Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion, overcame damage sustained from contact with the outside retaining wall and improved 11 positions during the final stage of Sunday afternoon’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) event at Charlotte Motor Speedway to record a 14th-place finish.
“We fought hard today and overcame some adversity,” said Bayne after the race. “We had a really fast car on the long run and (crew chief) Matt (Puccia) made some great adjustments that really helped our short run speed. This was the kind of run we needed with our AdvoCare Ford and I am really proud of everyone on this team for their hard work this weekend. Hopefully we can keep this momentum going next weekend in Talladega.”
Bayne took the green flag for the 334-Lap event from 26th and maintained his track position throughout the opening run of the race before utilizing the Lap 35 competition caution to come to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment. After returning to the track in 20th, the driver of the AdvoCare Ford reported to crew chief Matt Puccia that he was loose entering the corner and very tight from the center to the exit. These handling conditions ultimately shuffled Bayne back to 23rd just prior to the completion of Stage 1 on Lap 90.
The Knoxville, Tenn. native came back to pit road again prior to the beginning of Stage 2 for four tires and another round of adjustments, sending Bayne out in the 22nd position for the Lap 97 restart. Bayne methodically climbed the leaderboard throughout the second stage, racing into the top-15 before contact with the outside retaining wall damaged the right rear of the AdvoCare Ford and shifted the handling over to the tight side. Despite the damage, Bayne soldiered through the final laps of Stage 2 to take the green and checkered flag in the 22nd position.
Prior to the beginning of the final stage, Puccia decided to bring Bayne back to pit road for another round of chassis adjustments and to check on the damage sustained from the contact with the wall. The 2011 Daytona 500 Champion returned to the track for the ensuing restart in 25th but wasted little time moving forward, improving nine positions to 16th before hitting pit road during the first round of green flag pit stops on Lap 226. Bayne cycled out in 15th following the pit stop but was unfortunately caught down a lap to the race leaders.
An opportune caution on Lap 278 gave the Roush Fenway Racing driver the free pass back onto the lead lap. Once back on the led lap Bayne charged forward, driving up to 13th before the loose-handling condition once again returned in the closing laps, shuffling Bayne to 15th before a Lap 331 caution period set up NASCAR’s version of overtime.
Taking the overtime restart in 15th, Bayne battled with Brad Keselowski and Roush Fenway teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. before taking the checkered flag in the 14th position.
Next up for the MENCS is Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, Oct. 15.