Jack Roush, founder and co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing, confirmed on Wednesday night that driver Trevor Bayne will not be returning to the organization in 2019.
Bayne, 27, has driven for Roush since the final months of the 2010 season, when he jumped ship from Michael Waltrip Racing’s XFINITY Series team to Roush’s team in the same series. He also took over driving duties of Wood Brothers Racing’s iconic No. 21 on the Cup side on a part-time basis late that year. The next year, Bayne shocked the world by winning the Daytona 500 for the Wood Brothers and became an overnight celebrity.
After finishing sixth in XFINITY Series points for two straight years for Roush, Bayne left the Wood Brothers and moved to the Cup Series full-time with Roush in 2015. The Tennessee native took over the organization’s No. 99, which was then renumbered to No. 6 and both the driver and car were endorsed by Hall of Fame driver Mark Martin, who was the former driver of the No. 6 for Roush for over 15 years in Cup.
In spite of both the prestige and the hype of being a Daytona 500 winner, Bayne has largely underperformed with RFR. His best season was last year, where he recorded just six top 10 finishes and finished 22nd in points. This year, RFR hired Matt Kenseth to return to the Cup Series to split the ride with Bayne for the rest of the season, partially due to sponsorship and partially to figure out why the No. 6 has been mediocre for so long.
“We’re in negotiations with drivers right now to drive the six car next year,” Roush told SirusXM in an interview. “I think the decision’s been made that Trevor isn’t going to be in the car next year”.
— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) September 13, 2018
Roush has options. SBJ reported this past week that Ryan Newman might be one of the drivers Roush could be talking to. Although there have been no reports of negotiations between the two parties, former Roush driver Jamie McMurray could also be in the running for the seat after Chip Ganassi confirmed on Monday that he won’t be back with that team full time. And, of course, Kenseth may also be an option if the 46-year-old decides to return to full-time competition.
As for Bayne, no public comment has been made as far his future in the sport as of publication.