Our car isn’t upside down. That’s always good for us. – Trevor Bayne
While Trevor Bayne may have been worried about being caught up in a wreck, he made it to the end of the Nationwide season opener with all four wheels on the ground and the car in one piece as he finished third.
“It was a good finish to the end. We were hoping to be able to come out of here with a top 10, good points day, when you’re running for a championship,” Bayne said. “With a championship mindset every weekend, you hope for a good finish in one piece while being able to battle for the win. That’s what we did today. We had an opportunity the last lap to make a move and push the 7 there until I felt like I could try to pull down without losing any spots. It was just a little too late. The middle closed up.”
With the no tandem drafting rule that the Nationwide Series has implemented, Bayne said that it made the racing much different this year than last.
“I feel like it took a lot less thought to tandem race. You had to get on somebody’s bumper and stay with it, that was it,” he commented. “Now you have to time your runs, figure out how not to crash them, stay attached.”
Looking beyond this race and the rest of the season, Bayne likes where he sits right now compared to last year. Bayne finished 31st in last year’s event and says you can’t have days like that if you want to win the championship.
“You have three of those days, you’re 90 points behind, simple math. You just cannot do that,” he commented. “We had a few of those last season. They’re bound to happen, but you have to manage that. I feel like we did a good job of that today.”
Bayne added that he feels the run gives him some momentum going into Phoenix, which is a track that Bayne has four top 10s in last four starts at.
“To be third place, I seem like I just won the thing because I’m excited, but that’s because we’re looking at a big picture kind of deal this season. That’s not something I’ve done before,” he continued. “I kind of go race to race, try to go for the win every time. I probably put myself in positions I probably shouldn’t be in a lot of the time.”
Bayne says he will probably do that to himself again as that’s what racers do – they do whatever it takes for the win. However, he still feels confident going forward and possibly winning the championship this season after finishing sixth in points last year.
“Like I said at the beginning of this, we want to be as safe as we can with good results but still battling for wins every single weekend,” he commented. “To come out of here with a good points day, that’s going to give us a break in the season when you do have that bad day because it’s going to happen.”