Photo credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography

Trevor Bayne focusing on partial repave during Iowa weekend

Trevor Bayne, a winner at Iowa Speedway, has identified the key factor that could play a role in whether NASCAR drivers succeed or fail in the return to the short track.

For Bayne, it's all about the partial repave that NASCAR did ahead of this weekend's races. The winter and the need for a tire test provided a limited amount of time to get the track ready.

Crews could only repave certain sections while addressing some trouble spots instead of redoing the entire racing surface. This left several sections of old asphalt mixed in with the new surface.

"It will be interesting to see how drivers handle (the repave) as they transition off of old asphalt onto new paving," Bayne said in a video from Legacy Motor Club. "The car will definitely make some moves as it goes through that, maybe lose grip and gain grip through those sections."

Bayne, who now works for Fox Sports and Legacy Motor Club, achieved success at Iowa during his racing career. He made seven starts at the .875-mile paved track while racing in Xfinity, and he posted top-10 finishes in five races. This run of success includes the 2014 season when he started from the pole for the August race and led 31 laps before finishing third.

Bayne's best finish at Iowa Speedway was in the June 2013 race. He started mid-pack but was at the front for 19 laps. He took the lead from Austin Dillon, who had led 207 laps, and he went on to win for the first time at the track.

"We weren't great on the short run, but the long run we could really get after (Dillon)," Bayne said in 2013. "I knew we had to keep that lead to a minimum, while he was fast on the restart, so we could catch him at the end of the run."

There have been multiple drivers discussing the repave ahead of NASCAR's return to Iowa Speedway. Many have experience on the old surface and know what it took to succeed on it. Having repaved sections means that they may have to adjust their approach during Friday's 50-minute practice session.

Chase Briscoe, who won the 2019 Xfinity race at Iowa, said that he is not as excited for the return because the repave makes "it a totally different race track." Joey Logano said he didn't know if the repave would be good or bad while teammate Austin Cindric said that the repaved section could become the racing line with the best grip.

Elton Sawyer, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio earlier this week that he doesn't anticipate any issues with the surface. Sawyer added that NASCAR believes there will still be some multi-groove racing.

"It'll be interesting to see with them repaving certain patches around the racetrack," Noah Gragson said. "The foundation of the track has definitely settled over time, and there are big bumps, especially over the tunnel in (Turns) 1 and 2.

"So it'll be interesting to see when they repaved it, if those bumps are gone or they're still there. I think getting through the bumps and being pointed and having your angle right for exit to where you're kind of straight across the bump instead of pointed to the outside wall across the bump in the center of the corner is really key.

No one knows exactly how the race -- or even practice -- will play out. Only cars on the track can provide this answer, starting Friday at 4:35 p.m. ET with Xfinity practice (USA Network). Cup practice will follow at 5:35 p.m. ET (USA Network).