At Roush Fenway Racing's NASCAR Media Day on Thursday, Trevor Bayne expressed his excitement for the 2013 season and also his eagerness to move to the Sprint Cup Series full time in 2014 with RFR. Team owner Jack Roush sounded less committal to Bayne moving up and said he will wait to see how 2013 plays out first.
"That’s the long-range goal, but that’s TBD on how ’13 goes,” Roush said. “When we started Ricky two years ago, we had hoped to put Trevor on the same path, and of course he had his health problems the first year, and we had some challenges with sponsorship last year that limited what we could do. So when we looked at it from 2011, we hoped to put him in a Cup car in 2014. And that’s still a goal. But it’s probably not as imperative as ensuring he spends enough time in the Nationwide Series to really do the growth and development he can benefit from before he moves on to Cup. Whether that’s 2014 or whether it’s later, that’s TBD.”
Bayne will compete in his second full season in the Nationwide Series this year and his first one with RFR. He will pilot the No. 6 that won the last two Nationwide Series titles with Ricky Stenhouse Jr as the driver.
In 2010 Bayne competed in the full Nationwide schedule driving the first 28 races for Michael Waltrip Racing in the No. 99 car before moving over to Roush Fenway Racing in the No. 16 and 17 cars for the final seven races.
He won three poles in a row for MWR that season and finished seventh in the points with six top 5's and 11 top 10's. In 2011 Bayne was supposed to drive the full season in the No. 16 car but missed races nine through 13 due to a bout with Lyme disease. He was able to pick up his first and only Nationwide Series win to this point in time at Texas in November of 2011. Even after missing five races Bayne finished 11th in the standings with five top 5's and 14 top 10's.
In 2012 Bayne only competed in six Nationwide races with RFR due to a lack of funding. He scored one pole and had three top 10's in the six starts.
Bayne will continue to compete in the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford in the Sprint Cup Series in the limited number of events that team runs in 2013. In 2011, Bayne, who won't turn 22 until February 19, won the Daytona 500 with the team and went onto compete in 17 total races that year. In 2012 he raced 16 times with two top 10's and an average finish of 22.5.
Bayne is ready for his opportunity in the Nationwide Series and wants that to translate to Cup.
“That’s our plan,” Bayne said Thursday during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. “We’d love to do that. Funding is obviously always an issue, but I think that is Jack’s goal. That’s my goal. Everybody at the shop kind of knows that, and we want to make the most out of this year. I’ve been looking so forward to this year, it’s hard to look past it.”
He will have to prove himself on the track much like what Stenhouse did to earn his spot in the Cup Series with RFR. If he can go head-to-head with the likes of Elliott Sadler, Brian Vickers, Regan Smith and Sam Hornish for the Nationwide title this season Roush might have to open the door to a fourth Sprint Cup car in 2014 for Bayne.
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