Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the No. 16 Cargill Beef Ford Mustang in the NASCAR Nationwide Series is on hand at Michigan International Speedway with his Wood Brothers Racing team, testing their car in advance of the June race at the Speedway. Bayne took time during the test to chat with media in attendance.
TREVOR BAYNE, NO. 21 MOTORCRAFT/QUICK LANE FORD FUSION — HOW ARE THINGS GOING OUT THERE TODAY? It is pretty good. We are waiting on the track to come to us. Hopefully by the end of the day today we will have a good feel on it. Things are pretty slick right now. Speeds are still down a little bit. We are at 193 right now as an average but I would assume it will get faster as we lay more rubber down and the more cars that get on it. When we come back for the race it will be different than it is now.”
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT IN JUNE HERE? “I have never been on this track in the Nationwide car yet so I am really looking forward to it for both races. This is obviously a huge track for Ford and the Wood Brothers. That is why we are testing here. We want to have a strong run and use this information we use today to bring it back for the Cup race and transfer that to the Nationwide race as well. We qualified really fast here last year. We were sixth and seventh and broke the 200’s the first race when it was really fast. In the second race we qualified sixth or seventh and were running top-10 before we blew a left front tire. We haven’t had the best luck the last few years here but we have been fast and if you are fast that is all you can ask for. Hopefully it will turn around for us this season.”
WHAT KIND OF INFORMATION DO YOU TAKE FROM THIS TESTING SITUATION AND APPLY NOT ONLY TO THE RACES HERE AT MIS BUT OTHER RACES AS WELL? “There are a few tracks that have been repaved, Kansas is one. Today what we have been working on are things you can’t normally do during practice. We have data on the car so we can see what is happening as far as grip level. That is the kind of thing we will work on and work on making longer changes, things you can’t normally change during practice because you don’t have enough time. We will do big stuff and see what it does and hopefully have a better direction of where to start when we come back. We don’t really work on balance, you normally hear guys complain about being loose or tight during a race but that is not something we normally work on during a test. We try to get it close and then try to work on the big stuff on the car. The balance changes so much with temperature and rubber on the track, so that will change when we come back here to race.”
YOU ARE A DAYTONA 500 WINNER BUT NOT YET A FULL TIME CUP DRIVER. THAT SEEMS WEIRD. HOW IS THIS SEASON WORKING OUT FOR YOU? “This season so far has been one of the bumpiest of my career as far as finishes and results. We have been super fast in the Nationwide and Cup series’ but we have broken a rear gear, blew an engine, got grass on the grille at Texas running fourth and finished 24th. Last week at Darlington we got crashed by a lap car. Everything you could ask for has happened to us. My guys are still behind me on the Nationwide side with the Cargill Mustang and on the Cup side we have had some strong runs so far. Texas was pretty good to us and we are definitely looking forward to more races with this Gen 6 Fusion. I have enjoyed driving it. It has been a lot of fun. The downforce they have at the 1.5 and 2 mile tracks is incredible. We tested at Indy a couple weeks ago and it was super fast. Hopefully when we come back here and the track rubbers up it will be really fast.”
WHAT AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT CAN BE MADE ON THE GEN 6 CAR? “I think one of the good improvements they did was add mechanical grip in the car. They changed the camber of the rear tires which added a ton of grip. The downforce on the cars – you are so limited with how big these race cars are and the hole they punch through the wind – there is only so much you can do with the aero. When you get a car in front of you it will always change how your car drives. I think they have done a good job of making it better. They will keep improving on that and the mechanical grip side of it and that is all you can ask for.”
WHAT WOULD IT BE LIKE TO WIN HERE FOR THE WOOD BROTHERS? “This would be a huge track for them. Outside of the Brickyard and the Daytona 500 I would say this would be one of the biggest wins for the Wood Brothers being that this is the home track of Ford. We always have everybody here and it is a big deal to run good here. Like I said before, that is kind of why we came to test here. To get a win here would be close – not quite the Daytona 500 – but close.”
WHAT IS YOUR FUTURE LIKE FOR A FULL TIME RIDE? “With the Wood Brothers this season and going forward we would love to have sponsorship to run full time even now but my contract is through Roush Fenway Racing so that is probably down the road where I would be, in that 6 car. I don’t know the time frame of that but that has been the plan since I signed with Roush. I never knew I would be driving the 21 car when I signed with them in 2010. That was kind of a bonus. I drove one race in 2010 and then obviously after the 500 in 2011 we took over the car full time and it has been a great ride and I really appreciate the Wood Brothers giving me that opportunity but from the beginning our plan was to drive with Roush full time in the Sprint Cup series, so hopefully that will happen at some point.”