Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion, overcame damage sustained during a multi-car incident following a Lap 197 restart in Sunday afternoon’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) event at Kansas Speedway to record a 20th-place finish.
“We really didn’t have anywhere to go during that deal on the backstretch,” said Bayne after the race. “But I want to thank all of my guys on this AdvoCare Ford for their hard work all weekend. They never quit today and did a great job making repairs and getting us back out there. It’s really unfortunate we didn’t get the result we deserve but we will keep fighting and get after it next weekend at Martinsville.”
Bayne took the green flag for the 267-Lap event from 29th and steadily worked his way forward, moving up to 25th just before the competition caution for rain overnight came out on Lap 30. When the race restarted on Lap 35 Bayne continued to press forward, moving into the top 20 on Lap 50 and up to the 16th position before the caution came out on Lap 76, resulting in the first stage ending under yellow.
After pitting for four tires and fuel between stages, the Knoxville, Tenn. native returned to the track in 16th for the beginning of Stage 2. As soon as the stage went green, Bayne reported to crew chief Matt Puccia that the AdvoCare Ford had become extremely loose rolling through the corner. As a result of handling condition, Bayne was shuffled back to 24th and ultimately lost a lap to the race leaders as the long green flag run progressed. However, an opportune caution with five laps remaining in Stage 2 allowed Puccia to make a strategy call and have Bayne stay out to take the wave around. The call paid off and returned the Roush Fenway Racing driver back to the lead lap at the completion of Stage 2 on Lap 160.
Puccia called the 2011 Daytona 500 Champion back to pit road prior to the beginning of Stage 3 for four tires and a chassis adjustment in the hopes of alleviating the loose-handling condition. Bayne returned to the track following the stop in 20th and maintained his track position despite a flurry of cautions early in the final stage. Then, following a Lap 197 restart, Bayne was involved in a multi-car incident heading down the backstraightaway that damaged both the right front and right rear of the AdvoCare Ford.
After pitting several times for repairs Bayne returned to the track in the 22nd position but quickly rejoined the top 20 and drove up to 16th before the handling started to slip away once again in the closing laps.
In the end, Bayne took the checkered flag in the 20th position.
Next up for the MENCS is Martinsville, Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 29.