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Originally slated to drive the No. 60 on a full-time basis in 2012, Roush-Fenway Racing has struggled to find sponsorship for Bayne. Friday’s race will mark his sixth event on the NNS schedule this year.
“I’m really excited to be back at Bristol. It’s our home track and there’s no better color to run here than Tennessee orange, so it’s a perfect fit with Pat Summitt being on the car and really just raising awareness for her and Alzheimer’s with the situation she has going on, but I feel honored that I get to represent Pat Summitt.,” Bayne told reporters at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday. His last trip to BMS was in March where he finished eighth after starting second.
Bayne went on to discuss his plans for 2013. With Roush teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. moving up to the Cup Series to take over Matt Kenseth’s ride, Bayne is optimistic about his chances to run a full season and compete for the Championship saying, “…a good decision to go out there and get that first full season under our belt in that series and work on running for points because I’ve done that a limited amount. I haven’t got to go points racing and I think it would be good to get that under our belt before we go to that Cup level when it’s gonna be even tougher to do that and get that experience.”
Bayne says although full sponsorship hasn’t been secured for his 2013 effort, he believes they will be able to pull it together much like the team did for Stenhouse in 2012. “They’ve told me that and it sounds like it’s in concrete, but I’m sure things can still change before the season starts. But, as of now, we’re gonna run full-time Nationwide next year.”
Bayne will also return to the Sprint Cup Series in 2013, running a limited schedule in the No. 21 Wood Brother’s Ford.