Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion, avoided tire issues and conserved fuel on the final green flag run to bring home an 11th place finish on Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) event at Kentucky Speedway. The result moves Bayne into the 16th and final position in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship standings.
“Tonight’s finish helped us gain some solid points in the standings,” said Bayne after the race. “With the majority of the field having tire issues and others running out of fuel in the end, Crossing the finish line 11th was a big victory for our No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion. Matt Puccia did a great job on pit road tonight and he helped keep us in contention to battle at the end. Puccia gave me a huge heads up on when to start conserving my fuel and his calculations worked out perfectly. We were able to stretch the fuel window to its max and it helped in the closing laps of the race.”
Qualifying was cancelled on Friday night due to weather and the field was set by the NASCAR rule book. Bayne took the green flag Saturday night for the 267-Lap event from the 17th position.
On the drop of the flag, Bayne drove his way through the field and quickly settled into the 12th position. Bayne maintained that position right up to the competition caution on Lap 25. Bayne came down pit road with the field, but unlike other teams, Bayne went with four tires. The four tire decision cost the team track position and Bayne restarted 24th.
The race was full of cautions, but Bayne was able to manage his tires and avoid all the incidents on the track. Throughout the race, Bayne’s biggest challenge was his car’s handling in turns three and four. As the night progressed and the track temperatures changed, Bayne’s No. 6 AdvoCare Ford would tighten up through the center of the three and four. Each pit stop Puccia made the correct adjustments and Bayne gradually worked his way back through the field.
Bayne’s final pit stop was under yellow with 68 laps remaining in the race. Puccia radioed to Bayne he was a few laps short and if this race stayed green, he wasn’t going to make it to the end. In the final 30 laps, Bayne started conserving fuel hard. As the race went on, other drivers started running out of fuel and Bayne’s conservation tactics helped him move up a few position in the closing laps. It was down to the wire, but Bayne was able to slow down his lap times and cross the finish line in the 11th position.
With the result, Bayne now moved into the 16th and final position in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship standings.