smooth transition. I think the competition is a little bit tougher than I expected. I expected to hop right in and win my first race out. But you get a reality check when you step up to these levels. It's been exciting having something to work towards, try to improve yourself in every aspect.
Now looking at Nashville, I'm excited to go back there. This was the first race that I ran with Michael Waltrip Racing last year. Now we're going back with pretty much the same team, just a little different name, adding Gary Bechtel with Diamond Waltrip Racing. I'm really pumped up to go back there.
Q: When you're a young driver, before you get into the Nationwide Series, you're winning a lot of races. Then you get to the Nationwide Series and the wins don't come right away. How tough is that when you're used to winning at all levels?
TREVOR BAYNE: It makes it tough, man. We want to win them all. Man, what can I do to get better? You just got to keep digging, keep your head up. The way I always see it is you got to go into the next race acting like you won the race before.
When we left Daytona, we couldn't think, Hey, we got wrecked on lap six. We had to go to California thinking, We just won this race and we're the best out there. That's the way you have to look at it all the time.
Then the sport, you just have to always know that you need to be better, too. It's a changing sport. You're only as good as what you do today. You got to stay on top of your game pretty good to be able to stay up there.
Q: What do you take from your last trip here at Nashville? Was it all kind of a blur since that was your first race?
TREVOR BAYNE: Well, I remember qualifying there. It was pretty cool because, you know, I made the lap and the car felt good. But I didn't expect to be outside pole. We had been like 13th to 15th in practice all day, taking our time getting up to speed. Then we roll out and qualify awesome, until we got in a late-day accident.
I think it's just patience, working with the car, not getting ahead of yourself. A lot of times you go to these tracks and chase the tracks all day long when you need to take your time, let the car kind of come to you.
I didn't really even think about that till you asked the question. Sitting here thinking about practice, we really didn't change a whole lot last year. I would just work on my line and move around, get used to that arc into turn three and driving it in harder.
I remember playing a little bit of sim racing before that. I would underdrive the corner a lot when I got there just from racing on sim racing. I had to get used to driving it a little bit harder.
I think it's gonna be cool the season going back to these tracks that I raced last year for a second time. Last year when I would go to these races, it was the first time I ever laid my eyes on them, it was a big learning curve. This year I think it's going to be an easier transition because I've been there before.
Q: A lot of family coming in for the race?
TREVOR BAYNE: We got the crew coming in, brother. It's going to be good. It's pretty much everybody in the family will be there. Pretty awesome to race around the hometown.
Q: Trevor, I'm going to ask you the same question I asked Joey. I interviewed both of you when you were 15 racing in Pro Cup. You've had to grow up with camera lenses aimed at you. What did you like best about growing up that way and what do you like least about growing up that way?
TREVOR BAYNE: With those camera lenses comes the racetrack time that you get. That's the reason we've got them around us. I would say that's the best thing, is the actual reason that they're there.
But at first, you know, you kind of get weirded out by them. When the camera is around, I don't know, you walk funny or something every time you're on camera. You got to get used to them and get immune to those cameras being around.
I'm not big-time yet by any means, but you get used to the cameras being around the garage and just learn to act like yourself. That's the most important thing. We see a lot of cookie cutter kind of guys. I probably was that guy when I first got up on camera. Now I just try to be more myself and just be natural. That's the way you should be.
Q: As far as experience goes, you've got a lot of it obviously. You've raced against adults as a young person, too. When do you think somebody will turn to you to you and say, Here is a veteran?
TREVOR BAYNE: We kind of saw that in the Hooter's Pro Cup after my third season, I'd have people actually coming up to me and talking to me about it. You know you've been around the series for a little while when you're standing at drive intros and you've talked to almost every driver. It's starting to get that way for me in Nationwide even.
When I first started driver intros, I'd kind of stand behind the stage by myself and maybe talked to a couple people I might have raced with before. But now it's getting to the point where I'm starting to know everybody. It's going to be cool when I know all those people and I can talk to them about different things, about the cars.
I always see Harvick. You'll see Harvick, Carl, all those guys. I don't know about Harvick and Carl together anymore, but you'll see those guys hanging out behind the stage in their little groups. When you can bounce around and mingle with those groups, you know you've been around the sport and done something. We're looking forward to that.
Q: Trevor, you mentioned you're doing the driver intros, drivers are huddled around each other. What are you talking about? Is it all about racing or is it other stuff?
TREVOR BAYNE: Most of the time it's not actually, man. It's the cute girl sitting on row ten or something (laughter). It's really random stuff. You know, actually Ricky Stenhouse and I have been hanging out. We went out to Wyoming and rode snowmobiles last weekend. That's actually what the racecar drivers are talking about behind stage until the cameras show up. We have fun with it, you know. Racing can get to be a job in a sense, so you have to mix it up every now and then. It's a fun job for sure. But we're pretty diverse.
A lot of racecar drivers talk about hunting. I guess you could have guessed that. But they talk about the big deers they just killed last week. I know Truex and Junior and those guys are always talking about it. Hopefully I'll get one soon so I can go up there and brag with them (laughter).
THE MODERATOR: Sounded like you had a nice open week, Trevor, but also sounds like you're ready to go back to racing like a good deal of drivers in our Nationwide Series are. We'll let you get back to hitting Nashville, your home track, and think about Saturday. Thanks for your patience today and joining us.
TREVOR BAYNE: Thank you. Really appreciate it today.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you all for your participation.