A lack of sponsorship forced Roush Fenway Racing to sideline Trevor Bayne for this week’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, even though he’s ranked fourth in the Nationwide Series standings.
Bayne went into the season knowing the organization could sit the No. 60 team at any time.
Roush President Steve Newmark said Wednesday the organization had hoped to lure a sponsor by running Bayne in the first five races of the season.
“We started the year with the idea we were going to run him and spur some additional interest. But at some point we knew it wasn’t tenable to continue that program this year,” Newmark said.
Bayne is scheduled to race Saturday night’s Sprint Cup Series race for the Wood Brothers, the team he drove for last year when he won the Daytona 500. It will be his third Cup start of the season.
RATINGS DROP: Most would agree the racing has been good this year in the Sprint Cup Series. There have been surprising, controversial and dominating endings in the first six races.
So why are television ratings down across the board?
A final rating of 4.3 for the April 1 race at Martinsville Speedway continued a string of six declines in a row compared to last year, according the Nielsen Media Research.
Last year’s race at Martinsville drew at 4.4.
Based on Nielsen, there were 400,000 fewer people watching the race at Martinsville compared to 2011.
The ratings slide started with the season-opening Daytona 500. The original start was pushed back by 30 hours for rain. While Monday night’s rating of 8.0 was a considered an overwhelming success by fans, race officials and television executives, it still fell short of the 8.7 rating of a year ago.
THAT’S FAST: Everyone knew new pavement at Michigan International Speedway would lead to faster speeds, but nobody expected straightaway speeds of more than 215 mph.
“This place is fast – I mean fast, fast,” Juan Pablo Montoya said after testing tires there last week.
“Our minimum speed there was over 180 mph in the corner.”
Ryan Newman holds the track record with a qualifying lap of 194.232 mph.