Its been more than a year since Philipsburgs Tim Bainey Jr. was officially in a race car, but on June 2 hell be running against some of NASCARs best drivers.
Bainey Jr. will drive for SR2 Motorsports in the Nationwide Series 5-Hour Energy 200 at Dover International Raceway on June 2. The race, scheduled for a 2 p.m. start, will be televised on ESPN.
Im pretty excited, said Bainey, Jr., who found out Tuesday that he would have a shot behind the wheel of the No. 24 Chevrolet Impala. Ive been trying to do this for awhile. We finally got something together. It was kind of a last-minute deal.
Bainey Jr. said several factors played a part in landing the ride.
He said friend Benny Gordon, who he raced against on the USAR Hooters ProCup Series several years ago, helped in the process. Gordon has run six races with the team this season, including a 12th-place finish at Daytona.
But Gordon doesnt have sponsorship for the whole season, so several drivers with their own sponsorship deals have the opportunity to race in car. Gordon put in a good word for Bainey Jr.
He told me that if they dont have something, we might be able to get you a real good deal, Bainey Jr. said. They want to keep their car up high in the points. The good thing about this team is they want to race. They dont want to go and just ride around to keep their car in the points.
They want to do as well as they can.
They definitely have good stuff. Theyve been to every race this year and theyre running well.
Bainey already had sponsors Window World and DelGrossos Pasta Sauces lined up for some other racing opportunities, but both were on board when Bainey Jr. had a shot at the Nationwide ride.
Thats something Ive never really had before, sponsors who say, Whatever you say were going to do, Bainey Jr., said of the trust from Window Worlds Chad Shirey and Joey Del- Grosso and the DelGrosso family. They allowed me to do this on a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing.
Bainey Jr., hasnt raced in NASCAR since the 2010 season when he drove a total of four Camping World Truck Series races with his best a 25th-place finish at Pocono.
In 2009, Bainey Jr., made an impressive debut in the Trucks at Dover. In his first race ever in a Truck, Bainey started 36th in the field but worked his way up to place 15th. He led a lap under caution during the race and finished on the lead lap after 200 circuits around The Monster Mile.
I love the track, he said. Im sure the Nationwide Series will be a little tougher, but the team is really coming together and Im looking forward to a great weekend.
Because SR2 Motor-sports has done well (25th in the current owner points), Bainey Jr. says hell have a spot in the field regardless of how qualifying goes.
That definitely helps, said Bainey Jr., who will climb into the No. 24 Chevrolet for the first time for practice on June 1. You can pace yourself through practice. You dont have to go out on the first lap and run the fastest time of day. It will give me a little bit of time to get comfortable.
Bainey Jr. said hes looking forward to getting some time on a NASCAR track again for the first time since September of 2010 at New Hampshire.
Last year, we did a lot of testing, Bainey Jr. said. I think Ive done it enough that you dont really forget once youve done it so many times. It comes back to you pretty quick.
Hell likely get a shot at racing against several Sprint Cup drivers and the best among the Nationwide Series. He may also find himself racing against the popular Danica Patrick, who is running a full Nationwide campaign.
One of the goals Ive always had is to make it to the Nationwide deal, he said. It is pretty cool to know that youre going to race against all of the guys in that series. I dont know who all is going to be there, but from Kyle Bush, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano, I would think those guys are going to be there.
Bainey Jr., who is co-owner, also will race at his familys track, the CNB Bank Raceway Park in Clearfield, this summer. He will compete in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event on July 14 on the 5/8-mile track, which has undergone a facelift from dirt to asphalt.
But first, he cant wait to get on the track at Dover.
Its so expensive to do it, Bainey Jr. said. These opportunities just dont come up to be able to do it. Im really excited.
Walt Moody can be reached at 231-4630. Follow him on Twitter @wmoodycdt