Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 6 Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford Fusion, fought for position inside the top 15 for much of the final two stages of Sunday afternoon’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, recording a 13th-place finish.
“Today was a pretty good day for our Performance Plus team,” said Bayne after the race. “(Crew chief) Matt (Puccia) made some great changes that really helped our car as the race progressed. I’m pretty happy that we’ve been consistent so far to start the year with three top-15 finishes. I’m proud of the effort my guys gave this weekend and I’m confident we can carry this start to the season on to Phoenix.”
Bayne began the afternoon from the 20th position after advancing to the second round of knockout qualifying on Friday evening. From the beginning of Stage 1, Bayne reported to crew chief Matt Puccia that the Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford was tight rolling through the center of the corner, affecting his speed on exit. Despite the handling condition, Bayne drove his way up to 17th before the caution came out on Lap 75. Crew chief Puccia decided to utilize this caution to bring the Roush Fenway Racing driver to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment. Bayne returned to the track in 17th and took the green-checkered flag on Lap 80 to complete Stage 1 in 16th.
Before the beginning of Stage 2 the decision was made to keep the Knoxville, Tenn. native on the race track while several of the leaders hit pit road. This strategy call paid off as Bayne took the green for Stage 2 in the ninth position. The driver of the Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford maintained his top-10 track position throughout much of the second stage before the tight-handling condition returned, shuffling Bayne back to 13th when the green-checkered flag waved once again.
When the third and final stage began, Bayne continued to battle for position in the top 15, running as high as 13th before a round of green-flag pit stops commenced on Lap 210. After pitting for four tires and fuel Bayne returned to the track in the 15th position and remained for much of the green-flag run that followed.
In the closing laps, Bayne would use a three-wide move following a Lap 258 restart to race back into the top 15 and take the checkered flag in the 13th position.
Next up for the MENCS is Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, March 19.