Trevor Bayne might lack recognition but not drive

Diamond-Waltrip Racing driver Trevor Bayne will run the full NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule in 2010. (Photo: Autostock)

By Lee Montgomery

Special to the Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service

Lost in the final-lap dustup between Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski in last week’s Nationwide Series race at Gateway was a career-best third-place finish by Trevor Bayne.

That finish, coupled with some recent good runs and a solid performance last year at O’Reilly Raceway Park, gives Bayne some momentum and confidence heading into Saturday’s Kroger 200 at the 0.686-mile short track in Indianapolis.

Being overshadowed by the Edwards-Keselowski battle was fine with Bayne — his focus is running up front rather than getting recognition.

"It doesn’t bother me at all, man," said Bayne, 19. "The biggest thing is we’ve got momentum. Third-place finishes are great, but I’m looking forward to those wins that we’ve got coming ahead, hopefully. ... The momentum that we build off of that is the most important thing—and just showing we can do it."

Bayne, in his second season, has two top fives and four top 10s in 19 starts. He’s 11th in the standings. He had no top fives and two top 10s in 15 races last year.

"We’ve made progress all year long, and now we’ve got a top-five, a top-three, we’ve been fast every weekend, and now we’re learning how to put a whole race together."

Bayne and his No. 99 team hope to do that at ORP, a track where he won the pole and finished seventh last year—in his seventh race in the series. And with that brings "real confidence," he said, not the kind of brashness he had when he started in Nationwide.

The confidence he has is now based on the belief he knows a lot more about what he’s doing in races, he said.

"That has to do with the competition," Bayne said. "When I was racing Camping World East and Hooters Pro Cup, if you had a fast car at the beginning of the race, you could leave it there and be the fastest at the end of the race as well. People didn’t make that huge step of progress like they do in the Nationwide Series throughout the race.

"These Cup guys, they don’t get complacent with how their car is. Brad Keselowski, I’m sure the whole time he was leading (at Gateway), he was probably complaining about something and getting it better.

"You know that these guys are going to get better, and that’s what I had to learn, is how to make these cars better by the end of the race. And I’m still learning that."

Fast facts

What: Kroger 200

Where: O’Reilly Raceway Park; Indianapolis

When: Saturday, 8 p.m. Eastern

TV: ESPN, 7:30 p.m. Eastern

Radio: MRN/Sirius Satellite Ch. 128

Track layout: 0.686-mile oval

Race distance: 200 laps/137.2 miles

Qualifying: Saturday, 5:10 p.m. Eastern

2009 winner: Carl Edwards

2009 polesitter: Trevor Bayne

Points leaders: 1. Brad Keselowski, 3,042; 2. Carl Edwards, 2,814; 3. Justin Allgaier, 2,545; 4. Kyle Busch, 2,486; 5. Kevin Harvick, 2,434; 6. Paul Menard, 2,367; 7. Steve Wallace, 2,204; 8. Brendan Gaughan, 2,127; 9. Joey Logano, 2,108; 10. Jason Leffler, 2,088.

Bayne might lack recognition but not drive By Lee MontgomerySpecial to the Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service (July 22, 2010) Lost in the final-lap dustup between Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski in last week’s Nationwide Series race at Gateway was a career-best third-place finish by Trevor Bayne. That finish, coupled with some recent good runs and a solid performance last year at O’Reilly Raceway Park, gives Bayne some momentum and confidence heading into Saturday’s Kroger 200 at the 0.686-mile short track in Indianapolis. Being overshadowed by the Edwards-Keselowski battle was fine with Bayne—his focus is running up front rather than getting recognition. "It doesn’t bother me at all, man," said Bayne, 19. "The biggest thing is we’ve got momentum. Third-place finishes are great, but I’m looking forward to those wins that we’ve got coming ahead, hopefully. ... The momentum that we build off of that is the most important thing—and just showing we can do it." Bayne, in his second season, has two top fives and four top 10s in 19 starts. He’s 11th in the standings. He had no top fives and two top 10s in 15 races last year. "We’ve made progress all year long, and now we’ve got a top-five, a top-three, we’ve been fast every weekend, and now we’re learning how to put a whole race together." Bayne and his No. 99 team hope to do that at ORP, a track where he won the pole and finished seventh last year—in his seventh race in the series. And with that brings "real confidence," he said, not the kind of brashness he had when he started in Nationwide. The confidence he has is now based on the belief he knows a lot more about what he’s doing in races, he said. "That has to do with the competition," Bayne said. "When I was racing Camping World East and Hooters Pro Cup, if you had a fast car at the beginning of the race, you could leave it there and be the fastest at the end of the race as well. People didn’t make that huge step of progress like they do in the Nationwide Series throughout the race. "These Cup guys, they don’t get complacent with how their car is. Brad Keselowski, I’m sure the whole time he was leading (at Gateway), he was probably complaining about something and getting it better. "You know that these guys are going to get better, and that’s what I had to learn, is how to make these cars better by the end of the race. And I’m still learning that." Fast facts What: Kroger 200 Where: O’Reilly Raceway Park; IndianapolisWhen: Saturday, 8 p.m. ETTV: ESPN, 7:30 p.m. ETRadio: MRN/Sirius Satellite Ch. 128Track layout: .686-mile ovalRace distance: 200 laps/137.2 milesQualifying: Saturday, 5:10 p.m. ET2009 winner: Carl Edwards2009 polesitter: Trevor BaynePoints leaders: 1. Brad Keselowski, 3,042; 2. Carl Edwards, 2,814; 3. Justin Allgaier, 2,545; 4. Kyle Busch, 2,486; 5. Kevin Harvick, 2,434; 6. Paul Menard, 2,367; 7. Steve Wallace, 2,204; 8. Brendan Gaughan, 2,127; 9. Joey Logano, 2,108; 10. Jason Leffler, 2,088.

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