Trevor Bayne Impressive in Sprint Cup Debut at Texas Rookie passed 140 cars en route to strong lead-lap finish in Sprint Cup debut CONCORD, N.C. (Nov. 12, 2010) -- With all the drama and hype surrounding last weekend's Sprint Cup event at Texas...
Trevor Bayne Impressive in Sprint Cup Debut at Texas
Rookie passed 140 cars en route to strong lead-lap finish in Sprint Cup debut
CONCORD, N.C. (Nov. 12, 2010) -- With all the drama and hype surrounding last weekend's Sprint Cup event at Texas Motor Speedway, the Sprint Cup debut of Roush Fenway Racing's Trevor Bayne has been somewhat lost in the shuffle.
Still for Bayne, it was an experience that had been building since he was five years old and the 19-year old made the most of his opportunity.
"I wish it could happen every weekend, because that was the most fun I've had in a long time," said Bayne. "The Sprint Cup car really suited my style of driving better, as they have so much more power and you really have to concentrate on when to let off and how you get into and through the corner.
"We started in the rear (with a transmission change) and by the second run we had worked our way up to 14th; so we were pretty happy with that.
"We were fast in practice and really had the car dialed in," added Bayne. "The first time we went out in practice, I expected to be about 24th, because we were not in qualifying trim, and I looked at the pylon and we were eighth. At one time we were third and I was really pumped up to have that good of a race car. We were 15th in final practice and I knew we had a good piece."
Stepping into a car he had never driven, while racing in a series he had never raced before and working with a team he had hardly met, Bayne did everything and more that you could ask of a rookie driver making his debut in the top racing series in the world.
He turned all 334-laps of the 500-mile event, never falling off the lead lap, while passing numerous cars and moving up to as high as 13th in the event. In fact, only Kasey Kahne passed more cars during the race than Bayne and his pass differential of 36 was tops in the race.
If not for a crowded pit stall, Bayne's finish would have most likely been even better.
"We were conservative the whole race," said Bayne. "I had to be very careful in the pits, as we were trying to get around a crowded pit road, so we lost a lot of spots not being able to get out. We would come in 15th and go back out 25th and then we would spend the run passing those cars again. The pit stops were good, we just struggled getting in and out of the stall."
"Still, we passed a ton of cars and I was really happy to stay on the lead lap and end up 17th there at the end," added Bayne.
Bayne also took note of the support of Sprint Cup veterans.
"The veterans were really supportive," said Bayne. "Jimmie Johnson grabbed me before qualifying and told me to keep doing what I've been doing and that means a lot coming from a champion like him. All my teammates -Carl Edwards - and all those guys were just supportive and that is something that means a lot to me.
"I battled with Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. most of the day and once I slid up in front of him and he could have easily put us in fence, but he didn't," recalled Bayne. "He just tapped me and let me know what I had done, and I learned my lesson. I talked to him after the race a little about it and it means a lot to be given that respect."
A comparison of Bayne's debut versus the current Sprint Cup top 12 that make up the 2010 Chase field, proves favorable to the rookie of Knoxville, Tenn. as well. Of that field versus Bayne, only his Roush Fenway teammates Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle were able to complete every lap of their Sprint Cup debuts. His 17th-place finish is better than all but three of the debuts of the current chase field as well.
"It was just an incredible weekend," said Bayne. "And I can't wait to get out there again".
Bayne returns to action this weekend in the Nationwide Series in the No. 17 Roush Fenway Ford at Phoenix International Raceway, where he finished 14th last season.