Wood Brothers Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that 19-year old rookie driver Trevor Bayne will pilot the iconic No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion during the 2011 season. Eddie Wood, co-owner of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion and Bayne took time between testing runs at the 2011 Daytona Preseason Thunder Thursday session to talk about the announcement.
EDDIE WOOD, co-owner, No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion
HOW DID IT COME TO BE THAT TREVOR BAYNE WOULD DRIVE THE NO. 21 FOR YOU THIS YEAR? "I guess it started at Texas. We raced him there and he had a really good run. It just kind of fell together from there. I am not really sure how it all started or how it all came about, it just started to gain momentum. We are really pleased with Trevor though and look forward to having him with us."
PEOPLE HAVE SAID THAT TREVOR HAS 'IT', WHATEVER 'IT' IS. WHAT IS IT ABOUT TREVOR THAT MAKES HIM SUCH A SPECIAL DRIVER AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE? "For one thing, he is very mature for his age. He is very aware of what it takes to be a race car driver in the Sprint Cup series. I think he understands that really well. He is just really good with his feedback in the race car and all-around is really ready to go racing, in every single aspect."
DO YOU THINK YOU WILL HAVE TO GET USED TO DEALING WITH GUYS, MAYBE COMMUNICATION WISE, WITH A ROOKIE DRIVER AS OPPOSED TO VETERAN GUYS YOU ARE USED TO? "Trevor has been racing since he was five-years old, so if you do the math he has 15-years of experience racing. Racing is racing. The communication that he and Donnie (Wingo) had at Texas and as well as the tire test here at Daytona in December has been great. They are communicating really well. They seem to really be good with where each other are at. That is where it starts, making sure that the crew chief and engineers and the people that are controlling what is in the car and why it is in there mesh with the driver. So far it really seems to be doing that. It is one of those things that you can't really make happen. It just is or it is not. Fortunately for us it looks like it is and I think we will be fine."
WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE SOME REALISTIC GOALS AND EXPECTATIONS FOR THIS YEAR WITH TREVOR BEHIND THE WHEEL? "We have a whole new program in place now that is different from the past. We are going to be tapping into Roush engineering and running Roush equipment this year. That is different than we have done in the past. In the past we have built our own race cars and did our own engineering. This should really make things easier and better because we have a larger group of people to pull from and I am really excited about that. That is going really well."
HOW ARE THINGS ON DAY ONE OF TESTING? "It seems to be going really well. We are going through a lot of engine related test runs right now. I don't think we have gotten into very many things with the race car itself yet. Those things will come later this afternoon and tomorrow."
HOW DO YOU APPROACH THIS TEST WITH A ROOKIE DRIVER AS OPPOSED TO THE VETERAN DRIVERS YOU HAVE HAD IN THE PAST? "It is really no different. You come down here and you have a list of things that you are going to do and try. The crew chief and engineers come up with all that. Basically it doesn't really change from one to the other because you are just making laps and making single car runs. Those things are really easy."
TREVOR BAYNE, driver, No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion
YOU ARE OFFICIALLY WITH THE WOOD BROTHERS FOR 2011, 17 RACES ON YOUR SCHEDULE, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS HEADING INTO THIS YEAR? "I am just glad to finally be able to show my excitement. I have had to keep it bottled up for a few weeks as we worked toward this. To finally get it done and announced is pretty incredible man. I couldn't ask for a better team to be with to start out with. It is a lower pressure situation being a one car team. They can really focus on this car, which is great. I think Donnie Wingo is a great crew chief to work with a young driver and even though the Wood Brothers have never had a rookie driver before I think it is a great fit and I am really looking forward to it."
TALK ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH DONNIE. WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP LIKE? "It is awesome. I think he has good experience because he has kids my age. He keeps me in line because I think he looks at me like I am one of his kids sometimes. I love hanging out with Donnie, going to the shop and hanging out there. There is so much to learn from everyone in this organization. Even Leonard Wood, I love going and hanging out with him while he is building lawn mowers and RC cars and all kinds of stuff. The relationships here are almost overwhelming because it is so easy. Everybody is really personable here, especially Len and Eddie Wood. They are great owners and I couldn't ask for a much better situation."
THERE IS A CONNECTION THIS YEAR BETWEEN WOOD BROTHERS AND ROUSH FENWAY THIS YEAR, HOW DOES THAT HELP YOU IN YOUR ROOKIE YEAR? "I think it is great. I signed a deal with Roush last year to drive for them in the Nationwide series and I didn't know what the Cup side held. Here I am with the Wood Brothers, and that is really cool. It is a great relationship and I think Ford has really helped that a lot to form that relationship between the organizations. To have other cars out there that we can rely on with the RPM cars and Roush cars is great. It is great to have all those people to bounce things off of."
WHAT ARE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF THIS NEW SMOOTH SURFACE WE ARE HEARING ABOUT OUT THERE? "It has settled a little bit more now. I was actually shocked today to see the difference from the first test to this test. It has settled a little having other series cars on it making laps. I think we will see those characteristics start coming back out and we will get to what we have always loved and seen here at Daytona. It is a lot more racy than when we were here last time. I think you can get three or four-wide without worrying about it too much. I think it is going to be good racing."
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS GOING INTO THE YEAR? HOW HIGH DO YOU SET THE BAR FOR YOURSELF? "I think I just go out there and race. That is what I did at Texas. We went out and had to make it on time there which is different for the first five races this year because we have points. We will be able to work on race setup those first five and try to knock out a top-15. If we can run top-15's those first five races then that would set us up to be decent on the points. That is what we need to do to try accumulating more sponsorship to keep going. We are gunning for 17 races, but if we can get more sponsorship we can keep going. We want to do as well as we can in the first five to help us set up the rest of the season."
-source: ford racing