Points shuffle benefits Bayne, Menard
NASCAR has approved a reassignment of points which will pair two of the most storied stock car teams for Speedweeks at Daytona, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Richard Petty Motorsports and Wood Brothers Racing have partnered to create Wood Brothers II LLC. As a result, Trevor Bayne will be locked into the Daytona 500 behind the wheel of the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford.
Richard Petty Motorsports ended last season with four teams inside the coveted top 35 in owner points, which guarantees them a starting spot in the first five races of the season. However, as the organization shrank from four teams to two, it allowed the opportunity to create the partnership with Wood Brothers.
Bayne, 19, will compete for the Nationwide championship under the Roush Fenway Racing banner. In addition, he is expected to run 17 Sprint Cup Series races for the Wood Brothers to gain seat time. A decision on Bayne’s rookie status in the series has yet to be determined. The Wood Brothers could not be reached for comment.
A similar deal was worked out between RPM and Kevin Buckler, who will receive the No. 98's owner points for the No. 71 TRG Chevrolet. Calls to Buckler and TRG CMO Torrey Galida were not returned. Sources say Buckler will start the season with Andy Lally behind the wheel.
Buckler, whose No. 71 Chevrolet finished 35th in owner standings, transferred his points to former associate Thomas Pumpelly, who will be listed as the owner of record on the No. 27 Richard Childress Racing team and driver Paul Menard. RCR’s expansion from three teams to four left Menard sans the protection of owner points to guarantee him to race for the first five events of the season.
RCR’s David Hart offered the following comment via email: Thomas Pumpelly divested himself from his partnership with TRG and took with him the No. 71 car points. He’s joined RCR as an equity partner and the No. 27 Menards Chevrolet will be operating with the No. 71 points. Pumpelly will be listed on the entries.
TRG remains a customer of Earnhardt Childress Racing Engines.