The Frontstretch: 2013 NASCAR Driver Review: Trevor Bayne by Vito Pugliese -- Monday December 9, 2013

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2013 NASCAR Driver Review: Trevor Bayne

Vito Pugliese · Monday December 9, 2013


2013 Rides: No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford (Cup), No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford (Nationwide)

2013 Sponsors: Motorcraft Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center (Cup)
Ford EcoBoost, Fastenal, Valvoline, Cargill, World Financial Group, Pillow Pets, National Children’s Hospital, Roush Clean Tech (Nationwide)

2013 Team Owners: Wood Brothers Racing
2013 Crew Chiefs: Donnie Wingo (Cup), Michael Kelly (Nationwide)
2013 Stats: 45 combined NNS and Cup Series starts
Nationwide: 1 Wins, 7 top 5s, 21 top 10s, 1 poles, 6th in points
Sprint Cup: 12 starts, 0 Wins, 0 top 5s, 0 top 10s

2013 Best Finishes
Nationwide: Winner – Iowa
Cup: 15th – Michigan

2013 Average Finishes
Nationwide: 11.5.
Cup: 25.1.

Trevor Bayne looks forward to a more successful 2014, and not rushing into just any full-time Cup Series ride.

2013 Team Ranking: 1st of 3. As the 2013 season started, things were looking up for Trevor Bayne. After having become the youngest winner of the Daytona 500 in only his second start in 2011, he was sidelined with what was believed to be the effects of Lyme’s Disease that year. He maintained his partial schedule for 2012 in both Cup and Nationwide, but in 2013 was taking over the seat of the No. 6 Ford Mustangs that had won the previous two Nationwide championships with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. at the wheel. As the senior driver on a team that included crash-prone rookie Travis Pastrana and occasional appearances by Carl Edwards, Ryan Reed, Billy Johnson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Chris Buescher, the No. 6 team was unable to capture their third-straight Nationwide Series title.

2013 High Points: A pole at Daytona in February looked to get things off on the right foot, and a win at Iowa helped set the stage for successful summer, though the No. 6 team could never quite gain the consistency needed to regain the ground needed to challenge for a third straight title. His first full season in that car however, resulted in seven top 5s and 21 top 10’s – and he looks to be returning for a full season in 2014 as well. On the Cup Side of things, he only made 12 starts this year, but the retro 1963 paint scheme and uniform ran at this year’s Daytona 500 was pretty cool. Bayne also married his fiance Ashton Clapp in June.

2013 Low Points: Even with a top 10 points finish, the year was plagued with stretches of either Top 10s or finishes outside of the Top 10 – including a span of four races from Texas to Darlington early in the year that saw runs of 26th, 12th, 28th, and 32nd drop him to 12th in points.

Frustration further mounted for Bayne this year when it was revealed late in the season that what was first believed to be symptoms stemming from Lyme’s Disease, was actually the early onset of Multiple Sclerosis.

Summary: On the Cup Side of things, Bayne and the Wood Brothers seem content to take what they can get as far as sponsorship and opportunities to compete. For 2013, their partial schedule was reduced further to only 12 appearances, the best being a 15th at Michigan in June. Even though the No. 21 team is supplied cars and engines from Roush Fenway Racing, showing up the equivalent of once every three weeks is not going to build much in the way of cohesion or competitiveness. It continues to be a commentary to the state of racing economics when a marketable young man who’s already won a Daytona 500 is unable to attract a sponsor to show up to the track more than a handful of times a year.

As far as his Nationwide performance was concerned, one win and 21 Top 10s were not enough to undo the early season challenges and sub-par finishes. If Bayne is to contend for the title next year, getting off to a strong start is a must. While Austin Dillon and Sam Hornish decided the title amongst each other with one combined win, more than a lone victory will be needed to establish himself as a consistent winner and Cup-caliber talent.

2014 Outlook: It was announced in August that Bayne plans to be back in the No. 6 full-time in 2014, with Chad Norris as Crew Chief and AdvoCare as primary sponsor. He will also remain as the Wood Brothers driver in a limited capacity based on sponsorship. With the No. 6 car still mothballed at Roush Fenway Racing on the Cup side, should sponsorship be found and Roush feeling he’s ready, Bayne would be the natural transition to that seat.

2013 Grade: A-. A bit more could have been reasonably expected since this team had won the past two titles, but we’ll grade this one on a curve given his health issues and an organization that spent a lot of time repairing a teammates wrecked racecars, it’s hard to fault him for nearly cracking the Top 5. 2014 should show a marked improvement.

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12/09/2013 12:05 PM

He could be better in 2014. All that’s needed is for him to remain healthy. It appears the author thinks the Roush shop had to repair so many wrecked cars, they were held back in other ways. For example, they couldn’t give Trevor better cars always.