Bayne Out At RFR After 2018 Season, Top 5 Potential Replacement Options

Jack Roush said on Wednesday night on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio with Claire B. Lang that Trevor Bayne wouldn’t be back with the team in the No. 6 Ford for the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. The move isn’t too shocking as Bayne was replaced on a full time basis with Matt Kenseth starting in May. The duo have split the ride for the rest of the season, a move the Tennessee native wasn’t too fond of.

“We’re making a search,” Roush said on Wednesday. “We’re in negotiations with drivers right now that would drive the 6 car next year. I think the decision’s been made. I don’t want to be breaking the story here, but I think the decision’s been made.

“Trevor is not going to be in the car next year. Who we’re talking to and how close we are in those negotiations, I’m not inclined to say.”

Bayne, joined RFR on a full time Cup Series basis in 2015. The problem is, he scored just four top-five finishes and 13 top-10s in three full time seasons from 2015-17.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won twice last year and made the playoffs. But, away from restrictor plate tracks, RFR struggled as a whole. That’s why they wanted someone of Kenseth’s stature to come back and see if he can diagnose what’s wrong with the cars and get them back to normal.

With that being said, here are the top five potential replacements for 2019.

Matt Kenseth

I mean, how can we not start here? He’s in the ride now and is getting closer and closer to contention. He even won a stage in this past weeks Brickyard 400 and has six top 20 finishes 10 tries in 2018. The car has two top 12 finishes in its last three starts on the season.

Will Kenseth want to race full time though? If so, I have a feeling the ride is his.

Chris Buescher

Everyone forgets that he was an RFR driver and on their payroll despite driving for different Cup teams. He’s a free agent at seasons end and while he’d like to remain with JTG Daugherty Racing, why not return to RFR? Buescher, made 74 NASCAR XFINITY Series starts with RFR including winning the 2015 championship.

Without anywhere to move up to on the Cup level for 2016, he joined Front Row Motorsports on loan from RFR. With a ride open now, it would make sense to move him back.

Matt DiBenedetto

He took a leap of faith in walking away from a full time gig with GoFas Racing to search for a top ride. While RFR isn’t a top ride yet, they’re on their way to being one again. He’s with Ford now and I know Ford sees value in him. Why not let him head to RFR and see what he’s got?

Kurt Busch

He’s rumored to be heading towards Chip Ganassi Racing in 2019 but why not a return to the team that gave him his first shot. He could start his career with RFR and end it with them too. His first five Cup Series season were with the organization as he won the 2004 championship with them. 10 of his wins came with RFR and he could bring them the same value that Kenseth is.

Also, Busch told me after the Brickyard 400 how much he loves Ford and driving for them. He’s made it known that he’d like to drive one of the sports cars in the future. Why not stay in the Ford family and finish where he started?

Jamie McMurray

The AP is reporting that he’s done with Ganassi at seasons end. Rumor is Busch is on their radar and that McMurray was offered an advisor role. What if he wants to keep racing though? It wouldn’t be the first time that McMurray left Ganassi for RFR. His first three full time seasons were with Ganassi before leaving for RFR for the 2006 season. He won twice with RFR, once in 2006 at Daytona and the other in 2009 at Talladega.

Again, he can bring a veteran voice for a couple of years.

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