With the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series set for its first race at Darlington Raceway since 2011, one of Niece Motorsports‘ drivers will invoke memories of that season. On Monday, the team announced Trevor Bayne will make his Truck début in the #40 Chevrolet Silverado. It will be his first NASCAR race since 2018.
The 2011 Daytona 500 winner, Bayne raced in the Cup Series for much of the 2010s with Wood Brothers Racing and Roush Fenway Racing. After running the full 2015 to 2017 seasons, he scaled back to a part-time schedule with Roush in 2018 before being out of a ride entirely. In the years since, he returned to his hometown Knoxville, Tennessee, and set up the Mahalo Coffee Roasters shop. In 187 career Cup starts, he has sixteen top-ten finishes, five top fives, the Daytona victory, and a best points finish of twenty-second in 2016 and 2017.
“After almost two years of being out of the seat, I’m so excited and grateful for another chance to go racing,” Bayne said in a team release. “The call from Niece Motorsports to get back behind the wheel at Darlington was unexpected and came together really fast. They have a great group and a lot of potential with their program. I’m looking forward to working with everyone there and going back racing this weekend!”
Although he has not been behind the wheel of a NASCAR stock car in two years,he made a guest appearance in the NASCAR-sanctioned eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series in March.
Bayne will not be the only former Roush Cup driver in the Truck field. Greg Biffle will race for GMS Racing, while David Ragan is in the #17 for DGR-Crosley. Biffle was Bayne’s team-mate in 2015 and 2016, while Ragan had left RFR after 2011 but remained in the Roush camp. Incidentally, Biffle’s team-mate Zane Smith‘s #21 will sport a Wood Brothers throwback scheme for the race.
Niece’s #40 has been shared by a litany of drivers in 2020, including Ross Chastain, Garrett Smithley, Ryan Truex, T.J. Bell, Travis Pastrana, and Carson Hocevar. Like Bayne, Pastrana is a former Roush driver who was signed for a one-off race in the #40 after multiple years away from the sport. Cody Efaw, Niece’s general manager, was a former employee at Roush.
“I’ve known Trevor for years,” Efaw commented. “He’s extremely talented and a class act. We are excited to have him behind the wheel at Darlington.”
The #40 is currently nineteenth in the owners’ standings. Chastain holds the truck’s best finish of the year with a sixth at Pocono Raceway in June.