CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WTVA/AP) - Roush Fenway Racing has made its choice between two young drivers in need of additional seat time.
The team has picked Olive Branch, Miss. native Ricky Stenhouse Jr. over Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne to replace Matt Kenseth in the Sprint Cup Series next season. Kenseth is leaving at the end of the season.
Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark says Stenhouse was selected because he'll have three full seasons in the Nationwide Series when he makes the move.
Bayne has not run a full season since 2010. He is currently running a limited Cup schedule for The Wood Brothers, the team he took to Victory Lane in last year's Daytona 500. He's been slowed by sponsorship problems since.
Matt Kenseth has a new deal in place with a new team, but said he is not ready to announce where he will be in 2013. All signs point to Joe Gibbs Racing, one of the few teams that would not be considered a step down for the 2003 Cup champion.
Kenseth says the deal came together quickly over the last few weeks, and telling owner Jack Roush he was leaving was one of the hardest conversations of his life.