Trevor Bayne and the No. 6 AdvoCare team battled through some handling issues but fought back from three laps down to finish 21st in Saturday night’s race at Richmond Raceway.
“We were grinding it out and struggling early to get the car to drive right and just really needed a lot more forward drive,” Bayne said.
Bayne rolled off the grid 21st and immediately reported he was way too free in his Ford Fusion, going a lap down at lap 53. The Knoxville, Tennessee, native would complete stage one in 32nd a lap down. Crew chief Matt Puccia and the team went to work early on the machine, making a plethora of adjustments after the first 100 laps. Bayne rode in 30th at lap 150 before eventually falling three off the pace.
“It was burning the rear tires off way too fast and then about three-quarters of the way through the race we had the one good run where we got the car to hook up and got the rears to stay on longer and I thought we were pretty competitive there, but then the last couple runs they went away again, so we’ve got to go back and figure out what happened and why we’ve struggled for forward drive here the last two races,” Bayne added.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do to get that right and we’ll see if we can get better. Overall, we finished on the lead lap, but 21st isn’t where you want to end up at the end of the day.”
Bayne got a lap back at lap 176 and would end stage two in 28th setting up for the final 200 laps. The 2011 Daytona 500 champion found himself 25th with 50 to go, before a series of late-race cautions allowed him to take the wave around and lucky dog, where he would ultimately finish 21st.
Bayne and the No. 6 team return to the track next weekend at Talladega Superspeedway for the Geico 500 Sunday, April 29, at 2 p.m. ET on FOX. Race coverage can also be heard on MRN and Sirius XM/Radio NASCAR Channel 90.
RFR PR/Photo Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images