DEI Development Drivers Make Presence Felt at Iowa Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s trio of development drivers - Trevor Bayne, Jeffrey Earnhardt and Jesus Hernandez - had a strong run in Sunday's US Cellular 200 at Iowa Speedway. Bayne finished fourth...
DEI Development Drivers Make Presence Felt at Iowa
Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s trio of development drivers - Trevor Bayne, Jeffrey Earnhardt and Jesus Hernandez - had a strong run in Sunday's US Cellular 200 at Iowa Speedway. Bayne finished fourth in the NASCAR Camping World Series event, followed closely by Earnhardt in fifth and Hernandez in sixth.
The race was won by Brian Ickler and featured a field of top drivers from around the country, including Sprint Cup star Kasey Khane who finished third.
"This was a big day for everyone involved with our driver development program at Dale Earnhardt Inc.," said Bayne, driver of the No.1 DEI Chevrolet. "For us to put all three cars in the top 10 says a lot about our drivers, our crews and the guys in the shop."
Bayne's crew chief, Haskell Lavalette, agreed with his young driver.
"Those are the types of races we expected to have when we put this program together," Lavalette said. "We knew these kids could drive, it was just a matter of getting them some seat time and getting them used to this level of competition.
"We wanted to start putting together some top-10 runs with all three teams and we were able to do that today. Once we can start doing that on a regular basis, you'll see each of these guys competing for the win in every race."
Hernandez was glad to see the change of fortune for his team after they finished 17th in their debut at Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway on April 19.
"Our opening race didn't go as we had planed," Hernandez said. "We got caught up in some accidents that weren't our fault so we needed to bounce back today.
"I'm really proud of all the guys on this team," continued the driver of the No. 11 DEI Chevrolet. (Crew chief) Richmond (Burgdoff) made some great calls over the course of the day. We weren't that fast in practice and I blew the qualifying lap (started 38th), but he made some great calls from the pit box. We had our car perfectly balanced at the end of the race, we just ran out of laps."
"All in all, it was just a great day for DEI," said Burgdoff. "Our driver development program is really headed in the right direction. The drivers and crew chiefs are working well together. We're more than willing to share information with each other in order to make each team stronger. It's going to be an exciting year for all of our teams."
"We really wanted to have a good run today," said Earnhardt, grandson of legendary NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt. "It's really cool to know that all three teams ran like they're capable of. Now we can go to South Boston with our confidence up."
The NASCAR Camping World Series teams of Dale Earnhardt Inc. will be in action again on May 31 at South Boston (Va.) Speedway for the Strutmasters.com 150.