BRISTOL, Tenn. – Trevor Bayne usually wears a smile on his face all the time. Saturday after the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, the smile was nowhere to found.
Why? Because the young driver was furious at James Buescher for what Bayne called payback from the race at Las Vegas on Feb. 27.
Buescher punted Bayne on lap 124 at Bristol, sending Bayne’s No. 99 Diamond-Waltrip Racing Toyota behind the wall. Bayne ended up finished 30th, while Buescher was 36th.
"Emotional drivers don’t belong on the race track, and that’s what happened today: Somebody carrying their emotions from two weeks ago. It should’ve been taken care of when I called an apologized to him for Vegas. I didn’t really feel like it was all my fault, but I called him just to make sure: ‘Hey, man, I’m sorry. If that was my fault, I’m taking responsibility for it. Don’t worry about it.’
"In my book, I’ve never been wrecked in the right-rear and run somebody in the wall and then call it their fault. That’s about impossible to call it their fault when they’re squeezing between the wall and the car. But obviously, he thought it was our fault, and decided to retaliate."
Buescher could not be found after the race.
Bayne had started 18th and moved up quickly early in the race.
"I hated that that happened because 15 laps into the race I was like, ‘Dude, we’re going to win this thing,’" Bayne said. "That car was unbelievable. It’s motivating to see how far this team has come. Last year we were fighting to be in the top 10, and this year we’re mad because we don’t win and we finish sixth. In Vegas, I was happy for that sixth-place finish, but I’m like, ‘Dude, i know we’re going to get a win soon.’ I thought this was going to be it after practice and how good the car was and then you have something like this happen.
"We’ll go to Nashville and wear them out – you go like you won at Bristol. If you go acting like you got wrecked last weekend that’s probably what will happen again. We’ll take this and learn from it. I had an awesome Toyota race car all weekend for Diamond-Waltrip Racing and we’ll be back again soon."