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Could Bayne’s post-race comments hurt his future?

By admin | October 24, 2011

By Richard Allen


At the young age of 21, Trevor Bayne has experienced more ups and downs in his relatively brief racing life than many drivers twice his age. This season has served as a microcosm of his entire career, and after Sunday’s Sprint Cup race in Talladega he appears to be in the midst of another down time.

Bayne has had rides at Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and Diamond-Waltrip Racing pulled out from under him only to land with Roush Fenway Racing and the Wood Brothers in a situation that produced an unlikely Daytona 500 victory this past February. Then, a mysterious illness sidelined the driver during the middle stages of 2011.

Throughout much of the Good Sam Club 500 the Knoxville, Tennessee native worked with veteran Robby Gordon as the pair negotiated lap after lap employing the 2×2 form of racing that has become the norm at Talladega and Daytona. However, after Gordon’s Dodge suffered body damage Bayne was left to find another partner. For a while, the #21 car worked with fellow Ford driver Marcos Ambrose.

But it was at the end of the race where Bayne ran into a fateful crossroads. With Ambrose having suffered body damage in a late race crash and Robby Gordon not around, he needed a partner.

One driver who had also just lost his mate was Jeff Gordon and so spotters worked to hastily piece together a deal between the two. At first, it appeared as though the tandem, who had successfully worked together during a qualifying race in Daytona back in February, would make an attempt to rekindle that magic.

However, when Ford driver and Chase for the Championship contender Matt Kenseth suddenly needed help due to the engine troubles of his partner, David Ragan, Bayne switched lanes and offered his assistance to Kenseth. Keep in mind that a well publicized directive had been sent out to all Ford drivers earlier in the weekend that they were to aid Kenseth and Carl Edwards should the need arise.

Gordon was immediately angered. “He dicked us!” the four time champion yelled into his team radio. “He screwed us!” Adding later that it was a move he would not soon forget.

After the race the young driver was clearly disappointed at the way things had played out. And to express his feelings, he went to the Twitter social networking site. “I’m not happy about what this has become… It’s too premeditated. We should be able to go with whoever is around,” Bayne tweeted. Also adding that, “I would have rather pulled over & finished last than tell @JeffGordonWeb I’d work w/ him and then be strong armed into bailing.”

Unfortunately, comments made in the heat of the moment cannot be taken back and are often remembered for a long time. And it has been both those he helped and didn’t help who have taken exception.

Kenseth retorted on Twitter that, “Wow…..for the record I had no verbal contact with @tbayne21 today, or for that matter weeks. Not sure who “strong armed” him but I assure you it wasn’t me.”

Ford, and its primary team, Roush Fenway Racing, has proven to be rather clannish. A comment by a driver that he was “strong armed” out of a decision to help a Chase contender who drives a Chevrolet may not sit too well with the powers that be within that organization.

Bayne considers Jeff Gordon to be one of his heroes and was clearly upset that he had to back out of a deal that apparently had been struck. However, the best course of action in this case would have likely been to just say nothing at all. But most importantly, not angering those who hold his future in hand would be a personal imperative for the driver.

With sponsorships hard to come by, even Daytona 500 winners have to mind what they say in today’s NASCAR.

Topics: Articles |

14 Responses to “Could Bayne’s post-race comments hurt his future?”

  1. zhills fan Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 6:38 am

    nascar has went to hell in a hand basket anyway. wwf is better to watch than this crap anyway, at least it’s not all commercial!

  2. Bill B Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 6:54 am

    It’s one thing to follow your boss’ orders. You have to do that.
    It’s another thing to squelch your own opinion after the fact.
    Maybe this will hurt him in the long run with dictator Roush but at least he will be able to look at himself in the mirror.

  3. jerseygirl Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 8:06 am

    It may hurt Bayne’s career, but it’s good to see some honesty. Oh wait, this is NASCAR, no honesty or actual thinking allowed.

    I am pulling for anyone to win the sprint trophy BUT a ford at this point. I sincerely hope that Stewart has it right and that “life can get difficult” for Jack Roush - who has to be one of the all time sourpuss owners in the world.

  4. Russ Edwards Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Of course it will. Corporations have long memories. And with more drivers than cars….. After all Roush has more than one excess driver who will obey orders and keep his mouth shut.
    But it will be after a decent interval, not in the near future.

  5. Charles Stiemly Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 8:43 am

    If what Kenseth says is true, and that he and Bayne haven’t talked for weeks, you have to wonder if something else has been transpiring between Bayne and the Roush origanization for some time that we don’t know about. Maybe Bayne has known that he’s out of a ride for next year. One thing’s for certain, and that is that we haven’t heard the end of this by a long ways.

  6. midasmicah Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 9:05 am

    nascar hit a new low Sunday. The “tandem” racing is a joke. Talladega and Bristol (my two favorite tracks for years) have been neutered. This long, long time fan has almost seen enough. The “politics of dancing” be damned.

