Trevor Bayne moving up to NASCAR Cup full-time in 2015, in Roush No. 6

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An old, iconic number and a young, former Daytona 500 champion are coming into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series full-time in 2015.

Trevor Bayne will make the jump to Cup in 2015 with Roush Fenway Racing, sponsor AdvoCare and the iconic No. 6 that Mark Martin made famous at RFR for the majority of his illustrious career. It’s a multiyear deal and perhaps a contingency plan for RFR to keep its number of entries at three cars.

For Bayne, who’s worn the No. 21 for his Cup career in starts with another legendary Ford team – the Wood Brothers – bringing back the 6 is something he’s looking forward to.

“I am kind of getting used to filling big shoes,” Bayne said in a team release. “Having driven the Wood Brothers No. 21 for the last few years in the Sprint Cup Series has been a great experience. I’ll always hold special the opportunity to drive for the Wood Brothers. Those guys are true legends in the sport and I can’t say enough about the unforgettable relationships I forged there and of course our huge win in the Daytona 500.”

Bayne, who’s still only 23, is the 2011 Daytona 500 champion but has only made 50 Cup starts over five seasons, from 2010 through 2014. He’s never driven a full season in Cup. His most recent NASCAR Nationwide Series win came a year ago, in Iowa.

Jack Roush adds the No. 6 to his full-time lineup as the status of Carl Edwards in the No. 99 for 2015 and beyond is still to be determined. RFR’s other drivers are Greg Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

“That number brings back a lot of memories,” he said, via the release. “It reminds me of all the battles we fought to get to where we are today; the victories and the defeats. Success in NASCAR does not come easy. It comes at a price and requires a great deal of passion, sacrifice, dedication and hard work. To me the No. 6 exemplifies all of that.

Here’s a video announcing the return.

Hamilton: McLaren could help create four-team F1 title fight in 2018

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Lewis Hamilton says the Mercedes Formula 1 team cannot afford to let up in its push to improve ahead of a fiercer fight at the front of the field in 2018 – potentially including former team McLaren.

Hamilton clinched his fourth F1 drivers’ title in Mexico at the end of October as Mercedes continued its perfect record of championships since the introduction of the new V6 turbo hybrid engines in 2014.

The team faced a stiffer challenge in 2017 thanks to a resurgent Ferrari, while Red Bull also posed a threat towards the end of the season, setting the stage for another close fight next year.

Hamilton is expecting both Ferrari and Red Bull to remain a force at the front of the pack, but also feels McLaren could join the fight after ditching Honda in favor of a Renault engine supply for 2018.

“When I’m training and preparing for a new season, I firmly believe that we can be contenders for the next championship. It may turn out to be not possible, but you have to have that mindset,” Hamilton said.

“If you go in with expectations of finishing fifth, it’s not going to work. You’ve got to gear yourself up to win.

“Next year, McLaren will have Renault engines, then we may see four teams fighting for the championship. I think Red Bull will be quicker and Ferrari for sure will be fast again.

“We can’t stand still – we have to keep moving forwards.”

Hamilton started his F1 career with McLaren back in 2007, winning his maiden world title in 2008 before leaving the team for Mercedes at the end of the 2012 season.