Bayne ‘Bummed’ About Not Getting A Cup Ride
BRISTOL, Tenn. –Trevor Bayne admitted Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway he has mixed emotions about Ricky Stenhouse Jr. being Matt Kenseth’s replacement at Roush Fenway Racing because he believes they both deserve a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ride.
“At first when they said that [Stenhouse in the No. 17 next year] I was a little bit bummed out because I wanted them to come to me and say, ‘Hey, we’re gonna run you full-time in a Cup car with the fourth team’ and that didn’t happen,” Bayne said. “But when I did find out I was running Nationwide and I thought about it, I thought that’s probably a good decision to go out there and get that first full season under our belt in the series. I haven’t gotten to go points racing and I think it would be good to get that under our belt before we go to that Cup level when it’s gonna be even tougher to do that and get that experience.”
Bayne believes Stenhouse’s move into the No. 17 Ford is a “great opportunity” for his teammate.
“At the same time, I can’t wait to get my opportunity in Cup,” Bayne continued. “I think we could run competitively there every weekend. We do that even with the Wood Brothers part-time. But I’ve just got to be patient in the meantime for that.”
Team co-owner Jack Roush has already said he planned to field a full-time Nationwide team for Bayne in 2013. Bayne also plans to continue driving a limited Sprint Cup schedule for the Wood Brothers.
“He’s gonna put everything he’s got behind me, including sponsorship,” Bayne said about Roush Fenway’s efforts next year. “This season, we knew that pretty much anything that came in would have to go to Ricky’s car
until it was funded, because they were locked in to running him and I was locked in to the Wood Brothers car.”
Bayne said the only way he would consider a move to Penske Racing would be if Roush told him it was an option.
“Being under contract, there is no way I would go talk to another team or do anything like that at this point,” the 21-year-old Bayne said. “The more (Ford) teams the better, but I don’t know if that changes opportunities for me or not.”
Bayne, who missed part of last season due to illness after winning the Daytona 500, has competed in nine Sprint Cup races this year with his best finish being eighth at Talladega. He has six more Cup races on his 2012 schedule – Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte, Talladega, Texas and Homestead.
The congenial Bayne returned to the Nationwide Series at Bristol after a 4 ½-month layoff by winning the pole for the Food City 250. Ironically, it also could be his last Nationwide race this year.
“I’ve been trying to talk Jack into a lot more at the end of this season since he’s wanting to run the full-time series next year for a championship with me in the car,” Bayne said. “I’d like to get my feet wet at the end of the season and get some momentum going. I think that would be a good thing to do, just to get a feel for the Nationwide cars again because they are a little different than the Cup cars.”
Bayne doesn’t believe his upset 2011 Daytona 500 victory placed unreasonable expectations on him by people in the industry, but that might not be the case where the borderline fan was concerned.
“That might have hurt us a little bit, but I wouldn’t trade the win for anything,” Bayne said. “I know it’s in God’s timing anyway, so He was setting me up for something there and putting all the pieces together. I’m just waiting on the puzzle to make a little bit of sense for me.”
– Deb Williams can be reached at email@example.com Comments