Trevor Bayne was poised for a solid finish in the first-ever race at the Roval, but late chaos collected his No. 6 AdvoCare Rehydrate Ford Fusion, ending his day early in 35th.
“I’m really frustrated with that result,” Bayne said. “I felt like I put together a really good weekend and had speed. I never made any mistakes in practice, qualifying or the race for that matter until I got caught up on that last lap. I said it was going to happen and I told my spotter, ‘They’re going to crash in turn one, just get me through it,’ and they did. They all crashed. I made it through the first part of the wreck and I guess it was the 18 that bounced off the front of the 8 and I couldn’t check up and hit him. I thought we were done wrecking and got the second one.”
Bayne, who ran inside the top-10 at one point throughout the day, lined up 17th with six to go. After the leaders barreled into the turn one, Bayne got caught up in the aftermath, suffering severe front-end damage.
The Knoxville, Tennessee, native rolled off the grid 16th after just missing the final round of qualifying on Friday. Early on in the opening 25-lap stage Bayne reported he needed rear grip, before he radioed to the team a right front vibration. Crew chief Matt Puccia called him to pit road to assess the issue, which set he and the team back for the short run.
Bayne would make two more stops in the opening stage for tires and adjustments, before finishing the segment 37th. After staying out during the break, he would restart 21st to begin stage two. Following a long green flag run, Puccia called him to pit road once again, short-pitting prior to the second stage break, where he’d finish 22nd.
The strategy played in Bayne’s favor as he would restart the final 55 laps in ninth and would advance as high as eighth. After a couple of cautions played out some 10 laps later, Bayne pitted at lap 69 and restarted 21st, before pitting again 11 laps later. The race would go green up until lap 100, when the yellow was once again displayed with Bayne running 24th.
With a lot of varying fuel mileage strategies playing out, Bayne was able to stay out on track, gaining seven spots for the restart at lap 103, that collected the No. 6 ending the day.
The No. 6 returns to the track next weekend at Dover with Matt Kenseth behind the wheel. Race coverage begins on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN and MRN.