No one was happier to see Trevor Bayne running with the leaders than Trevor Bayne.
The driver of the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford won the 2011 Daytona 500 in his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start, but that he hadn't scored a top-five since then -- until Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Bayne qualified 10th and ran near the front until a commitment-line violation on Lap 149 sent him to the rear of the field. Undeterred, Bayne drove back through the field and took advantage of late restarts to finish fifth, his first top-five result after a drought of 99 races.
"It was a lot of battling back," Bayne said after the race. "We went through a lot of adversity to get there, but we just didn't give up. We had a really good race car. That's what paid off. You can't come back if you don't have good race cars, and we've got that now.
"I need to minimize my mistakes going forward, but we were able to make mistakes and get back to a top-five finish. I kept getting on the bottom on restarts every time, but it came back to me at the end. We were able to start on the top those last three, and that's really what got us in the top five."
Having a strong run at Bristol was especially sweet for the Tennessee driver.
"Yeah, if there's somewhere I could choose to run well, it's Bristol," Bayne said. "It's a tough race track. It's my home track. I have a lot of fans here, and it just feels good to be in contention...
"It's a short track, and we know we've had our struggles with those, and we wanted to get better at them, and we've made a quick turnaround to get better here."