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NASCAR Should Let Trevor Bayne Race For The Sprint Cup Championship

Posted by chadmusselman on March 7, 2011

So NASCAR made a rule to protect the “regulars” in the Nationwide series and prevent a Cup Series driver from winning their championship.  Drivers now have to declare which championship they’re driving for, and they won’t accumulate points in the other series whenever they run in it.  That sounds like a good idea, and probably is, but who would have thought the rule would protect the Cup Series drivers from a 20-year-old Nationwide driver?

Trevor Bayne threw a wrench in the system.  There’s no way a kid that just turned 20 should be able to compete with greats like Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, and a slew of others.  At Daytona he did more than compete with them, he won and showed that a kid with skill and a good team behind him can win any race he enters, even the largest most prestigious race of the season.

It wasn’t a fluke win either.  The race wasn’t shortened by weather or bad track conditions.  There wasn’t a huge wreck that took out all of the top contenders, and no one ran out of gas.  Bayne won the race because he had a great car and showed that right now he’s a driver that can win any time.

The kid does the unthinkable by winning the Daytona 500 and gets a whopping 0 points in the Sprint Cup standings for the effort.  Why, you may ask?  Because, before the season started his Sprint Cup schedule was going to consist of 16 or 17 races to get experience.  He declared he’d be racing the full Nationwide Series schedule and running for that championship. 

Now that he won the Daytona 500 and raced in the other two Cup races this season he should be tied for 18th in points.  How can NASCAR allow the Daytona 500 winner not be eligible for the championship?  I know what the rules are, but come on.  Bayne is obviously ready to take this on and probably contend to make the chase.

What about sponsorship you may be asking?  Really?  He has a sponsor for 16 or 17 races.  I don’t think it would be hard to have Motorcraft pony up for the other 19 or 20 races.  If they don’t I’m sure there are other companies out there that would live to sponsor the Daytona 500 champ.  If given the opportunity I can’t imagine Bayne turning it down.  You’d be a fool not too.

What are your thoughts?  Should NASCAR have considered allowing Trevor Bayne to race for the Sprint Cup championship and not the Nationwide?  Are there other issues that doing this could have brought up?

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One Response to “NASCAR Should Let Trevor Bayne Race For The Sprint Cup Championship”

  1. Joel said

    Well, the rules are the rules, and the France family makes them. However, food for thought: For the first 5 races, the top 35 in previous-year owners points are guaranteed a spot. Why not keep the declaration rule, but amend it so that a driver declares after the 5th race? Wouldn’t be too hard to adjust points retroactively.

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