By Cole Cusumano, Staff Writer
BRISTOL, Tenn – In life, timing is everything. For Trevor Bayne, time isn’t something that was particularly kind to him early in his NASCAR career, but as timing has shifted in his favor, he now has another incentive to chase a victory at one of his home tracks.
Less than 24 hours before making his NASCAR Xfinity Series return to Bristol Motor Speedway with Joe Gibbs Racing, Bayne and his wife Ashton welcomed their fifth child into the world – which is ironically as best as he’s ever fared at The Last Great Colosseum.
With an increased support system behind him, Bayne is hoping to give his family another reason to celebrate on Friday.
“It’s wild timing, that’s for sure,” Bayne said. “We weren’t sure if he was going to come on Texas race weekend or Bristol , but glad he’s here and everybody’s healthy. I think more than anything, he just didn’t want to miss the party that hopefully we have later after we try to battle for a win tonight.”
Since rejoining the Xfinity ranks last year, Bayne has been able to capitalize on speed provided by Joe Gibbs Racing and has arguably seen more consistent success in his 30s with limited opportunities than when he did competing full time for then Roush Fenway Racing.
Between nine Xfinity starts in 2022, Bayne scored two poles and seven top-10s, which included a pair of runner-ups with an 8th-place average finish.
Speaking on timing, the 2011 Daytona 500 Champion allegedly had a much fuller slate lined up this season following his successful campaign the year prior until sponsorship fell through at the last minute. As a result, Bayne will only run three races in the No. 19 for JGR with Bristol being his second.
“I feel really good,” Bayne said. “It’s just going to come down to execution. Not having mistakes on pit road, getting through lap traffic, all those small things that add up to performance. I think we’re doing that well. We don’t have the win column yet to show for that, but we’re in contention every time we’re at the racetrack.
“Man, if I could win at any place, it would be Bristol. This timed out perfect”
Bayne finished 29th in only other start this season after getting involved in a wreck at Daytona International Speedway. In his most recent Xfinity go-around at Bristol in 2014, he placed 13th. But he has a career-best finish of sixth (twice) in the developmental series.
Beyond the Food City 300 at Bristol on Friday, Bayne’s only scheduled start for the remainder of the season is Texas Motor Speedway on September 23.