Bayne, who delivered the Woods their fifth Daytona 500 triumph in just his second start in the No. 21 Ford Fusion, said he’s pleased to be putting any off-season uncertainty behind him.
“I’m excited,” he said. “It’s a big deal for me. It’s what I had hoped for. We’re all excited to be back together.”
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said he too is pleased to have Bayne back behind the wheel of his family’s race car.
“It’s taken a long time to get to this announcement, but it’s good to be back together,” Wood said.
“We all wanted to do what was best for Ford Motor Company and its young drivers, and to be sure everybody had a place to race.”
For Bayne, one of the younger drivers in the Sprint Cup Series, driving for the sport’s longest running team is something he appreciates even more as time goes by.
He was made even more aware of the team’s history and heritage – and its long-standing relationship with Ford Motor Company – when he watched a video on the team’s history at the company Christmas party.
“There’s no question at all that since the beginning, the Woods and Ford were going to stick with each other,” he said. “The Woods are such a great racing family, and it’s amazing that they’re the only one of the original teams that has survived since the beginning.”
But the Woods and Bayne aren’t just interested in celebrating the past. Beginning next week, they’ll be back at Daytona International Speedway for Preseason Thunder testing and trying to figure a way to adapt to a new rules package and defend their 500 victory.
“It’s going to be very different at Daytona,” Bayne said, referring to a rule change that will block off air to the car’s radiator and thereby limit the two-car tandem racing that Bayne so quickly adapted to. “It’ll be like starting all over again, but that’s OK.
“We’ll just go try to do it again.”