Bayne's win pointless

New rule will keep Daytona champ from proper reward

February 23, 2011|By George Diaz

It didn't take long for NASCAR to blow a tire on the joy ride that is the Trevor Bayne experience.

Here's how many Cup points the kid received for winning the Daytona 500:

Zero. Nada.

Bayne, 20, was caught in the crosshairs of a new rule — well-intentioned mind you — of not allowing Cup drivers to cross over to the Nationwide Series and pick off victories and points.

The series has become a glorified weekend hobby for Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and many other Cup regulars.

This season, drivers can collect points in only one NASCAR series. It's their choice.

Because he was scheduled to run part-time on the Sprint Cup circuit, Bayne picked the Nationwide Series.


No worries. No regrets.

"I think I'm going to stay in Nationwide," Bayne said during a teleconference Tuesday afternoon. "The only thing that changes is that we're Daytona 500 champions. I still think we can have an awesome year. … I don't regret any decisions there."

A wild-card element remains in play for the 2011 Chase: Two drivers can join the top 10 because the final two spots will go to drivers with the most victories who aren't already eligible, as long as they are in the top 20.

Although Bayne is allowed to change his mind and declare himself a Cup challenger — and that will happen only if he gets the sponsorship for a full ride — he will not be allowed any retroactive points for winning the 500.

Bayne would need a full-time Cup ride to have a shot at the top 20 in points before the Chase cutoff with 10 races to go in the season.

Bayne races for an iconic team in NASCAR history — the Wood brothers — and although there have been some sponsorship feelers in the form of text messages, it seems unlikely the Wood brothers would get the backing to run their first full season since 2008.

"It's a good problem to have," co-owner Eddie Wood said.

Bayne hasn't had much time to think about the big picture, since he has been slammed with congratulations and promotional appearances.

There have been calls from Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and somebody representing a pretty prominent guy from Washington.

The White House contacted Bayne to set up a call from President Barack Obama in a few days.

"As soon as I get 10 seconds to slow down it hits me," Bayne said. "I never knew it would be so big."

He was speaking Tuesday to reporters from a car on his way to catch a plane from Chicago to San Francisco for another promotional appearance.

He was scheduled to meet with race fans for an Ice Cream Social at Ghirardelli Square.

The joy ride continues.

The kid is a champ, no matter what box he checked to start the season.

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