CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Former Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne and Roush Fenway Racing are bringing the No. 6 car back to Sprint Cup fulltime next season.
Bayne and owner Jack Roush announced the move Saturday before Sprint Cup practice for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“This is obviously the biggest news I’ve ever had in my life,” said Bayne, 23. “Although we’ve had some big news before, this takes the cake.”
Roush said his organization is open to running four teams next year, but said plans for 2015 were not set. He did not have any updates on continuing negotiations with the program’s two biggest stars in Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle.
“The fact we’ve taken the No. 6 car indicates we have plans open for a fourth car” next season, Roush said. “But it’s still in a state of flux and we’ll have more to announce on that later.”
A month ago at Darlington, Biffle said his contract talks were progressing well and he anticipated finishing the deal in the near future. Edwards has been less committal in his comments about remaining with Roush Fenway past this season.
Edwards has raced fulltime for Roush since 2005, picking up 22 victories. Biffle’s in his 11th full season with the “Cat In The Hat” and has 19 wins for the program. Edwards has Roush’s lone victory this year at Bristol Motor Speedway in March.
RFR President Steve Newmark said the company understood the interest in their stars’ status, but would not detail contract negotiations.
“My hope is we’ll have something on both of those in the near future,” he said.
Right now, Roush Fenway has two of its drivers ready for 2015 with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on board along with Bayne, who won Daytona in 2011. His best showing in four Sprint Cup races this season was 19th place at Texas Motor Speedway last month.
For Bayne, this is fulfillment of a dream he envisioned since he was a boy. Not that it was not without some emotion. Bayne acknowledged he was a bit shaken after sharing his news with owners Len and Eddie Wood, who helped Bayne with his Daytona 500 win.
“If I’m a little shaky and look like I might have been teared up a little bit, it’s from talking to those guys,” Bayne said. “Just the support they’ve given me over the last three years to be able to get to a place where I could have this opportunity.”
Roush ran the No. 6 car with driver Mark Martin from 1988 to 2006, winning 35 times during that span. David Ragan ran the No. 6 car from 2007 through 2011 before primary sponsor UPS ended its backing.
Roush had been waiting ever since for the team’s revival.
“The No. 6 DNA has worked its way through the organization,” Roush said. “It’s been great to think about getting the No. 6 back on the track.”
Newmark said there was a chance it might come sooner than later, acknowledging that Roush Fenway leaders might want to give Bayne’s team the opportunity to hit the track later this year to get their feet wet before the 2015 season.
Stenhouse Jr. ran four Sprint Cup races the season before he moved up fulltime with Roush Fenway. Bayne’s experience in the big circuit makes that less essential, Newmark said, “but I still think you’ll see us try to position something where we have the six roll out the latter part of this year.”