And given the way that Bayne drove in the 500, can you blame him if he's being entirely serious about it?
Thanks to a new NASCAR rule allowed to limit the influence of Sprint Cup drivers in the Nationwide (and Camping World Truck) Series, drivers declared on their official season entry blank what series that they would compete for the championship. If they chose to compete in any races in the other two series that they did not fill in the box next to, they wouldn't receive points towards that series' points race.
With Bayne's win on Sunday, that means that the three Daytona winners didn't receive points in their respective series. Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series winners Tony Stewart and Michael Waltrip declared for the Cup title while Bayne declared for the Nationwide title.
But if Bayne is being serious, according to NASCAR Managing Director of Corporate Communications Ramsey Poston on Twitter, Bayne can't declare to run for the Cup title now.
Correct... Bayne declared points for @NASCAR_NNS not Cup series. regardless a great win today and the start of a great career #NASCAR
However, NASCAR spokesperson Kerry Tharp said after Sunday's race that if Bayne chose to switch and declare for the Cup title that his points for Sunday wouldn't count because the switch would have been after the win.
At the time, the Nationwide decision was the no-brainer decision for Bayne. He's running a full Nationwide season for Roush Fenway Racing and was scheduled to run 17 races for the Wood Brothers. The Nationwide declaration meant that Bayne was ineligilble for Rookie of the Year points in the Cup Series as well and even if the Wood Brothers can get funding for the other 19 races of the season, Bayne will be ineligible for the Cup Series title. (There's also the new provision in the Chase that includes the two drivers with the most wins outside of the top 10 in points. However, those two drivers must be in the top 20 in points, and if Bayne was to run a part time schedule he wouldn't make the top 20 anyway)
Maybe Bayne's win was paint scheme karma. The scheme that Bayne is running this year honors the success that the Wood Brothers and David Pearson had in the 1970s. During the 70s, the Woods and Pearson made a habit out of winning a bunch of races on a part time schedule. In 1976, Pearson won 11 of the 18 races that the team entered.
Will that happen with Bayne in 2011? Doubtful. But who would have thought he would have won the 2011 Daytona 500 in the first place?