Trevor Bayne did not take questions Friday morning at Talladega in his first public comments since Roush Fenway Racing announced that he would share the No. 6 car with Matt Kenseth the rest of the season.
Roush announced Kenseth as the co-driver of the car on Wednesday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Bayne was not in attendance at the announcement. Bayne instead issued a statement Friday morning, citing a new public relations representative. Seriously. Here’s his statement in full:
“I appreciate you all coming out here over to the hauler. The purpose of doing this is because I know how this works and I didn’t want everybody wasting their time chasing me around all weekend trying to get a quote,” Bayne said. “I have a brand new PR guy inside and I would like to break him in the right way. I wanted to get you all together to let you know that first of all, my health is 100%. I am as fit physically, mentally and spiritually as I have ever been to do my job well. The second part is that my desire is still as it has always been since I was five-years-old to come to the track every weekend to contend for wins and championships and be a driver at the top level in the Cup Series. Nothing there has changed. I am still going to pursue that because I feel I have the ability to do that.”
“Right now I don’t have much more to add to that. I want to respect your time and I know you have a ton of questions after everything that has happened this week but if you could just allow me to come into the garage and talk to my team and work through this weekend, I would love to have that opportunity. I am here to win Talladega as I had planned to do before any of this. That is what I am going to do. Thank you guys so much. Again, I want to be respectful to you. Thanks.”
Bayne mentions his health in the statement because he announced in the fall of 2013 that he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The condition was initially thought to have been Lyme disease.
Roush never mentioned that it was replacing Bayne because of health reasons at the Wednesday announcement. Bayne’s performance in the No. 6 car hasn’t been where Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s is in the No. 17 car and the team said it decided to bring back Kenseth to see if he could help improve the team’s performance.
Bayne is currently 26th in the points standings. Kenseth’s first race with the team will be May 12 at Kansas and Bayne will drive in next week’s race at Dover. The driver schedule for the rest of the season has not been determined.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.