Trevor Bayne just completed his fifth Xfinity Series start with Joe Gibbs Racing, and he has three remaining on his part-time 2023 schedule. However, the former Daytona 500 winner is taking a new approach to secure some more work.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. revealed during the USA Network broadcast of the Tennessee Lottery 250 that Bayne is putting in considerable effort away from the track. He is calling around to the Xfinity Series owners in pursuit of potential opportunities for the 2023 season. The broadcast booth also confirmed that Bayne wants to go full-time once again.
Bayne has not competed full-time in a national NASCAR series since the 2017 season when he drove for Roush Fenway Racing — now RFK Racing. The team replaced him with Matt Kenseth for 15 races in 2018, which ended his tenure as a Cup Series driver. Bayne remained out of NASCAR in 2019, but he returned for eight Camping World Truck Series starts in 2020 with Niece Motorsports.
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Bayne Took a Similar Approach Prior to Joining JGR
Calling around and trying to secure an opportunity is a change from previous years in Bayne’s career. The USA Network broadcast specifically mentioned that the Knoxville native had waited for his phone to ring in 2018, but it never happened. Now he is taking control of his future.
This approach has some similarities to another situation. Bayne’s eight-race schedule with JGR actually came to be after numerous conversations. He had many “passive” conversations with JGR’s EVP Xfinity Series/Development, Steve Desouza, about possibilities that could arise. These conversations did not immediately lead to an opportunity, but they played a role in the 2022 season.
Bayne has turned in some strong performances during his part-time schedule. He posted top-five finishes at both Auto Club Speedway and Phoenix Raceway while also winning one Pole Award. He added a top-10 finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Though slow pit stops and penalties have kept him from truly contending for the win.
This was the case at Nashville Superspeedway on June 25. Bayne ran inside the top five throughout the afternoon, but a pit road penalty dropped him to the rear of the field during the final stage. He then recovered and ultimately finished second overall behind race-winner Justin Allgaier.
Bayne Has 1 Important Goal for 2022
Will Bayne’s strategy pay off? Will he secure an opportunity for the 2023 season after spending time calling the different Xfinity Series owners? There is no clear answer, but Bayne knows that he needs to accomplish one goal in the immediate future.
“I think I need to win some races this year,” Bayne told Heavy during an interview in May. “I think if we go winless, it’s going to be tough to continue. But I think if I can win two or three races here out of these next five, that it could create other opportunities, whether it be the Cup level or Xfinity level. And that’s my desire.
“Like if I had an opportunity to run 10 races to full-time next year, I would love to do that, along with continuing to do TV. Hopefully, I can delegate more things at Mahalo [Coffee Roasters] so I have time to do it all.”
Bayne has remained open with media members about moves that he needs to make in 2022. He has explained multiple times that he needs to win at least one race to potentially secure another opportunity for the 2023 season.
With the race at Nashville Superspeedway complete, he will now have three more opportunities. Bayne’s schedule with Joe Gibbs Racing continues with trips to New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16 and Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 15. He will cap off his season with the October 22 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.