"I'm looking forward to my first year in Cup," Bayne said. "I know it's not full time, but it's been my dream since I was 5 years old." Bayne had a successful Sprint Cup debut last year with the team at Texas, qualifying on speed and finishing 17th in an impressive showing.
Bayne will compete in the first five races of the year and then other races to be decided to bring the tally up to 17 in total.
Co-owner Eddie Wood said he was pleased that NASCAR's oldest team will be fielding its youngest Cup driver ever in its 61 year NASCAR history, after a history of sticking with proven veteran drivers: Woods Brothers have won 97 races and 118 poles in the Cup since 1953.
McMurray in multi-year deal with Earnhardt Ganassi
Jamie McMurray's agent has confirmed that the Missouri-born driver has signed a "multi-year" deal with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.
McMurray returned to Ganassi last year after a troubled stint with Roush Fenway Racing from 2005 to 2009. In 2010, McMurray took three major race victories at the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Charlotte Bank of America 500, although he missed the Chase and ended 14th in the Sprint Cup standings.
Michael McDowell to race for HP Racing
Michael McDowell has confirmed a deal putting him behind the wheel of the HP Racing's #66 Toyota for selected events in 2011.
HP Racing is the new name for PRISM Motorsports owned by Randy Humphrey and Phil Parsons, which is expanding operations and line-up after moving into bigger facilities in Harrisburg. With PRISM having a reputation as a "start and park" set-up, the team have more ambitious plans for the newly-christened outfit.
"HP Racing is a reinvention of our race team," said Parsons. "We see this as a tremendous opportunity to compete on a more consistent basis in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series."
"We have all the elements in place to succeed, and with sponsorship we'll be able to race competitively on a consistent basis," said Humphrey.
"It is great to reunite with Randy and Phil at HP Racing," said McDowell, who has competed in 52 Cup races since 2008 including qualifying for 17 Cup races for PRISM in 2010, among them the Daytona 500. As well as this year's Daytona, HP Racing are aiming at competing at Bristol Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway, and Watkins Glen International, along with others to be named at a later date.