Ford Performance NASCAR: Texas 1 (Trevor Bayne Media Availability)

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Ford Performance NASCAR Notes and Quotes

Date: Friday, April 7, 2017

Event: O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 (Media Availability)

Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Location: Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)

Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 6 Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford Fusion, met with media members Friday afternoon after posting the 13th fastest practice time on the newly reconfigured and repaved Texas Motor Speedway.

TREVOR BAYNE (No. 6 Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford Fusion) — YOU HAVE SEVERAL TEXAS BASED COMPANIES ON YOUR CAR THIS WEEKEND, WHAT IS THAT LIKE? “It is pretty cool. I am sure that the meeting trying to decide who gets the Texas race was interesting being that we are in all their backyards. I am really thankful for all the brands, Performance Plus Motor Oil, Liberty National Life Insurance and AdvoCare coming on board and being primaries at different points in the season. I don’t know what it is about Texas companies. Even back to my Xfinity days my sponsors have been from here. It is pretty cool. We are happy to have everyone here this weekend and they will be hanging out. I went and saw a big group from Safety Kleen this morning and have seen some AdvoCare people and hope to see Liberty National here at the track. It is a place we want to run well at. We have run well here in the past but you can’t look at any past here now, that is for sure.”

WHAT IS IT LIKE OUT THERE? “It is a little treacherous. You come in and your crew chief wants feedback and you are like, ‘Man, I am just trying to survive right now.’ When you are on the race track it requires every ounce of your focus and attention. It will bite you. We have seen that a lot today. if you miss the groove by a tire width you can be in trouble. On our last qualifying run I got up kind of high. I can’t wait until this place widens out. Obviously we are already talking about that the first time here. That will happen over time. i would love to run a bigger arc into turn one but where they put the rubber down you just can’t do that yet. I am really glad that they did do that preparation though. I think without that we would be sliding around all over the place. They have kind of chosen and dictated what line we have to run. If you look and see the lane that they rubbered up in turn one, when I went out in the pace car I thought there was no way I could run that low. I tried the first lap and thought, ‘Okay, I am going to run where the rubber is.’ The banking not being there in one definitely gives the car an uneasy feeling as you turn off the wall. You are working on loose in a little bit. it is going to be interesting. Dirty air is going to be tough when you are already loose like that. As the track widens out over time, we have to be patient with repaves and understand in the future that the less banking and things like that are directionally correct to get corner speed and aero dependence down. I think they are making good decisions. I have always loved Texas but part of that was the worn out pavement. Hopefully I have a new reason to like it this weekend.”

YOUR TEAM HAS BEEN GOOD ON RE-PAVED TRACKS. WHY IS THAT? “I think part of it is just the way our cars are. They need that mechanical grip and when you are at a deficit and you are requiring more of the tire then I think that is something you are fighting at the older race tracks. This year we have seen the opposite. We have been better at Atlanta and California, better than Phoenix or Vegas for my team. We have seemed to make big aero gains and big mechanical grip gains with our setup but I think that is contributing a lot to our performance last year. A lack of mechanical grip, go to a new race track and get that mechanical grip. We have made huge progress this season in a lot of areas. I have learned a lot about preparation as a driver. That is the next part about a re-pave. Everyone is on equal playing ground. Nobody has 10 years of notebooks to go to and say, ‘I am Kevin Harvick and I run the bottom at Atlanta and I am really good at it.’ You can’t do that now. You don’t know what you need to do. When we get here it is equal playing ground. I am not at a lack of experience at this race track compared to other drivers or any re-paves. I think that helps with young drivers. I think that is why you see Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, myself, Ricky Stenhouse able to get a little more speed as compared to normal. Those other guys are fast but when you go to a new track nobody has an advantage.”

WILL THE REPAVE OR THE RECONFIGURATION BE THE BIGGER FACTOR IN THE RACE COME SUNDAY? “I am going to say the new pavement is going to be the biggest factor just because it hasn’t widened out yet. Any track that we go to the first time, we see that if you get out of the groove you are in trouble. That makes for hard racing. It makes qualifying very important, harder to pass, makes your car more dependant and puts you on edge when you get out of that groove. I think the configuration over time will be better. I think the configuration will provide better racing than it did in the past and new pavement is the toughest thing. You look at practice and everyone is running within a half a car length of each other. You get to the race and try to pass someone and they get forced to the outside it makes it difficult. You have to learn how to battle that. Taking the air off the guy behind you is very important. For me and my race car we are kind of guessing what the track will do as the weekend goes on. I have seen it tightening up for me. We need to make sure my car turns on exit. If you are loose in here and fighting for real estate on entry you will be in trouble. You need to be secure on entry, protect that and not let anyone get you up the race track. That will be really important.”

I ASSUME YOU USE A BIOMETRIC DEVICE. HAS IT TOLD YOU ANYTHING ABOUT YOURSELF? “That I am working hard to get in better shape. I wear the heart rate monitor every now and again in the race car to see what I need to be working on. This year my fitness is better than it has ever been. I say that every year. I keep trying to improve on that. Last year I was doing a lot of Iron Man style events and this year I hired a trainer from the Super Cross industry that trains a lot of champions over there. He has really helped my training a lot. His name is Alvin Baker. I am down about 10 pounds this year compared to last year. I feel fresh in the race car. We take that for granted. When you are worn out at the end of these races you just don’t make good decisions. This off season I looked at what areas I could be better in my role and fitness was one of those things and I feel like I want to monitor that in the race car. I have a watch here that does that and see where my heart rate is at.”

DO YOU WISH YOU COULD RUN THE XFINITY RACE TOMORROW FOR AN ADVANTAGE COME SUNDAY? “I will be up on the spotter stand watching the race for sure. For me, I want to run Xfinity every weekend if possible. I feel like it really helped me in the Cup car at Watkins Glen last year. It is a huge advantage to be out on the race track multiple times in a day and learning how the balance changes. I kind of have to guess what my car will do from practice to the race and what we need to get in practice that will help me in the race. When you run and Xfinity car you get to see that transition. You can translate things to your Cup car. That is a big advantage, especially at a new race track like this to learn where the speed is and isn’t. I would love to do that.”

HOW DO YOU THINK THE STAGE RACES WILL PLAY OUT ON SUNDAY? “Track position is going to be key. Obviously you want to get the best finish you can but if you can stay out if cautions fall at a certain point, there is no fall off right now. You are going to do everything you can to get track position and maintain that. If we can qualify well or stay our early in a stage then I don’t think it will cost you. You have to weigh that cost at a lot of race tracks we have been to so far. If I stay out here to get four stage points, is it going to cost me my track position later in the race? Here, if you get track position you should be able to maintain it if you have a decent car because tires just aren’t falling off. We actually see the second and third runs being as quick or quicker on tires. I think that is something you will look at. I think you will try to get that track position as early as you can and hang on to it.”


About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.