“It wasn’t too bad a day for us,” said Bayne after the race. “I felt like this AdvoCare Ford had some good speed tonight. But the first pit stop we got boxed in by the No. 47 and couldn’t get out. That put us a lap down pretty early there and we were in the lucky dog spot for the majority of the day and just couldn’t catch that yellow that we needed.
“But it was a good way to fight back for my guys on this AdvoCare team,” added Bayne. “I’m decently happy with a top-15. That’s something we’ve got to shoot for and get better, so it’s a step in the right direction.”
Bayne took the green flag for the 500-Lap event from the 22nd position after advancing into the second round of knockout qualifying on Friday afternoon. Bayne maintained his track position throughout the first run of the race, running as high as 19th before the first caution of the event came out on Lap 52. During the caution period, crew chief Bob Osborne called Bayne to pit road for right-side tires and fuel.
After being blocked in by another car on the exit of pit road, Bayne took the ensuing restart from the 27th position and immediately reported that the AdvoCare Ford had become extremely tight. The tight handling condition persisted throughout the green flag run, ultimately costing the Roush Fenway Racing driver one lap to the race leaders.
Despite being one lap down, the Knoxville, Tenn. native never gave up, racing his way into the top 20 just past the halfway mark of the race. Bayne continued to move forward from there as he moved into 15th just prior to the caution coming out on Lap 370. The driver of the AdvoCare Ford continued to race for position in the top 20 before a speeding penalty during a Lap 430 caution period sent Bayne to the tail end of the field.
Undeterred by the penalty, Bayne charged forward when the green flag came back out with 63 laps to go, ultimately moving back into the 15th position after a hard-fought battle with Kasey Kahne.
In the closing stages, Bayne was able to hold off Kahne and bring the AdvoCare Ford home in the 15th position.