CJM Racing and Trevor Bayne Impress in First Race Together (September 14, 2009) Richmond, Va. -- CJM Racing returned to the .075-mile Richmond International Raceway this past Friday night for the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 looking to...
CJM Racing and Trevor Bayne Impress in First Race Together
(September 14, 2009) Richmond, Va. -- CJM Racing returned to the .075-mile Richmond International Raceway this past Friday night for the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 looking to improve on their 17th-place finish in the spring. This time the team came in with the colors of RIDEMAKERZ on the hood and sides of their No. 11 Toyota. They also debuted with 18-year-old rookie driver Trevor Bayne behind the wheel who would be making his first ever laps at RIR. Bayne was making only his 12th NASCAR Nationwide Series start, but came to the team with an impressive resume including a pole and a top-10 finish in the series.
In a one-day show, the team only had Friday to make an impressive performance come together. The team was quick since the moment they unloaded the RIDEMAKERZ Toyota. A morning practice session left the team sixth fastest heading into the two-lap qualifying session. The team turned in a fast time of 21.820 seconds but was second overall on the average lap tracker.
Crew Chief Paul Wolfe prepared the car for qualifying as the team was looking for their seventh top-10 start. Bayne was smooth and fast on his qualifying laps and stuck the car in the ninth starting spot of the 250-lap main event. The stage was now set for another strong performance for CJM Racing.
Like the rest of the country, the NASCAR Nationwide Series took time to remember the victims of September 11, 2001, prior to Friday's events. The track welcomed special guests and it was an emotional national anthem prior to the command to start engines. Once they did, however, Bayne and the RIDEMAKERZ team concentrated on finishing an already great showing.
Starting ninth, Bayne didn't have to worry about an early multi-car accident on the opening laps. Instead he used it to advance to eighth once the field went back to green. It didn't take long for Bayne to settle into the seventh position by lap 30 and starting to eye the top five runners. He radioed into the team that his car was ‘loose' and needed some rear grip but overall was very happy with the handling.
Fortunately for the team, a caution on lap 41 allowed the team to adjust the car and on the ensuing restart moved to the fifth position on lap 66 where Bayne became the star driver for ESPN2. The commentators in the booth expressed their delight in the young rookie and his skills. Meanwhile, the cameras followed the RIDEMAKERZ Toyota around the track throughout the night.
Bayne stayed in the fifth position until lap 66 when he was only passed by Sprint Cup veteran Kevin Harvick who would finish second. Bayne didn't fade to the back of the field, but instead held sixth until lap 100 before being passed by eventual race winner Carl Edwards. The farthest back Bayne raced was 11th but the majority of the night was spent from fourth to seventh.
Bayne moved back to fifth on lap 205 when Denny Hamlin had to come to pit road after on-track contact with Kevin Harvick. Meanwhile, race analyst and former winning crew chief Andy Petree continued to mention the strong run of Bayne and the CJM Racing Toyota team.
Bayne, fighting wearing brakes, eventually finished seventh, securing CJM Racing their seventh top-10 finish of the season. The team will now focus on their next event at the Dover International Raceway.
"This is a very aggressive track, but we made the most of it," said Bayne being interviewed on ESPN2 after the race. "I found out last second that I was getting the chance to race for CJM Racing and the RIDEMAKERZ Toyota. Paul Wolfe and the crew just made the car to my liking and you couldn't ask for much better for our first time together. It was a great night."