NASCAR

Bayne set to miss NASCAR All-Star race

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Lee Spencer

Lee Spencer is the Senior NASCAR Writer for FOXSports.com. She has provided award-winning coverage of auto racing over the last 15 years. Spencer has lent her expertise to both television and radio and is a regular contributor to SiriusXM Radio and the Performance Racing Network. Follow her on Twitter.

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BRISTOL, Tenn.

NASCAR’s newest star, Trevor Bayne, is not expected to race in the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21.

Bayne, 20, automatically became eligible for the event with his win in the Daytona 500 last month.

However, before the season the Wood Brothers scheduled only 16 races for Bayne. The Wood Brothers added Martinsville last month and, after his early success on restrictor plate tracks, they opted to move one of the later dates to Talladega in April. The Darlington race in May has also been added to Bayne’s schedule, giving him 18 for the season.

“We weren’t planning on going to the Open (the all-star qualifying race) anyway,” team co-owner Eddie Wood said. “Naturally, we’re in it, but we weren’t going to run it. If you’re going to spend money, you’re going to run points races.

“The way the new points system is now, it may be possible to stay in the top 35 and not run all the races if you’re fairly consistent. Last year if we didn’t show up for a race, we didn’t get any points. This year, that’s different.”

The No. 21 Motorcraft Ford is currently 18th in the Sprint Cup owners points standings. Bayne is not eligible for Cup driver points since he selected the Nationwide Series as the tour in which he’d compete for the championship.

Although a couple of sponsorship offers were presented for Bayne to run the Sprint All-Star Race, the products conflicted with current partners of the Wood Brothers. However, that doesn’t mean the Wood Brothers won’t entertain any and all offers.

“If a sponsorship deal shows up, we can go do it,” Wood said. “There’s still time. It’s simple enough to do. But as of now, we’re not going. As things are right now, the first race we’re not planning to run is Richmond (on April 30). We won’t go to Dover or the all-star race, either. The schedule we have is all we got.”

Under current all-star race eligibility, both the Wood Brothers and Bayne could run in the event — and not necessarily with each other. According to Wood, no other driver has approached him about the race, nor has an owner concerning another opportunity for Bayne — but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

No offer has come to Bayne either, but the youngster did not hesitate, “That would be cool.”

“I’d love to run for the Wood Brothers in the all-star race, but if they can’t get sponsorship they can’t get sponsorship,” Bayne said. “I really hope they do. Not many people get the chance to run in the all-star race but I’d really love to.”

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