BRISTOL — Trevor Bayne hopes an announcement earlier this week will finally give some stability to his racing career.
It was announced on Wednesday that sponsor Advocare would be leaving Austin Dillon’s No. 3 Chevrolet at the end of the year to sponsor Bayne’s No. 6 Ford for the entire 2014 season.
The 2011 Daytona 500 champion noted on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway it is unusual to see a company make such a commitment these days.
“It’s nice to have a company like Advocare that’s willing to come on board for a full year,” said the 22-year-old Knoxville native. “Not many companies are willing to do that anymore. They come on for five races, a couple of races. But, they’ve been a great sponsor in the Nationwide Series already and now they’re going to be our car, we’re excited to grow with them.”
Advocare got into the sport as a race sponsor in 2011 and moved to the Richard Childress Racing organization later that year.
Bayne got off to a rocky start to the season, but has come on strong in the summer months. He won his first race of the season at Iowa in June, ironically passing Dillon for the win with 12 laps to go. Heading into Friday night’s Food City 250 at Bristol, Bayne had six top-10 finishes over the next seven races.
“We’ve been really strong since the first Iowa race,” Bayne said. “We’ve not lost any points to the leader. We were 100 back at Charlotte, and now we’re down to 73. We’ve been back and forth been 60 and 70. We need to get that next 30-point jump. We’ve just had little things to take us out of it. But, that’s racing and everybody can say the same thing. We just need to contend for wins until the end of the season.”
Stewart-Haas Racing competition director Greg Zippadelli confirmed recent rumors the team has talked about 2004 NASCAR champion Kurt Busch about driving for them next season.
Zippadelli said it came together in the last couple of weeks after interest from team co-owner Gene Haas.
“He came the other day and said he always liked Kurt Busch,” Zippadelli said. “We talked about Kurt last year, putting him in the No. 39 and things didn’t work out. It’s nothing that Ryan (Newman) did wrong. He’s a good guy, heck of a driver. This just got sprung on us. It’s something we are working on. I don’t know that it will all come together.”
The Price & Ramey Group is an associate sponsor for Josh Wise’s Front Row Motorsports car this weekend.
The logo of the Kingsport-based company is on the deck lid of the No. 35 Carson-Newman University Ford Fusion for the tonight’s race at the half-mile oval. Price & Ramey is a multi-line independent insurance agency serving families, individuals and businesses throughout the East Tennessee since 1914.
Earlier this week Sprint Cup Series drivers David Gilliland, Michael McDowell and Wise, along with three-time Cup Series champion Darrell Waltrip visited Carson-Newman’s campus for a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Dumplin Valley.
Who’s in that car?
The Food City 250 entry list and even through Nationwide Series qualifying had Tony Raines listed as driver of the No. 70 Toyota.
All the while, Johnson City driver Brad Teague was actually behind the wheel of the Jay Robinson-owned car. It wasn’t until later the lineup for Friday’s race was released that was straightened out.
Teague started 39th for Friday night’s race, making it his 33rd career Nationwide Series start at Bristol.
Chris Madden of Gaffney, S.C. led all 50 laps to win the 10th annual “Scorcher” dirt late model race at Volunteer Speedway late Thursday night.
Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville was second on a fast track surface, while Georgia driver Dale McDowell finished third.
Legendary dirt track driver Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg finished fourth and five-time Volunteer track champion Vic Hill of Mosheim rounded out the top five.
Bayne, making only his third ever dirt track start, finished 12th.
Gary Blanken of Russellville won a 25-lap race for the Modified Hobby class after early leader Warren McMahan slowed on lap 16 with a blown engine.