  7. Charles Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 9:32 am


    This seems to be a seed planted by some of the other teams who have used this trick for years!!!

    Repeat Trevor Bayne owes no apology peroid! especialy to Hendricks teams who want to play this image of ‘GOOD GUY’ and make a issue that has been Hendricks Jeff Gordon and have lived by it forever! They want to promote all this holyier that thou image and behind the scenes do the dirty work!

    This is a great example of the planted GM or Chevy Media, remember all you could hear was Ford had and advantage with the FR9 Engine this year, they demote Ford drivers or other brand who step in the GM-Nascar world and start to give them competition!

    After Jeff Gordon and Dale Sr dominated in the 90s, Nascar gives them a new engine the SB2, then in 2007 after all the point titles, manufacterers titles, Daytona 500s they get another new engine the R07, no big isssue is made by the press, =Oh I forget they just have better drivers excuse me! But everyone know the Ford F.R.9 dont they!

    Just wait, if the Chase comes down to Edwards and Kennesth, the press will start changing the sernio of drivers, it will become a “Ford race “not Edwards and Kennesth!

    Rick Hendrick organization sunday on a caution flag told Mark Martin to stay out to keep Edwards from getting a point under caution, now go get a trascript or tape from MRN radio to prove what I am telling you!!!!Now you want a story this Richard would be a good one!!!!

    A lot of us fans dont care about Jeff Gordon feeling getting hurt, and for Tony Stewart after hitting people and bad comments he better be glad he is just at the race!!!!Mabe a search of what happen at Austria the first of the year be a good story as well!!

    When you say Roush is a clannished organization, clannished that who??? Rick Hendrick? Richard Childress? so of us are not drinking the Koolaide on that one!

  8. Sue Rarick Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Many years ago I made a promise my company approved of and was told that I had to break it at the last moment or lose my job… I told them my word was more important than a job and I’d be back Monday either to work or pick up my severence, their call.

    making it a matter of the money involved is like the joke about the woman accepting to have sex for 1 billion dollars and not for 5 dollars….what she is has been decided, they are now just negotiating the price…….honor is honor and if Trevor sufferes financially so be it. At least he has his honor which is more than can be said for many of the others involved.

  9. Glen H Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 10:45 am

    It’s not like Bayne has a ride for next year anyway.

    Heck, the Ford guys (Roush) can’t even come up with sponsorship to cover their full time drivers now, let alone new guys and part timers. Roush is even talking about cutting back to three cars.

    Baynes comments might have hurt him but I don’t really think he was in anyone’s long term plans to start with. He didn’t come up through the Roush system and Jack has more drivers in development that he knows what to do with.

  10. jerseygirl Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Sue, except Bayne doesn’t have his honor. He said he’d go with the 24 and then backed out — whether because he was told to or not appears to be in question now, but I’d go with my gut reaction which is that Bayne was telling the truth and the rest of the Ford and Roush statements are simply the usual corporate smoke and mirrors.

    Of course the point would be moot IF it didn’t require more than 1 car to go fast at RP tracks.

    Racing should be the fastest car wins, not partner up or fail.

  11. Sue Rarick Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Jerseygirl: Sort of like Piquet. He followed orders and regretted not following what he thought was right. With luck Roush will drop him and he can eventually pick up a ride with less of a Napolean complex.

    Luckily I had some session work and missed this past weeks stinkfest.

  12. sylvia richardson Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Just do your thing TREVOR YOU WILL BE JUST FINE. THEY WILL BE A RIDE FOR YOU. They know you are to good at your age to be put out to from a home town gal.. knoxville tn.SYLVIA

  13. Bruce Martin Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    I have noticed latley that Bayne has been shown talking to Johnson, Gordon and stewart, I picked up on it during pre race shows where the cameras walk around. I have thought that he was a little too frendly with the Hendrick drivers. I do believe Bayne is out at Ford, over the years the drivers not loyal to Ford only have moved on. I do not believe Bayne is loyal to anyone but his God. Think about it, a driver with his talant has been at three top teams in his short time.

  14. Aichel Says:
    November 1st, 2011 at 1:08 am

    I think Trevor had a right to say what he did. He knows he may be out of a ride next year, and he had just been ordered to go back on his word. His clean cut image is something that has attracted a lot of fans to him. In a matter of seconds, Ford/Roush severely undermined his integrity and seriously tarnished his image. The two options available to him were either to say what he felt and risk losing a ride or shut up and let the powers that be manipulate him, effectively undermining all he stands for, but at least he’d have a better chance of keeping his ride. So which option is the best one? Well, it depends on the person, and it can be argued there is no wrong or right. I, however, believe he was right to express how he felt. The idea that someone has to be quiet because they might anger their employer is a hard one to accept. They (NASCAR, the teams, manufacturers) are acting like they own the drivers. It’s like the drivers sell their souls when they sign the contracts. It’s just too much at this point.