Last year's shock Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne will continue to race for the Wood Brothers team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup in 2012, the team has confirmed.
Bayne shot to stardom at the start of 2011 when he won the biggest race of the season as a rookie. That win helped the veteran team secure sponsorship to enter a further 16 Cup races last year, which the 20-year-old dovetailed with a full-time campaign in the second tier Nationwide Series.
However, he went into the off-season without a secured drive for 2012, although it was assured that he would remain part of Ford and Roush Fenway Racing's development scheme.
"I'm excited, it's a big deal for me," said Bayne. "It's what I had hoped for, we're really excited to be back together. 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."
Bayne is looking forward to returning to Daytona as the defending winner of the 500, although he expects the technical changes made by NASCAR over the winter to change the style of racing that he mastered last year.
"It's going to be very different at Daytona," he said. "It'll be just like starting again, but that's OK. We'll just try to do it again."
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said that retaining Bayne was the ideal solution for the coming season.
"It's taken a long time to get to this announcement, but it's good to be back together," said Wood. "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."
Ford and Wood Brothers have yet to confirm Bayne's schedule for this year, but title sponsor Ford Customer Service Division, with its brands Motorcraft and Quick Lane, has already signed up for 12 races.