February 9, 2008
(click on the above video icon to view Daryl Hobby's report from the Charlotte, North Carolina area)
Mooresville, N.C. (WVLT/daleearnhardtinc.com) -- Knoxville's native Trevor Bayne is Dale Earnhardt Incorporated's newest driver.
"This place is incredible," Bayne recently told Sports Overtime's Daryl Hobby. "I can't say enough about it. Everyone has been so welcoming. It feels like home."
Bayne, already an 11-year racing veteran at the age of 16, joined the DEI team in late May of 2007. He's a part of the the team's driver development program.
NASCAR legend and 4-time Sprint Cup runner-up Mark Martin has always had an eye for young talent. He believes Bayne has a bright future ahead of him.
"The things that I've seen from Trevor are incredibly impressive," Martin said during the NASCAR Sprint Cup presented by Lowe's Motor Speedway Media Tour. "I'm a big fan of his already. The way he handles himself personally his grades...his commitment to his education... to me is paramount."
Bayne, now a junior in high school, left Central High School and Knoxville and is now a resident of Mooresville, North Carolina. He's taking classes over the internet. He made the move to help out his racing career, but he's still very much in touch with those back in East Tennessee.
"Those classmates, they call me everyday. 'Hey, what's going on down there? Fill us in,' they say. I fill them in on all the new news. Not many people get this opportunity and it's been great for me."
Bayne will run a full schedule in NASCAR's Camping World East Series. It's a notch below the Nationwide Series. Bayne hopes to be at that level in 2009, with a Sprint Cup career soon after that.
Last season, Bayne ran in the USAR Hooters Pro Series Southern Division and won rookie of the year.