MWR Releases Trevor Bayne

One of NASCAR brightest rising stars is now a free agent.

Michael Waltrip Racing has released Trevor Bayne from its development driver program effective immediately. MWR had Bayne signed with the team through 2011, but due to lack of sponsorship, was unable to fulfill its obligation.

One of the clauses in Bayne’s contract did state that the contract could be terminated if sponsorship issues arose, which was the case here.

Ryan Truex will take over Bayne’s #99 car for this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kansas. Martin Truex Jr. will drive the #00 for MWR, which is usually Ryan’s car.

While Bayne’s future is uncertain, Fox Sports suggests Bayne could join young talents Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Colin Braun, Erik Darnell, and Brian Ickler in Roush Fenway Racing’s development program.

With only 43 Nationwide Series starts under his belt, it is unlikely Bayne will end up in the Cup Series next year. But with Paul Menard’s departure at the end of the year, Roush’s #98 Nationwide Series car will open up, and Bayne could very well wind up hopping in that car next year.

We’ll keep you updated as we learn more about Trevor Bayne’s future. But my guess is Bayne’s time in free-agency will be very short-lived.

Tags: Martin Truex Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing Roush Racing Trevor Bayne

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  • Toil

    Seems there are already two or three good drivers needing the seat time in Roush’s nationwide program. Roush is making a habit of tossing out great talent without giving them enough opportunity to shine. This is not the same Nationwide program Bifle, Bush, and Edwards strutted their rookie stuff in. Now it is replete with Sprint cup regulars dominating the top ten. It takes longer to get your feet under you now, unless you’re driving the 18 or 20 Gibbs cars. Even Gibbs driver,Brad Coleman,who is a great young talent has had some bumps along the way. A rookie is going to have a real challenge even surviving a race when racing against middle of the pack contenders desperate to shine to keep sponsorship. The environment is fraught with dangers more than ever before. It is not fair to expect a rookie to look like a champion their first season. If you’re going to have a driver development program, let them REALLY develop for a WHOLE season when you put them in a new series.

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  • Glen Shoemaker

    Great point Toil although I would prefer he be picked up by a bowtie rather than a blue circle team. Maybe a 2011 Nationwide development team from Stewart-Hass? Bayne is a future great, no doubt about it. Are you listening Smoke?