After fighting off a mid-race blunder, Trevor Bayne brought his No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion home in the 20th position in Sunday’s Ticket Guardian 500 at ISM Raceway.
“Our AdvoCare Ford was a handful today,” Bayne said. “We overall just struggled with the handling all weekend. Our car was really good on the long runs, but we just lost too much track position on the short run. It’s definitely not the performance we wanted, but we will keep digging and hopefully can finish off the west coast swing in California on a strong note.”
After advancing to the second round of qualifying on Friday afternoon, the Knoxville, Tenn. native rolled off the grid in the 21stposition but lost a few positions early on due to a tight handling condition. After a costly pit-road penalty during the competition yellow, Bayne restarted in the 30th position and picked up two more positions before the first green-checkered flag waved.
The adjustments seemed to be helping the balance of the AdvoCare Ford allowing Bayne to work his way up to the 23rd position before the yellow flag waved on lap 120.
With four laps remaining in stage two, the yellow flag was displayed setting up a one-lap shootout to end the stage. With most of the leaders pitting, crew chief Matt Puccia told Bayne to stay out for the track position. Despite having older tires, the 2011 Daytona 500 Champion was able to take the green-checkered flag in the 14th position.
Early in stage three while battling with the No. 22 machine, contact was made causing damage to the left rear quarter panel. The damage ultimately hindered the handling of the AdvoCare Ford for the remainder of the race forcing Bayne to settle with a 20th-place finish.
Next up for Bayne and the No. 6 team is the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 18. Race coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. (EST) on FOX. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and NASCAR SIRIUS/XM radio channel 90.
RFR PR/Photo Robert Laberge/Getty Images