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Trevor Bayne aims to ride Texas momentum into Phoenix

Trevor Bayne
Trevor Bayne

By Lee Montgomery
Special to Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service

Trevor Bayne did OK putting the controversy from the Talladega Sprint Cup race behind him, scoring his first Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway last weekend.

So how does he handle success? We'll find out this Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway, which hosts the Nationwide Series Wypall 200.

"We try not to feed off the negative things, and we know we're going to be back to a positive day," Bayne said of Talladega, where he was roundly criticized for abandoning the draft of Jeff Gordon late in the race. "With that said, when we do have good days, we do ride that a little bit more."

Interestingly, Phoenix was also the next race after Bayne won the Daytona 500 in February. But he hopes to do better this time, as he crashed in both Cup and Nationwide races there after his popular Daytona victory.

"I finally got my first career Nationwide Series win at Texas last weekend, so I am ready to ride that momentum into Phoenix this weekend," Bayne said. "I feel like we have another fast car for this race and I am looking forward to competing against the best in the series.

"As a team, our confidence is sky high right now and I am pretty sure we are going to stay aggressive with our strategy going into this race. It's all about putting ourselves in position to win races and I think we have finally figured out how to do that on a consistent basis."

Staying aggressive is a message crew chief Chad Norris has tried to instill in Bayne recently. Norris has even had Bayne watching film of past races, getting him to work on his driving style much the same way a football coach has a player watch film to study himself.

"That's been important," Bayne said, "and I've been able to (apply) it to every track."

Norris' message at Texas was to have a "sense of urgency." Bayne had it at the end of the race, battling past teammate Carl Edwards to win on a late restart. That's just how Bayne won a short-track race at Myrtle Beach, S.C., four years ago, when he restarted fourth on a green-white-checkered finish.

"That's one that's always stood out in my head," Bayne said. "That's the driver that I want everybody to know I can be, that I can go get it done at the end."

And that's what Norris wants out of Bayne in the final two races of the season.

"We need to continue to do that to finish the season on a high note," Norris said. "I believe in Trevor and I believe in our team. It was only a matter of time before we put it all together."

Now, they hope to do it again.

Fast facts

What: Wypall 200
Where: Phoenix International Raceway; Avondale, Ariz.
When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN2, 3 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN-Sirius/XM Satellite Ch. 90
Track layout: 1-mile oval
Race distance: 200 laps/200 miles
Qualifying: Saturday, 12:05 p.m. ET
2010 winner: Carl Edwards
2010 polesitter: Joey Logano
Points standings: 1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 1,138; 2. Elliott Sadler, 1,121; 3. Justin Allgaier, 1,039; 4. Aric Almirola, 1,039; 5. Reed Sorenson, 1,034; 6. Jason Leffler, 978; 7. Kenny Wallace, 925; 8. Brian Scott, 909; 9. Steve Wallace, 886; 10. Michael Annett, 884.