Up-and-coming driver Trevor Bayne has been removed as driver of the No. 99 Diamond-Waltrip Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series team, with brothers Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Truex taking over duties of the car for the remainder of 2010.
Both Truexs will race at Kansas Speedway this weekend, with Martin in the No. 00 Toyota and Ryan in the No. 99.
Ryan Truex will then race at Charlotte, St. Louis, Phoenix and Homestead-Miami, while Martin will race at California and Texas.
Team co-owner Gary Bechtel, who joined forces with Michael Waltrip Racing to put Bayne in the Nationwide Series this season, said Bayne was released because of contractual obligations
"The root of the issue regarding Trevor and his future with DWR is simply economics," Bechtel said in a press release. "DWR held an option on Trevor’s contract, but without appropriate funding, we could not match the provisions of that contract extension by guaranteeing him a full-time ride in the No. 99 car next year. We could not commit to the demands of the agreement.
"We all wanted to work towards a positive solution, but time was not on our side. We had to make a business decision and Trevor had to make a business decision. We owe it to our race team, sponsors and everyone personally invested in this organization to move forward with those who will be with us in 2011 and beyond."
Bayne thanked his fans on his Twitter account and added, "Hopefully there will be an official report soon, so I can talk about it!"
Bayne, 19, is seventh in the Nationwide Series standings, with three poles, five top-five and 10 top-10 finishes this season. He has been rumored to be linked with Roush Fenway Racing's Nationwide operation.
Bechtel said his Nationwide Series team is strong and finalizing a program he expects to announce soon.
"We have a very good plan in place," Bechtel said. "but we just haven’t reached a point where we can publicly discuss it at this time."
Ryan Truex said he didn’t think twice when offered a chance to drive for the Jerry Baxter-led DWR team that owns three poles and five top-five finishes in 2010.
"These are tough circumstances, but I love driving in the Nationwide Series and I’m pumped up about racing this weekend," said the Mayetta, N.J. native. "My main goal this weekend is to keep this team’s momentum up and continue to deliver a great racing program to OUT! Pet Care. They came on board this year and have been a big boost for the entire organization and I want to get them a win."
Martin Jr. will drive the No. 00 sporting a reversed-colored OUT! Pet Care paint scheme in Saturday’s race at Kansas. He expects Saturday will be a big day for the Truex family.
"This is pretty cool. I always hoped this day would come but I didn’t have any idea it would come this year," said the 2004 and 2005 Nationwide champion. "We raced a lot on the computer and he'll claim he beat me, but we’ll see what happens Saturday. I’m real proud of him. He’s had a good season winning the East championship for a second time and he’s done real good in his first few races in the Nationwide Series. He’s got a good deal driving for the Diamond-Waltrip guys. I’ve told him to just stay patient, learn as much as he can and everything will fine."