Trey Bayne has been racing for only a short period of time but he is already turning heads with the things he can do inside a Late Model Stock Car. The 14-year-old driver from Knoxville has shown a steady but quick progression during this season while racing primarily close to home at the Kingsport(TN) Speedway. And people who know the sport have noticed.
Wade Day has served as a crew chief, mentor, and coach to numerous rising stars in the Asphalt Late Model racing ranks and is currently doing the same for Bayne. “It’s amazing how far along he has come in such a short period of time,” Day declared last Friday night as he helped prepare the No. 21 Ford for racing action. “He just gets it.”
As proof that the young man has come a long way in a short period of time, Bayne has consistently placed in the top-5 during the second half of the season at Kingsport and he scored a victory in only his seventh career feature start in the LMSC division back in June of this year. And although the learning curve has been a steep one, the student at Knoxville’s Gibbs High School believes he is progressing at a good rate.
“It’s been huge,” Bayne said in an interview with InsideCircleTrack.com. “At the beginning we were running at the rear every weekend and now we’ve worked our way up toward the front. It’s definitely good to be toward the front now. I’ve learned a lot of things along the way and I try to improve every week.”
Prior to joining the ranks of Late Model drivers, Bayne had only raced a few times in go-karts. And that was several years before hitting the track in his Late Model. During 2018, the young driver has primarily raced only at the track often referred to as “The Concrete Jungle” under the watchful eyes of Day and his father, Rocky Bayne.
“Yeah, 2014 was when we raced go-karts and we raced about twenty times and that was it,” Bayne recalled. “Now we’re in this and it’s definitely a lot different. I would say this is more involved, but it’s fun. For now as I’m learning just to be around the cars I think it’s good to be at one track. This is a difficult track so it’s good to learn here then we can take it other places in the future.”
In hopes of expanding his racing opportunities even more, Bayne recently tested a Dirt Late Model at 411 Motor Speedway. He enjoyed the experience and the guidance provided by veteran racer Greg Martin.
“Those cars are completely different,” Bayne recounted. “I feel like dirt is a little more forgiving on the driver’s side of things. I feel like you can make more mistakes there and be all right because here if you get a little loose you’re gone. It’s completely different, but they’re both awesome to learn from and to take little bits and pieces from each and try to be the best I can be.”
As readers could no doubt guess, Bayne is the younger brother of 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne. He hopes that he will have an opportunity to race alongside his famous sibling in the near future.
“From here we’re going to run some Super Late Models in the winter, maybe the Snowball Derby,” Bayne stated. “I don’t really know from there on. I just kind of fly with whatever dad says. But this winter we’re going to run some Supers and I think Trevor might run a couple of races with me and that will be cool.”
And what has the younger brother learned from observing his older brother’s career?
“You’ve got have sponsors. There’s just so much to it but it’s cool to be able to watch him with where he’s at now.”
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association
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