Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion, passed nine cars on the final restart with two laps remaining to record a third-place finish in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) event at Daytona International Speedway. The result gives Bayne a career high in top-fives and in top-10s in a single season in the NSCS.
“That last restart was wild,” said Bayne after the race. “We restarted 12th and with help from the (No.) 3 car were able to get up to the outside and really make up some ground. We got behind the (No.) 18 down the backstretch and I pushed him with all I had. I am really proud of this Roush Fenway team and everyone on this AdvoCare Ford. For our organization to be on the pole this weekend, to have three cars in the top eight, two in the top five, this was huge. It's not a win that we need to get in the Chase, but it's a great step in the right direction for making it in on points.”
Bayne took the green flag for the 160-Lap event from the 13th position after getting bumped in the closing seconds of the first round of qualifying on Friday afternoon. Once the race was underway Bayne wasted little time moving forward, cracking the top-10 for the first time just five laps into the race. Bayne maintained his track position until the first caution of the day – a competition caution – on Lap 20.
After pitting for right-side tires and fuel the driver of the AdvoCare Ford returned to the track in the 14th position but fought his way up to as high as eighth before getting shuffled toward the back of the lead pack. Despite being at the back of the pack, Bayne was content to ride after debating what to do with spotter Roman Pemberton. The decision paid off as Bayne was able to avoid a 22-car incident heading into Turn One on Lap 89.
When the race resumed following the incident the Knoxville, Tenn. native began to methodically work his way forward, drafting his way up to the fifth position and maintained his position inside the top 10 until the caution came out once again on Lap 129. Taking the ensuing restart in 11th, Bayne raced his way back into the top 10 before narrowly avoiding another multi-car incident with 12 laps remaining in the event. The race went yellow once again just after the Lap 154 restart, which setup NASCAR’s version of overtime to finish the race.
Bayne took the overtime restart from the 12th position but utilized drafting help from the No. 3 of Austin Dillon to charge to the outside line three-wide. The move paid off as a lane opened up and Bayne battled his way into the top five on the final lap and take the checkered flag in the third position.
With the result, Bayne now trails the 16th and final position in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship standings by 10 points.