LOUDON, N.H. — Trevor Bayne didn’t qualify for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, but he isn’t letting off the gas in the final stretch of the year.

Bayne, who finished the regular season 21st in the standings, said he and his crew are approaching the remaining races as if he were still in the championship hunt.

The Roush Fenway Racing driver claims, with the number of races NASCAR runs each year, it can be easy to get drained and lose motivation toward the end of the schedule. By using the end of the 2017 season as a sort of mock playoff, Bayne hopes he and his team can learn to overcome that.

“I think we act like we’re in,” Bayne told NESN Fuel. “We’ve got to learn how to run these last 10 races strong so when the opportunity does come, and we are in the chase, we know how to finish the season strong.”

The top-16 drivers, who are fighting to make it to the next round, admittedly also want to maximize the points they earn every week. The Knoxville, Tenn., native, however, claims that the position he is in allows Roush Fenway to use higher-risk strategies to try to make good things happen.

“Obviously we don’t have to strategize the same way chase teams do because we don’t have as much on the line — if we go for it and it doesn’t work out,” Bayne said. “So with fuel strategy and things like that we can be more aggressive, we can try to get those wins, and that’s what we need to do.”

Thumbnail photo via Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY Sports Images