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.
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.
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.
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