Roush Fenway officials have delayed Trevor Bayne's Nationwide Series competitive return another week and now expect him to race again on June 4 at Chicagoland Speedway.
This year's Daytona 500 winner continues to recover from illness and according to Roush Fenway Racing president Steve Newmark, Bayne doesn't show symptoms any more and successfully tested a Nationwide Series car at Virginia International Raceway last Tuesday.
Newmark states the reason to further delay Bayne's return is caution, and subject to any unforeseen changes they expect him to be on the No. 16 Ford in NASCAR's second-tier series next week.
"By all standards, Trevor had a great week," said Newmark. "His symptoms have completely subsided. He tested at Virginia International Raceway on Tuesday, had one of the fastest Nationwide Series cars on the racetrack and his team was extremely pleased with his progress. As a result, we plan to have him back in competition next week in Chicago, and have consulted with his doctors at the Mayo Clinic and the NASCAR medical staff about that timetable.
"Of course, Trevor is a competitor and he wanted to be back on the racetrack this weekend," added Newmark. "However, we feel it is in his best interest for us to exercise an abundance of caution with this matter and withhold him from racing this weekend; especially considering the length of the races and the fact that Trevor is just starting to get back into his daily routine.
"Although Trevor would have preferred to compete in all 900 miles this weekend, he respects and understands our decision and will shift his considerable focus to his return at Chicagoland next weekend."
Bayne was initially scheduled to return this week after sitting out the last four Nationwide Series events, as well as the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race which he was entitled to enter thanks to his Daytona 500 victory. The 20-year-old was listed to compete in both Nationwide and Cup this weekend at Charlotte , but now Matt Kenseth will fill in for him in the team's No. 16 Ford Mustang, while Ricky Stenhouse Jr., fresh from his first Nationwide win last weekend at Iowa, will make his Cup debut at the wheel of the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford in the Coke 600, NASCAR's longest race.
"We can't wait to have Trevor back with us, but we can't think of a better driver to fill in than Ricky," said Wood Brothers co-owner Eddie Wood. "Ricky has been doing an outstanding job in the Nationwide Series. Like Trevor, he is definitely one of the up and coming drivers in our sport and we are happy that he accepted the offer to step in before Trevor comes back for our next race."
Four weeks ago Bayne was hospitalized with symptoms initially believed to be a consequence of an insect bite that had already forced him to visit a hospital following the Sprint Cup Series race at Texas on April 9. Tests performed at the Mayo Clinic later pointed at an "inflammatory condition" as the cause of his symptoms, but no further details of his illness have been disclosed since then.