Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 10/24/14

It’s finally happened.

Rising NASCAR star Trevor Bayne will not be racing this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway—despite driving for one of the sport’s top teams, Roush Fenway Racing, despite ranking fourth in Nationwide Series points, and despite the fact that Bayne won the Nationwide race at Texas last fall.

A lack of sponsorship has forced the No. 60 to temporarily suspend its operations. The team had been operating out of team owner Jack Roush's personal checkbook, and it was hoped that the impressive results from the first races of the season would encourage sponsors to climb aboard.

No such luck for the 2011 Daytona 500 champion.

"We started the year with the idea we were going to run him and spur some additional interest. But at some point we knew it wasn't tenable to continue that program this year," said RFR president Steve Newmark. "But it is not a reflection of our commitment to Trevor, and we fully expect him to be a mainstay at the Cup level for years to come."

Bayne is hardly the only Roush driver struggling with sponsor woes. His teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr., the defending Nationwide Series champion, occasionally drives a blank white No. 6 car. Meanwhile, the No. 6 Cup car, previously driven by David Ragan, was shut down entirely despite winning at Daytona last July. Even former Cup champion Matt Kenseth has struggled to get a complete sponsorship package for his No. 17 machine.

The No. 60 could reappear on the track if sponsor dollars can be procured. Bayne is also running a partial Cup Series slate in the No. 21 Wood Brothers car, and RFR officials hope he could run 30 races between the two rides during the 2012 season.

"The character and maturity that Trevor has, I often forget that he's only 21," said Newmark. "It's been tough on him, but I think he also recognized that living week-to-week wasn't an ideal situation for him or his team guys. But we'll continue looking, and the expectation is that we'll add more races. By no means is he done in the Nationwide Series this year. We just came to the recognition it's not going to be full time."

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