After rain delayed the start of Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, mechanical issues brought an earlier than expected end to the night for Trevor Bayne. His No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion faltered on Lap 297 of the scheduled 325-lap event, resulting in a 35th-place finish for the Knoxville native.
“It’s a disappointing end to our night for sure,” said Bayne. “We struggled to find the right balance in the car all race long, but we deserved a better finish than we ended up with.”
After advancing to the second round of qualifying on Friday, Bayne lined up for Sunday’s race in the 20th position. With his Ford Fusion battling loose handling, Bayne struggled to get to the throttle exiting turns and shuffled back in the pack. With only a competition caution breaking up green flag runs, Bayne lost a lap to the leaders and ended the first Stage of the event in 23rd place.
Crew chief Matt Puccia attempted to restore balance to the AdvoCare Ford Fusion with air pressure and wedge adjustments, but the loose handling condition persisted throughout the race. Bayne was unable to keep his tires on the preferred bottom line of the racetrack, and he would ultimately finish the second stage of the race in 26th.
Differing pit strategies began to play out in the final stage of the 500-mile event, but the Fusion lacked the grip Bayne needed to move forward through the field. On lap 287, Bayne reported dropping oil pressures in the car. By lap 297, the AdvoCare Ford Fusion succumbed to mechanical issues and brought out the final caution of the race with a large plume of smoke. Bayne was scored with a 35th-place finish.
Bayne and the No. 6 team will next race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 4. Race coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX. Radio coverage will be provided by PRN and SIRIUS XM.