Daytona Beach, Fla. — Trevor Bayne and the Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 AdvoCare team scored an exciting third-place finish in Saturday’s season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300 Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Bayne pushed eventual winner Regan Smith to the front before he made one last three-wide move for the victory.
“You always stress that about these races, because you have no idea what direction they will go,” said Bayne, the 2011 Daytona 500 winner. “The first quarter of the race was about what we thought — two-wide and everybody all over the place. We were trying to work our way forward from 31st, and it started getting pretty crazy.
“You just had to get on somebody’s bumper and stay wide open. It was a good finish at the end. We were hoping to come out of there with a top-10, and that was a good points day when you are running for a championship.”
Bayne qualified his AdvoCare Mustang in the 31st position in Friday afternoon’s rain-halted qualifying session, and the team knew it had its hands full for the 120-lap race.
At the drop of the green flag, Bayne quickly worked his way through the field and by lap 25 had battled his way up to the 22nd position. He radioed in that his car felt really good in the draft, and crew chief Chad Norris called for no adjustments on the next stop.
The yellow flag flew on lap 71, and crew chief Chad Norris called his driver down pit road for four tires and two cans of fuel. Bayne left on the drop of the jack and blended into the field in the 23rd position. Still under caution, the team elected to try to save fuel for a short pit strategy.
Back to green, and the No.6 AdvoCare Mustang once again began its march through the field. With multiple cautions, the team elected not to pit and to conserve fuel for a late-race run.
The stage was set after the final caution of the day on lap 116. Bayne worked his way to the front of the field and into contention for the win, setting up a spectacular run to the checkered flag.
Photo via Twitter/@TimMoore