By Jerry Jordan, Editor
TALLADEGA, Ala. – Mahalo, that’s how Trevor Bayne was feeling after the race at Talladega Superspeedway but the one-time NASCAR Cup Series driver would have been even more grateful had he been just a few inches further ahead on the track as he was edged out of the win by Raphael Lessard.
A last-lap crash that resulted in one truck catching fire forced a caution flag that ruined Bayne’s strategy to take the checkered flag. He had been waiting for the entire race to make his move and the win was in his grasp.
I thought there was a shot, I mean, we led the whole backstretch,” Bayne said. “I was in the right position to win the race at the start/finish line.”
At the time, he said he hadn’t seen a replay and joked that he wasn’t really interested unless it would change the outcome.
“I never want to be the guy who finishes second and he’s mad about it,” Bayne insisted.
His NASCAR career came to an end in 2018 when he was let go by Roush Racing. Unable to find another ride, he and his wife opened their own business and have become successful baristas in Knoxville, Tenn. And even though Mahalo Coffee Roasters is doing well, Bayne never lost his desire to drive. The 2011 Daytona 500 winner yearned to return to the track. He had been working on his own racecar to do some local races when the stars aligned and he got the nod from Al Niece to drive the No. 45 Truck in the NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series.
“I am going to finish out the rest of the year in the 45,” he said. “. I never wanted to be done racing. I didn’t want to go out kicking and screaming and opened a business. If I can do it as a job again, if you can call it a job, now that I worked in the real world, I don’t know if I can, I would love to.”
Bayne also reemphasized his desire to make a return to something other than a part-time ride in trucks or stockcar racing.
“Definitely something I am working on here in the truck series,” he said.