News & Media

Help from friends gets Bayne into Bristol field

March 16, 2012, David Caraviello,

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Trevor Bayne is racing at Bristol Motor Speedway after all, thanks to a little help from his friends.

The Roush Fenway Nationwide Series driver, originally slated to miss this week's race in his home state because of a lack of sponsorship, found assistance from a pair of Tennessee-based entities that will allow him to keep alive his hopes of contending for the Nationwide championship -- for now, at least.

Bayne stood fourth in points after his fourth-place finish last weekend at Las Vegas, but his No. 60 car does not have funding for the entire season. His schedule for 2012 had him running the first three races of this year, and then skipping Bristol -- doubly difficult for a driver so high in points, and for a native of nearby Knoxville, Tenn.

"I want to race every weekend no matter where it is, no matter what it is. But this is the first one we were coming to without sponsorship, and Bristol is my home track," Bayne said Friday. "Bristol is just awesome, whether it's my home track or not. But I was really bummed out that we didn't have an opportunity here with as much clout as we have in this area, being at home and at Bristol. I'm glad somebody finally realized it and came on board with it."

One potential sponsorship deal fell through, but it led Bayne's team to begin preparing cars for the weekend. Eventually, the driver's Tennessee connections paid off. Food City, the company based in nearby Johnson City that backs Bristol's spring Sprint Cup race, helped the team land an associate sponsor in Crawdad's Classic Gourmet Seasonings. What Bayne called "a friend of a friend" led him to, a site run by a Knoxville businessman that will serve as primary sponsor both Saturday and in the Bristol Nationwide race in August.

Next week, though, Bayne will be back in the same situation -- looking for sponsorship to get him to Auto Club Speedway in Southern California. Purse money helps, but it's not nearly enough to pay for the entire effort, which leaves the driver of the No. 60 car once again looking for funding to make it to another Saturday.

"It's the same plea I had last week for Bristol -- I've got to get to California," Bayne said. "But [we] keep saying, winning races fixes a lot of things, and that's what our goal is every weekend. We win this race here, it would put us at least second in points, and depending on Elliott [Sadler]'s day, we could be leading the thing out of here. You never know at Bristol. But our goal is to win this weekend and just make the best out of it."