By Brian Eberly, Contributing Writer
*Editor’s note: Motorsports Tribune will be previewing the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season for 24 drivers. We will release one driver preview per day over a 24-day stretch.
Years in Cup: 7 (Five part-time with Wood Brothers and two full-time with Roush-Fenway)
Career Wins: 1
Biggest Accomplishment: 2011 Daytona 500 champion
Trevor Bayne came into the Cup Series with a bang, winning a race in just his second start. And it wasn’t just any race; Bayne took the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford to victory lane in the 2011 Daytona 500, just one day after his 20th birthday, to become the youngest winner in the history of the historic race.
Since the big Daytona 500 win, the Knoxville, Tenn. native competed in 56 more Cup races on a part-time schedule with Wood Brothers over the next several seasons but did not record a top-five result. After running the full XFINITY schedule for Roush Fenway, Bayne was promoted to the Cup Series for the 2015 season on a full-time basis.
Bayne enters 2017 with big changes in both his personal and professional life. Trevor and wife Ashton revealed they are expecting a second child in June, a boy, to join their daughter who was born last December. On the racing side, it was announced late last season that Bayne will pilot the No. 6 Ford with Roush Fenway Racing through the 2019 season with Advocare as the primary sponsor.
“AdvoCare has been an outstanding partner to work with, and I am really excited to continue this relationship and represent AdvoCare for three more seasons,” said Bayne when the announcement was made at the end of the 2016 season.
“It’s a top-notch organization with a great group of employees and Independent Distributors who share our core principles of hard work and determination. For me it’s more than a sponsorship. I regularly use their products to stay in top form on and off the track.
The other big change in the Roush organization is the reduction of their three-car operation with Greg Biffle will not racing for the team in 2017 and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. returning as Bayne’s teammate. Roush Fenway has not been to Victory Lane in the Cup Series since 2014 and none of their cars made the Chase last season.
Bayne did improve seven spots in the championship standings, to 22nd, from his 29th-place finish in his first full-time Cup season in 2015. The 25-year-old driver recorded his first top-five finish since the 2011 Daytona 500 when he placed fifth at Bristol Motor Speedway in August 2015. Bayne backed that up with a third-place finish in the July race at Daytona. While Bayne’s Roush Fenway Fords lacked the speed of other teams during the season, he only had two DNFs (engine at Darlington and a wreck in New Hampshire’s Chase race).
With Stewart-Haas Racing moving to Fords for the 2017 season, it remains to be seen if the move will impact the manufacturer support Roush receives or if it negatively affects their performance on the track.
While the 2016 season can be called a step in the right direction, further improvement will be needed in 2017 to return the team and the organization to their former prominence in the Cup Series.
Other 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Driver Previews