Trevor Bayne will be making his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway behind the wheel of the famed No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford Fusion. Bayne spoke about what lies ahead and his goals for Sunday. TREVOR BAYNE - No....
Trevor Bayne will be making his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway behind the wheel of the famed No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford Fusion. Bayne spoke about what lies ahead and his goals for Sunday.
TREVOR BAYNE - No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford Fusion
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS HEADING INTO THIS WEEKEND? "It's something I didn't expect to happen this year, obviously, but it's like I've always said, once one door closed another one opened and it was always a little bit bigger door and that's kind of what happened here. A couple things have happened that set off a chain reaction that led us here and it's just been really cool to see it happening. I'm excited to be going to Texas to make my first Cup start. It's a little intimidating because that's the fastest track we go to, but I think it's a good place to get a start, especially to be doing it with the Wood Brothers in that No. 21 Ford Fusion. That just means a lot to me to be doing it with them."
THE WOOD BROTHERS HAVE HAD SOME OF THE ALL-TIME GREATS IN THEIR CAR. DAVID PEARSON, CALE YARBOROUGH, BUDDY BAKER, BILL ELLIOTT, RICKY RUDD. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE STEPPING INTO THAT RIDE? "It's pretty insane, but hopefully I can live up to half of what those guys did in my career. Those guys are incredible race car drivers and it's insane to be driving this car in my first Cup race. It's not like I've made a bunch of Cup races and really worked my way into this ride. This is where I'm starting at, so that says a lot for the kind of operations I've driven for in the Nationwide Series. They've given me the cars to where teams can have that kind of confidence in me and to know that I can go out there and run like those other drivers have."
HOW FAMILIAR ARE YOU WITH TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY? "I've raced there two times so far in the Nationwide Series and I'd say it's one of the tougher tracks that we go to as far as adapting to it once you get there. Luckily, this weekend I'll have double the seat time and that's one of the big things I'm looking forward to and it's something I thought the Cup guys always had a big advantage, being able to go out there twice if they were running in the Nationwide Series. This weekend I'm gonna get to do double duty and get a ton of track time. I think this will be a really good experience for us, but I haven't had great finishes at Texas yet. We've always been really fast there, but something always seems to happen. Hopefully, we can dodge some bullets and we'll be OK because we've always been fast."
IS THERE ANY KIND OF PREPARATION YOU'VE BEEN ABLE TO GO THROUGH TO GET READY FOR THIS WEEKEND? "I've gone to the shop a couple of times and hung out with the Wood Brothers, and I've hung out with Donnie Wingo quite a bit. We've been talking about the car and just trying to familiarize myself with what kind of adjustments they make in practice because it's gonna be completely different than the Nationwide car since they're on bump stops and they have a rear bar, so their changes are gonna be way different. I'm gonna kind of leave that up to them and almost go back to the basics as far as 'loose or tight' and try to break it down from there. I won't be able to be as detailed as I'm used to being because I don't know as much about their adjustments, so I'll just try and get used to that. I'm also gonna watch some videos of the last couple races there, so I kind of know how the races play out -- when the guys go and when they ride. That's gonna be really key considering how long these races are -- for me just to know when I need to ride around and when I need to go."
OBVIOUSLY, YOU'LL HAVE TO QUALIFY ON SPEED, SO DOES IT FEEL LIKE YOU'RE BEING THROWN INTO THE FIRE RIGHT AWAY? "Exactly. It's like being thrown into a fire, but I think it's all gonna work out and I think it's a great opportunity and we'll make the best of it. I want to be competitive when we go and I think we can be because they've got great equipment. I think Donnie Wingo is a very smart guy and I don't want to set my expectations too high, but I really haven't worried about getting in on time yet. I don't think you can. I don't think you put that pressure on yourself. I think you go drive it like you would any other race car on any other weekend and I think a realistic goal would be a top-20 finish. That would be incredible the first time because it's so tough out there, but I think we can do it."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT DIVING INTO YOUR FIRST CUP RACE WHEN THERE'S SUCH A TIGHT THREE-WAY BATTLE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP? "It's pretty crazy. There's a lot at stake there, but I have to use this as a learning experience and not get in over my head, and I think that's one thing I've always tried to do in the Nationwide Series is not overstep my bounds, take what the car will give me and try not to get in any kind of trouble. Obviously, we wouldn't want to affect the outcome of the Chase by a mistake. We're gonna be racing hard, but I definitely don't want to make any mistakes that would cause a change in the Chase."
-source: ford racing