Trevor Bayne’s career has been a roller coaster ride of highs and lows but throughout it all he has remained constant in his belief that God has a plan for him. His faith gives him a unique perspective that allows him to accept both triumph and adversity with a maturity and grace that belies his young age.
We sat down together at Darlington Raceway after the first day of practice and spoke about the challenges of racing at the legendary track. Bayne recounted his previous two efforts in 2010 and 2013.
“In 2010,” he said, “We had a little incident with Matt Kenseth and last year I crashed with a lapped car in turn one.” This year, the goal is to “finish the race.”
He explained the strategy for the upcoming race, saying, “You just have to be patient here. It’s so narrow that it’s easy to get frustrated. You have to keep your head on straight and hit your line perfect every single lap. You’ve got to hit your marks and be consistent.”
Bayne qualified 10th at Darlington, finished in ninth place and currently is ranked fifth in the point standings. In seven starts this season, he has one top-five and six top-10 finishes. But what will it take to propel this top-ten team to victory lane? The simple answer is speed.
“Overall our Roush Fenway Mustangs as a group are not very fast at the beginning of a new car run,” he told me. “Late in the run we can catch guys and pass them but the leaders just get so far gone on new tires that we never have a chance. We’re working on some things to get our cars better; it’s just a speed thing.”
“I think Chad (Crew Chief Chad Norris) and I have done a good job with the balance,” he continued. “We’ve been really patient this year and not made many mistakes other than blowing the right rear last weekend which really isn’t in our hands. We just need raw speed on new tires.”
We also spoke about Bayne’s recent multiple sclerosis diagnosis and the impact it has had on his life.
“If I put my value in who I am in Christ, it doesn’t change much through the ups and downs,” he said. “Christ got me through that knowing that this is temporary and his kingdom is eternal and that’s where my perspective comes from.”
Bayne acknowledged that, “when you go through something tough like that, especially something health threatening, it makes you think. It makes you appreciate the good days even more and want to make the most out of every opportunity.”
After the Easter break this weekend, NASCAR Nationwide Series racing resumes at Richmond International Raceway on April 25th as Bayne and his team look for their first win of the season.