I’ll be honest, I was one of the few who truly felt that Trevor Bayne should make a run at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title.
Sure, after his win in the Daytona 500, Bayne still had no driver points and sat about 40th in the standings. But being only 42 points behind, having that win in his back pocket, and showing that he really can run with the big boys had me convinced that Bayne was not only ready for Cup competition; he was ready to contend for a Chase spot.
Let’s face it, the guy just won the Daytona 500, he has 51 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts, and in just one week he grew up right in front of our eyes. All everyone has talked about since Sunday is how mature Bayne is, and how he’s exactly what NASCAR needs for its sport right now.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series is the sport’s final proving grounds. But in all honesty, what does Bayne have left to prove? I mean, he just won the Daytona 500!
On Wednesday, Bayne made his final decision as to which series he’s going to run in for points.
He’s sticking with Nationwide, which has been the plan from the beginning. He currently sits 6th in the standings in that series after Daytona, though he could have easily left there with the points lead.
Down there, he’s the star. The head-honcho. The favorite. There is stout competition in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, but it would be a surprise to no one if Bayne left 2011 with the championship in that series to go along with his 500 win.
My concern with that is what good will it do? He’s already seen the full slate of circuits at least once; some more than that. What will an extra season do besides give him another go at the tracks he’s already seen, delay his Cup career another year, and eliminate his shot at Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year honors?
But Bayne made this decision after several days of thinking about it. And if he’s as mature as everybody says(and I truly believe he is), it’s obvious that Bayne feels he needs one more go in the Nationwide Series, and that deep down, he feels he’s not ready for Cup.
And you know what? Trevor Bayne is the only person who knows what Trevor Bayne should do. He had a plan in place, and he feels he needs to stick to it. That’s what feels right to him, so that’s what he should do.
Even if not all of us may necessarily agree with it, or want to see him delay his first full year of Cup another season, Trevor Bayne knows best. And his decision may prove to be the right one.