Race Weekend Central

Eyes on Xfinity: What Would an RFK Driver Lineup Look Like?

Although nothing has been confirmed to be in motion, there have been conversations recently regarding Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing bringing back a NASCAR Xfinity Series team.

The fact of the matter is that Ford’s development program as it sits leaves a lot to be desired. Stewart-Haas Racing is really the only remotely competitive Xfinity team donning the blue oval, and with a crop of Team Penske drivers that aren’t getting any younger, Ford has to focus on their youth as a manufacturer sooner rather than later.

We’ve talked about it here on Frontstretch before, but it got me thinking. Who would RFK tap as the drivers for what I could only assume would be their own development program? After much thought and deliberation, I’d like to bring the following three drivers before the court.

See also
Brad Keselowski: RFK Xfinity Team Could Reopen With 'Right Opportunity'

No. 1 – Rajah Caruth

Obviously, Caruth is one of the biggest up and coming names in the Chevrolet development pipeline. The key word there, though, is Chevrolet. It would take prying Caruth away from the manufacturer that gave him his start, but a chance to skip a few rungs in the ladder might convince him to switch to the blue side (see what I did there?).

Caruth has shown incredible promise when he’s managed to keep things tidy on the track. Xfinity fans will have a chance to see how Caruth handles a competitive car at Phoenix Raceway this year, as Caruth was just recently tapped to drive the No. 17 Chevrolet Camaro for the final race of the season.

No. 2 – Trevor Bayne

I fully believe that Jack Roush still has Bayne’s phone number, and out of these three names, I could see Bayne suiting up on short notice more than any other. Bayne raced for Roush in the Xfinity Series from 2010 to 2016 and earned a pair of sixth place championship finishes in his efforts.

With any new team, owners want someone who can bring stability to a car. With Bayne, you know what you’re getting – a guy who has by and large been consistent when he’s had good equipment and can even put your car in victory lane once a season, and maybe even twice. To add to Bayne’s resume, the Knoxville, Tennessee, native is only 32 years old. He still has some great races left in him, and if I was RFK, I’d do my best to make sure those races were with me.

It seems that Bayne will vie for one of the open Joe Gibbs Racing seats this offseason, but as we know, anything can happen when silly season hits. I’d have my eyes on Bayne if I was RFK.

See also
Faith, Family & Fast Cars: Matt DiBenedetto on What Drives His Career

No. 3 – Matt DiBenedetto

When an owner is looking to fill a driver spot, two big factors are at play: availability and seat time. DiBenedetto, despite his untimely exit from Ford, has both of those. DiBenedetto recently announced that he would not be returning to Rackley WAR in the Craftsman Truck Series, and that he is currently working out details for 2024.

Matty D had, at one point, found a home with Ford, and could very well find that home again sooner rather than later.

We’re almost to the heart of silly season, folks, so we might as well buckle up, enjoy the ride and think about how great it would be to see fast Fords back out on the track, potentially with one of these three behind the wheel.

About the author

Tanner Marlar is a staff writer for On3 Sports' Maroon and White Daily covering Mississippi State Athletics, an AP Wire reporter, an award-winning sports columnist and talk show host and master's student at Mississippi State University. Soon, Tanner will be pursuing a PhD. in Communicative Research.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I’ve said this before, but Trevor Baine definitely got a raw deal from Roush when he was brought over from Daughtery.

Roush’s cars at the time were very substandard, but Bayne got the blame, & was bounced out of the sport.

If Brad were to field 2 cars, Trevor, & Matty D, would be good choices.

WJW Motorsports

Personally, I miss watching Cindric/Majeski/Briscoe wrecking that 60 every week. Bring it back please…

Ken deBeer

T Bayne was scum bagged by Jack back in the day. He owes Bayne a apology and a ride. Jack blamed Trevor for the decades poor performance of RFR.It was horrible cars and the worst possible crew chief there ever was for Bayne..even with big time sponsorship from Advocare. Bayne was competitive in a few races including a easy win at Indy (gas mileage) but late crashes by others including McDowell sunk Bayne’s chances for a win. A few wins that made Stenhouse a full time driver during the last decade. Jack brought in Kenseth to right the ship but no real improvement with the same cars and crew chief.. Kenseth doesn’t come back replaced by know it all “engineer” Newman. With extra money and a new crew chief there was improvement but nothing like the old days at RFR. One major fault Bayne did during this time that really cost him was he spent too much time at home and not enough time around the shop. He flew to and from home like J Johnson did, but did not have 7 times resume to fall back on.The team was struggling and T Bayne was not around enough even if it was for appearance sake.I hope even with 5 children Bayne learned that lesson. Driving is just not that. Besides sponsors events you have to be part of the team including sweeping the floors if that is all you can do shop/mechanic wise.

Share via