“When we were up front with the guys in the top 10 our car had great speed,” said Bayne after the race. “I hate that that caution came out during green flag pit stops and trapped us laps down. But I want to thank my guys for working hard all weekend. We’ll keep fighting and move on to Talladega next weekend. Anything can happen there.”
Bayne began the Sunday matinee from the 34th position but wasted little time improving on his qualifying effort, moving up to 30th within the first five laps. Bayne continued to hover around the 30th position while trying to stay on the lead lap until the competition caution would come out. Unable to stay ahead of the race leaders before the caution, Bayne was able to race his way into the free pass position and earn his way back onto the lead lap as the competition caution officially fell on Lap 50.
Now back on the lead lap, Bayne was able to continue to work his way forward as the AdvoCare Ford was able to move up to 25th just past the one-quarter mark of the event. Despite moving forward, the Roush Fenway Racing driver again lost a lap to the race leaders during the first long green flag run of the afternoon. However, Bayne was able to receive the free pass back onto the lead lap just a handful of laps later when the caution came out on Lap 137.
The Knoxville, Tenn. native once again began to move forward on the ensuing restart, making his way up to the 23rd position by Lap 174 before reporting to crew chief Bob Osborne that the AdvoCare Ford was too tight through the center of the corner. With the tight handling condition progressing, crew chief Osborne called Bayne to pit road during the first round of green flag pit stops on Lap 264. After pitting for four tires and a chassis adjustment, Bayne returned to the track in the 25th position, but an untimely caution just after the stop trapped the driver of the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford two laps down to the race leaders.
In the closing stages, Bayne would battle hard for position with Denny Hamlin and Roush Fenway teammate Greg Biffle before ultimately taking the checkered flag in the 24th position.
With the result, Bayne remains 27th in the championship standings and trails 16th-place Danica Patrick by 56 points as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Talladega Super Speedway on May 3.