As the NASCAR Camping World East Series heads to Lime Rock (CT) Park for Saturday's Mohegan Sun 200, Dale Earnhardt Inc. development drivers Jeffrey Earnhardt, Trevor Bayne and Jesus Hernandez hope to continue what has already been a remarkable ...
As the NASCAR Camping World East Series heads to Lime Rock (CT) Park for Saturday's Mohegan Sun 200, Dale Earnhardt Inc. development drivers Jeffrey Earnhardt, Trevor Bayne and Jesus Hernandez hope to continue what has already been a remarkable season for the trio.
Earnhardt, driver of the No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Foundation Chevrolet, says he is looking forward to returning to the 1.53-mile road course after testing there last month.
"Our car was really fast in the test," Earnhardt said. "The track was still a little wet from rain the night before, so we got some practice on running in wet conditions. It dried up nicely though, and we were able to get in a lot of laps. We were fast when we unloaded and only got better as the day went on. I feel like I've got a good chance to win."
Earnhardt started 16th and finished fifth in this event last year.
"The track's been repaved and they did a great job on it," Earnhardt continued. "It's smooth and has a lot of grip. It can still be a pretty tight fit in some of the corners, so you have to pick your passing points carefully."
Richmond Burgdoff, crew chief on Hernandez's No. 11 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolet, was impressed with his driver's ability during the test.
"We actually struggled a little bit at the beginning, but Jesus' times kept getting better as the day went on," Burgdoff said. "He gave us a lot of good feedback on how the car was handling and that allowed us to make the proper adjustments. We were running some really good lap times at the end of the day, so I think we'll be good when we come back for the race."
Bayne, driver of the No.1 Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet entry, was having what his crew chief, Haskell Lavalette, described as a "great" test session until running off the course in Turn 1.
"Trevor was doing a great job, especially considering that he had never been there before," Lavalette said. "His lap times improved about a second and a half from where we started the day. We still got in 29 laps before the accident, so getting that seat time was important."
"As far as his mishap was concerned, Trevor missed a shift going into Turn 1 and ran off the course. Normally, it wouldn't have been that big of a deal but the ground was muddy from all the rain and it just sucked the car in.
"I'm looking forward to going to another road course," said Bayne, who finished third in the last road course event, held at Watkins Glen (NY) in June.
"All three of the DEI teams seem to get better each week. Jesus, Jeffrey and I really communicate well together. Our crew chiefs are good about sharing information with each other and that makes all the teams stronger. I think all three of us could finish in the top five on Saturday.
Bayne is currently second in Camping World Series points, only 57 points out of first. Hernandez is fourth in points; 131 points out of the top spot. Earnhardt is ninth; 228 points out of the lead.