More often than not, underdog teams will have bright days on the race track such as Mike Harmon Racing. This came to be after Bayley Currey finished seventh in last Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Phoenix.
Not only was it Currey’s first career top-10 in NXS, but the team’s best-ever outing. Previously, Kyle Weatherman finished eighth in the first Kentucky doubleheader last summer. Outside of those two results, MHR had never scored a top 10 result.
The young Texan, driving the No. 74 Lerner & Rowe Chevrolet, worked his way from the 29th starting spot to put himself in excellent position for a solid result.
Considering how wild the race got at the end, Currey’s car didn’t have a single scratch and got the job done. It’s worth noting because he’ll be running that very car at Atlanta Motor Speedway this Saturday.
Prior of joining MHR, Currey spent time running in multiple teams, including Rick Ware Racing. In his tenure, Currey ran 11 Cup races where he provided one of the team’s few outstanding runs. Back in June 2019 at Pocono, Currey finished a lap down in 25th which was deemed a major success.
At the same time, Currey has been through a lot of ups and downs since that run. Ranging from his suspension in late 2019 to leaving RWR for better opportunities, Phoenix was the pinnacle.
More so, it got people talking about his afternoon because of the equipment he has and works on. Without further ado, here’s my conversation with Currey.
From His Own Words
Luis Torres: A few days have gone by after getting a top 10. How did the race go for you?
Bayley Currey: We started off decent. We started 29th, but knew we were good. I didn’t think we were good enough to run where we ended up finishing. We worked on the car a little bit, made some adjustments, got a little bit better and had a good couple of restarts.
Got some track position because I feel like that was really the biggest thing in that race with the PJ1 being the way it was. Once we got our track position, we were able to work our way up there and made some adjustments, so we got pretty good.
I knew going to that final restart it was going to get pretty crazy. I chose the bottom because I knew if I got on the top, I’d be kind of in a box.
If something was to happen, like guys would slide up and get in the wall we were able to go anywhere. We chose the bottom, made it through that melee. [Justin] Allgaier ended up getting into the wall in front of me, shot around the outside of him. It was pretty much just hold on from there.
Torres: What does Saturday’s top 10 mean for you?
Currey: It feels good. Especially after our first few races, we’ve had some really bad luck. Being able to go out there and get us a really good run helps a lot. Makes you feel a little better about it. We’ve had speed every week, but man, it’s something has gone wrong every time, but, we had that good run last week. Hopefully, we can build on that and keep that momentum rolling forward.
Torres: Was there like a little celebration get together with the whole team?
Currey: I wish we could have more. There’s some unexperienced people on the team. They were kind of celebrating before, but we still had to get through tech and everything. So getting through that was stressful, but it’s our first time really going through post-race tech as a team.
We had to do all that and just make sure we were on top of our stuff there, make sure we did everything right. Getting through there and don’t go make the officials mad. So, we did that and we talked about it after the race a little bit.
Went to eat and then went to the hotel. All the other guys had to ride back of a truck from Las Vegas. They had to get up early next morning. We had to get up early the next morning and get to the airport. Wish we could’ve done a little bit more, but I’m sure me and Michael will talk about it when he gets back.
Torres: It’s one of those shift back to business and get ready for the next week due to the fact that it’s such a quick turnaround.
Trusting The Team’s Progress
Currey: Absolutely! Me and Kyle [Weatherman] are both running the same cars, we ran out (at Phoenix) to Atlanta this weekend. They’re still not back yet. It’s a long haul from out there, but we got to get them back, get them flipped around and get ’em ready for Atlanta.
Torres: Now that you and Kyle Weatherman have a top 10 under your belt, describe the team’s progress since you came along last year?
Currey: We’re a small team and we can advance and do stuff as fast as a lot of these bigger teams do. But we’ve made sure we learn everything we can each weekend and build on them. We try to go back every weekend better than we were the last. I think that’s our biggest thing.
Me and Kyle work in the shop and want to get better every week because we have the ability. I know there’s people on this team that have the ability to take good cars to the racetrack and get top-15s and try to compete for those top-10s.
I think we can do it every week. We just keep building, keep fighting, keep getting better and better. I think you’ll see more of those results as the year goes.
More Than Just Driving Behind The Wheel
Torres: Speaking of working at the shop, I heard in a podcast that you’re one of the few drivers who actually work and build the cars. I know in this day and age, not many (NASCAR national touring) drivers do that. Do you take pride of being one of the few that actually legitimately works on those kinds of cars?
Currey: A little bit. There’s a few of us out there, but I told him that’s what I’ve always done. It kind of would feel weird if I wasn’t. If I can try to bring some knowledge to the team and try to be hands on and make the team and car even better. I want to do it.
If I get to spend 12 hours in the shop every day, I want to get better. Whether it be watching old races, doing stuff as a driver or coming to the shop and trying to get the cars better, I want to do it all.