The 2023 Season is Packed With Storylines for FOX Sports Analysts

FOX Sports

FOX Sports Trevor Bayne (left) & Kaitlyn Vincie (middle) have picked out some favorite storylines.

The 2023 NASCAR season begins the weekend of February 17-19. There are several prominent storylines to watch, but two FOX Sports analysts have picked out their favorites.

Trevor Bayne and Kaitlyn Vincie provided the insight ahead of the trip to Los Angeles for the Busch Light Clash. They both explained that they can’t wait to see how certain drivers produce during a pivotal season, and they explained why the Craftsman Truck Series is near the top of the list in terms of intrigue.

“A lot of times I’m thinking about the Truck Series because that’s what I do the most,” Bayne said. “And for me, the thing I’m looking forward to seeing is all of these manufacturers that have shifted around and the trickle-down effect from Kyle Busch [moving to Chevrolet].

“Like, it didn’t just affect him in Cup. You look at, ‘Okay, now he’s Chevrolet. David Gilliland and TRICON Garage come to Toyota and ThorSport comes to Ford. Because of that, Hailie Deegan’s in, now Christian Eckes is out. There’s all these moving parts, so Daytona to me is fun to watch because you have all these people and all these new spots. It’s like, how are they going to show up after two months?”

“Hailie Deegan and the trucks, she started racing full time in 2021, and she only had one top-10 performance that year,” Vincie said. “Last season, she only had two. Now she’s going to a team, that’s a proven success in the Truck Series, past champions. So I think this will be her year, or it won’t be.

“This will be the time to really see, I think, where her skill sets lie in this particular series because she’ll have all the tools and resources around her to really succeed. A great opportunity with a very well-respected, proven success team within that series. I was reading that she is enjoying the pressure of the new situation she’s in. She likes that. She enjoys having that pressure kind of on her shoulders. So I feel like this is kind of a make-or-break year for her in a way.”

A 2-Time Champion Deserves Several Segments on TV

Trevor Bayne

FOX SportsTrevor Bayne poses during a FOX Sports photoshoot.

Bayne and Vincie spend an extensive amount of time discussing the Craftsman Truck Series, and they will have the opportunity to continue doing so throughout the 2023 season on episodes of “NASCAR RaceDay.” They will also examine a prominent storyline in the Cup Series.

Both Bayne and Vincie mentioned Kyle Busch’s move to Richard Childress Racing when discussing the 2023 season. They expressed interest in his prospects at the Chevrolet team and tried to determine if he will continue to contend for wins.

“Kyle Busch makes any team stronger that he’s at,” Vincie continued. “That was such an interesting and unusual story to follow last year as it was unfolding, sort of trying to figure out where the pieces were gonna land, where he was eventually going to be. I think that he’s just such a tremendous talent. It doesn’t matter where he is, he’ll always be competitive, running up front, contending for wins, being the Kyle Busch we’ve all known and grown to enjoy seeing on track.

“So I’ll be curious to see how quickly they can get things going for him. Every track we go to he’s competitive at. So I imagine that will stay the same. I would love to see him just kind of rejuvenate that organization even more so than we saw last year. They had a great campaign in 2022 without him. I just think he’s gonna bring a lot of knowledge, a lot of success, a new kind of way of looking at things. So I know that everyone at RCR is very much looking forward to having him and seeing how he can improve their program as a whole.”

“I feel like Daytona, everybody’s excited to get there,” Bayne said. “So to me, that’s the fun race. Being a past winner, it is always special to see that, and I just think that’s cool. So that’s my storyline is, ‘How does everybody start out the new year?

“And then on the Cup side, back to Kyle Busch, he’s never won a [Daytona] 500 but he’s at RCR. Always great at speedway racing. AJ Allmendinger, Ty Gibbs, Noah Gragson, coming in. It’s just exciting to see the start of the new year and figure out what car everybody’s in.”

Vincie Also Highlighted 1 Final Ride

The Truck Series, Deegan, and Busch were all storylines mentioned by the two FOX Sports analysts. Vincie also took a moment to discuss Kevin Harvick, who announced that 2023 will be his final season in the Cup Series.

“I personally will be sad to see him go,” Vincie said. “I’ve always really enjoyed watching his career. I think he’s kind of done things his own way. He has a Hall of Fame-worthy career, no question. Past champion.

“I think back to 2020 when we just saw the dominance of that team when they won nine races. It was wild, and obviously, it was a different era, a different car, all the things. But I’ll be curious if he can really go out on a high note. We don’t always see that with drivers in their final year.”

As Vincie explained, she knows that Harvick will try to go out and win more races. Right now, she is more focused on whether he will get a proper send-off. She compared the situation to the 2020 season when Jimmie Johnson took his final ride without any fans in attendance.

2023 will be a significantly different situation. There will be fans flocking to the tracks on the schedule, and they will have opportunities to watch Harvick in person as he tries to add more wins to his career resume and make another run toward the championship four. They will also help provide this send-off for the 2014 Cup Series champion.

“There’s all kinds of stories to watch in 2023, which makes it really exciting for us, of course, as journalists,” Vincie said in closing. “So we’ll be busy this year, to say the least.”

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