CHARLOTTE – Trevor Bayne will be commuting to Roush Fenway Racing farther than he races for the team on most weeks in NASCAR’s premier series this season.
The Knoxville, Tennessee, native relocated his family last December from the Charlotte area to his hometown, which is more than 200 miles from Roush’s headquarters in Concord, North Carolina.
Bayne, though, plans to travel weekly to his team’s shop so he can meet with officials and crew members on Tuesday or Wednesday.
“They’ve been great with it,” Bayne said during the NASCAR on NBC podcast of Roush’s reaction to the move. “As long as I’m committed in getting my work done, they shouldn’t know a difference.
“A lot of drivers will (use video conferencing) or call into the meeting, and it’s like being there, but I actually want to be present as much as possible for the guys who aren’t in the meeting. The guys working in the shop or body shop that want to see you and know what’s going on to know that you’re committed.”
His Knoxville home is about a three and a half hour drive to Roush Fenway, but Bayne plans on mostly flying to work. He is working on a pilot’s license and can rent planes while compiling his required hours for certification.
“Last year I started flying a little bit, and it’s a really short flight to get there,” Bayne said. “A little treacherous over the mountains. You’ve got to pay attention, but I feel it’s good for my mental state to travel back and forth and spend time with the guys.”
With two children under 2, it also will be good for childcare. The parents of Bayne and his wife, Ashton, live in Knoxville. “I really think this is going to be great for my racing and for our personal health,” he said. “Having grandparents around for a night a week if Ashton and I want to go on a date night or if I’ve got an appearance somewhere. … I think it’s going to be a really good thing.”
Bayne finished 22nd in the points standings last season, his third full time in the Cup Series. The 2011 Daytona 500 winner had a career-best six top 10s.
“Last year, we had a lot of big changes on our team with structure and different people,” he said. “This year, it’s more about refining those changes and seeing where we missed the gaps.”