Bayne Shows Patience While Earning Stripes In NNS
By Team Ford Racing Correspondent
Trevor Bayne is a patient man. This isn’t necessarily expected from a guy who just turned 22 years old, one who looks like he just left the Junior-Senior Prom or just finished posing for his yearbook photo.
But Bayne is more grounded than many in NASCAR with much longer resumes.
Patience is a virtue that comes both from his strong religious foundation and from his experience in stock car racing.
It might be assumed that a driver who won the 2011 Daytona 500 in spectacular fashion would be much further down the NASCAR trail as the 2013 season begins. But Bayne hasn’t come close to running a full Sprint Cup schedule; in fact, the 2014 season might be his first in that situation.
In the meantime: Patience.
This season, Bayne again will run a part-time Sprint Cup schedule with the legendary Wood Brothers team, but he’ll be on a full-time clock on the other side of the garage fence, racing a complete Nationwide Series schedule with Roush Fenway Racing in the No. 6 Fords that Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove to Nationwide championships in 2011 and 2012.
Bayne ran only six Nationwide races last season while waiting for his ship to come in.
“It’s been hard to wait, but I can trust in God’s timing for this because it’s always worked out, not necessarily the way I wanted it to but the way He wanted it to,” Bayne said. “Why would I want anything different? I’d love to be Cup racing full-time already. I would love to have a year under my belt. But I’ve known this [Nationwide] opportunity was coming. And that helped me last year.
“If I had not known this was coming, it would have been a little harder. But watching them and seeing the 6 team work together and knowing that the car was the one I would be getting in, that gave me some more fuel for my fire and helped me get through the off-season.”
Bayne often answers the question concerning the relative sluggishness of his rise, particularly considering he wears the “Daytona 500 champion” tag. It’s a reasonable inquiry, although the economics and other realities of the sport also impact how drivers move through the hierarchy.
“Last year, if we could have run full-time, maybe we could have run for a [Nationwide] championship and had an opportunity to run Cup full time,” Bayne said. “Every season you’re not racing for a championship or racing full time, it sets you back another year. Everything slows down -- slower than I want it to be.
“Like I said, I would love to be already running Cup. But now, with this opportunity, I’m going to take advantage of it. We won’t let it slip through our fingers. When it’s time to go Cup racing, we can move on.”
Bayne has reason for optimism. He inherited the Roush Fenway team that raced to two straight Nationwide championships with Stenhouse Jr., who graduated to the Sprint Cup Series this season.
“We’re going for the championship,” he said. “That’s what our goal is and what our expectations are. When they’ve won two championships already, that’s kind of our thought process going into the third season. I don’t think there’s any reason we can’t. This is the best group of guys I could ask for.”
On the Sprint Cup side, Bayne figures he has a shot at more success in another part-time role with the Wood Brothers.
“We can do better,” Bayne said. “Everything is kind of reset with the new (Gen-6) cars. Nobody has experience with the new cars. When we go to Vegas, nobody will have any experience with these cars.
“I know the Wood Brothers put everything into it every time we go to the track. Every time we’re there, they put the best of the best on the track. I know we always have the best team they can field.”