By admin | February 22, 2011
By Richard Allen
During the off season NASCAR announced that drivers would have to declare which series they intended to compete for the season long title in. The purpose of forcing such declarations was to prevent Sprint Cup drivers from crossing over and winning the Nationwide Series title.
However, a kink in the declaration rule was revealed when Nationwide regular Trevor Bayne won the coveted Daytona 500 this past Sunday. Because Bayne is only scheduled to compete in about half the Sprint Cup races this year for the Wood Brothers, he declared for the Nationwide championship. In that series the young Knoxville native has a fulltime ride with Roush Fenway Racing.
After winning a Sprint Cup race, the question of whether Bayne would seek that series title was asked. While the prospect of the Daytona 500 winner changing his declaration might seem like a good idea on the surface, it really does not make much sense to suddenly switch in midstream.
The first and most obvious reason for Bayne to stay the course in the Nationwide Series is that if he were to switch, his Daytona 500 victory would mean nothing on the Cup side. He would have to go into the second race of the season with no points and no win to his credit. Every other competitor would have a one race head start over him and in this new points system in which coming from behind may be difficult, that would be a tall order.
Another strong factor to consider against Bayne changing courses is the fact that Wood Brothers Racing has not planned to run a full season. Putting an organization together to compete on a 36 race schedule is not something that simply happens overnight. Other teams began laying the groundwork for this season before the last even ended. The team would be working from a deficit situation right from the beginning.
And more, there is a reason why the Wood Brothers are only planning to run about half the races in 2011. That’s all they have sponsorship for. Even with a Daytona 500 trophy on the mantle it would be difficult to convince some company to put up the type of money needed to fund a Sprint Cup team on such a whim. There would no time to mount an effective marketing campaign and all the other sideline factors that go into such an undertaking.
“The only thing that changed is that we get to be the Daytona 500 champions, which is really, really incredible,” Bayne said during a media conference call on Tuesday. “But I think that we’re still going to have an awesome year at Roush Fenway, running for that Nationwide championship.
Trevor Bayne has planned since last year to run for the Nationwide Series championship in 2011. His decision to stay the course is a wise one.
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