NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Gatorade Duel 2
Topics: Gatorade Duel
February 23, 2012
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA
KERRY THARP: Our defending Daytona 500 champion, Trevor Bayne, will have the opportunity to defend his championship on Sunday. He drives the No.21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford.
Trevor, congratulations on being able to have that opportunity. What does it feel like now knowing you can go out Sunday and try to win back to back Daytona 500s.
TREVOR BAYNE: Man, I'm really excited about Sunday. Can't get here fast enough. We're getting pumped up about it. We'll see what happens once the race starts and we get going.
It was really good to get on the track and actually move around and race today. I learned a lot being at the front early with Carl Edwards and Michael McDowell, we got up front a couple times. Being in the middle and back of the pack, I wanted to move around. Majority of the time you don't get the luxury of being in the lead. So I just wanted to learn. That's what I did.
Really proud of my team. They built a great racecar. I hit a spring off of Danica's car or something, I don't know. They'll get that patched up and we'll be ready to roll for the 500.
KERRY THARP: Questions for Trevor.
Q. How is your health? How are you feeling after last year? Now that you have a Daytona 500 victory under your belt, are you approaching this year any differently than last year?
TREVOR BAYNE: No, on that question, you know, I come into every season just fired up and ready to go racing and make the best of our opportunity. Fortunately not running Nationwide full‑time this year, so the races we do run, we just go to win 'em, I guess.
That's the thing that changes our perspective, I guess, more so than winning the Daytona 500 or anything like that. The 500 perspective is a little bit different this year because I think we get a little bit more greedy when we know we have the chance to win. You're not complacent with a top‑15 finish. You want to be at the front as quick as possible and make it all work.
My health is great, I feel good to go. I flew in an F‑16, that put me under the weather for about half a day. That wasn't anything due to anything wrong with me, that was due to g‑forces. But I feel good to go again.
Q. You had your posse down for your birthday. What did you do? This week there's an article about how you deserve a sponsor. Last year maybe the illness took you away for a time. Does that give you pressure to perform really well in this 500?
TREVOR BAYNE: I don't really feel pressure in that. I'm 20 years old. I want to make it as quick as I can‑‑ or 21, wow, huh. Hmm, he just told me how old I was (laughter).
So 21 years old. Getting even older.
For me, I want to make the most out of my career as early as I can. I would love full‑time Cup this year. So the sponsorship, as soon as it gets here, I want to go racing. I want to perform whether we have a full‑time sponsor or no sponsor. That's to win races and championships. Give it everything we got.
That's what my team knows, if we're giving it everything we got, there's nothing else we can do. That's what I told them before the race today, that's what I'll tell them before the 500. You can still sleep at night when you know that.
I think we're going to have a strong run.
As far as the first part of that question, my posse just got here today. They weren't here for my birthday. I didn't really do much, I just went to dinner. That's about it.
Q. Great outlook for the 500 again. Are you frustrated at all by the situation that you can't do everything you should be doing at this point in your career?
TREVOR BAYNE: A little bit. You know, it's always frustrating when you feel like you can and should be doing more as far as races go. I'd love to be running Nationwide full‑time. It's almost a little bit of a step sideways for me this year because I'm not running full‑time in Nationwide.
But we can always add onto that. I'm hoping we'll be leading the points after the first three races, have sponsorship, go racing some more. It's like I said, I have to make the most of all the opportunities I have, show everybody that I'm not going to sit around and complain about it. I'm fortunate to be the age I am and have the opportunity I have.
I've raced thousands of kids that haven't even had this chance. I want to be around a long time and stay around. That requires having sponsorship, running for championships, running for race wins. That's what we want to do.
KERRY THARP: Trevor, good luck to you this weekend. I know you're racing Saturday and also defending your championship here at Daytona.
TREVOR BAYNE: Thank you, guys.
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