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TREVOR BAYNE – No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion – EVEN THOUGH YOU’VE BEEN DRIVING IN THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES FOR THE LAST FOUR YEARS, THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME TO POCONO. WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE SO FAR HERE? “This being m y first full-time year I’m learning a lot and there are things I didn’t get to do running a part-time schedule and this is one of them. To come here to Pocono for the first time, it’s a really cool place. It’s almost like running a road course with the way you have to shift and be smooth and carry speed, and that’s what I’ve been working on. I feel like running the right line hasn’t been the part that’s holding me up, it’s just being smooth and not over-slowing the car to get your downshifts and doing things like that and it’s coming. Every time I go on the race track we’re picking up a lot of speed. As long as these straightaways are and how the corners are, what would normally help you one-tenth on an oval race track helps you about four here, so there’s a lot of speed to be found. I feel like we’re doing OK at getting up to speed. I wish we had more practice before qualifying yesterday, but I’m looking forward to getting a lot of laps today and that’s our game plan, just seat time on this race track. That’s why I’m running the ARCA race later this evening and I’m enjoying it so far.”
DRIVERS WHO HAVE BEEN COMING HERE FOR YEARS HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS BUMP OVER THE TUNNEL TURN. HOW HAVE YOU DEALT WITH THAT? “It’s massive. It’s a big bump, but I didn’t know what it was like otherwise. Once I made a lap I was like, ‘Man, this place is kind of rough.’ It’s no different than going to Dover last weekend and having the bump into turn three, you just know it’s there and you expect it. So I’m sure the guys that didn’t expect it, that have raced here before, were like, ‘Whoa, what’s going on?’ But it’s kind of a clean slate for me.”
AT THE START OF THE YEAR YOU SAID IT WOULD TAKE SOME TIME TO SHOW THE IMPROVEMENT MANY PEOPLE WERE LOOKING FOR FROM YOUR GROUP. DO YOU FEEL YOU’RE ON SCHEDULE AS FAR AS THAT GOES? “I would have liked to start off a little more competitive than we’ve been. Even though I knew it would be this way, I still want to run better. Our teammates have found some speed. Greg Biffle has run better the last couple of weeks, but he and Matt (Puccia) have been working together the last four years so that should be expected. Bob (Osborne) and I are still learning each other. We’re working on the cars. My team is a very young team, so we’re all learning together, but I do feel like we’re starting to make gains and I hope to see the fruit of that. We’ve got to get the results out of the cars, but I think they have potential right now. I think we’re gonna continue to get better. I think when we get to Michigan next week we’ll be even better again, and we’re starting to see the speed. At the beginning of the year we were far off, but now we’ve caught up to the back of these guys and just a little bit more speed is gonna put us where we can be right there, so I’m looking forward to when that happens and I’m looking forward to working with Bob more and more. It’s only been three-and-a-half months together, so we’re still learning each other and I think we’re gonna get better as we do that as well.”
HOW ARE YOU AND YOUR TEAM DEALING WITH THIS GROWING PROCESS? “It’s tough because last year things didn’t go as well as I wanted them to, but you’d have a weekend where you ran second or you’d run good and you’d be like, ‘Alright, we’re good,’ and then you might struggle the next week. But here it’s been a constant ‘man, we’re struggling.’ You show up at the race track week after week and say, ‘This is the week we’re gonna be better,’ and then you get a little bit more beat down, so it’s been very tough honestly to keep that momentum, to keep your guys up and to keep yourself up. I’m tough on myself. I’m one of my hardest critics and really demanding of myself. Last week before we got on the plane I got my guys together before we ever left and said, ‘Look, I made a mistake today and I apologize.’ We’re all gonna make mistakes and we’ve got to stay together as a team. That’s the only thing we can do here to continue to get better is not start pointing fingers at this guy or this guy. We’ve got to understand that it’s not personal. As much as it feels personal we’re a team and our result is a team effort, and that’s the only thing we can do here is stay working together, keep our heads up and down at the same time, and just work together to keep pursuing those goals that we want to meet.”
YOU HAD SOME GOOD NEWS OFF THE TRACK THIS WEEK. YOU’RE GOING TO BE A DAD. HOW DOES THAT FEEL? “It’s unbelievable. I’ve been looking forward to this for a very long time. It’s kind of hard to believe. I’ll forget about it sometimes, but then you think about it and you’re all excited again so I can’t wait for the little baby to be here in December.”
HOW DID ASHTON TELL YOU? “I was shocked. I was at the Richmond test and normally if I’m gone she’ll sleep in a little bit, but I got a call at 7 in the morning. I was like, ‘What’s going on? Is the house on fire?’ And she says, ‘Babe, I’m pregnant.’ It was hard to keep that a secret at the test that day, but I was just really excited and pacing around the hotel room on the phone with her, so it was cool.”
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