Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 6 Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford Fusion, battled a loose-handling condition on the entry of the corner and a tight-handling condition on the exit of the corner throughout Sunday afternoon’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) event at Chicagoland Speedway, ultimately leading to a 22nd-place finish. Bayne, who overcame damaged sustained from contact with the outside retaining wall, improved four positions from the drop of the green flag and was one of the fastest cars on the track in the closing laps.
“We just couldn’t get the speed we were looking for on the short run,” said Bayne after the race. ”Our Performance Plus Ford was really fast on the long run and (crew chief) Matt (Puccia) made some really good adjustments. I hate that we made some contact with the wall but my guys kept fighting all afternoon and never gave up. We’ll move on from today and get after it in Loudon.”
Bayne took the green flag for the 267-Lap event from the 26th position and immediately reported to crew chief Matt Puccia that the Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford was very loose on entry and very tight on the exit of the corner. As a result of the handling issues, Bayne was shuffled back to the 28th position before the first round of green flag pit stops on Lap 41. After pitting for four tires and a chassis adjustment, Bayne returned to the track in 25th and patiently maneuvered up to 23rd by the completion of Stage 1 on Lap 80.
Stage 2 began with the Knoxville, Tenn. native reporting that he was once again very tight rolling through the corner. This handling condition ultimately led to Bayne making slight contact with the outside retaining wall on Lap 107. Despite the contact with the wall Bayne maintained his track position throughout the caution free second stage to take the green and checkered flag in the 22nd position.
The 2011 Daytona 500 Champion continued to battle handling issues as the final stage began. Although not handling to his liking, Bayne began to turn some of the fastest laps on the track as another long green-flag run progressed and improved three positions before green flag pit stops began once again on Lap 233. After pitting for four tires and another round of chassis adjustments Bayne cycled back out in 24th.
In the closing laps Bayne would improve two positions to take the checkered flag in the 22nd position.
Next up for the MENCS is New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 24.