But the paths to his two starting positions are quite different. At Daytona he was poised for a start near the front but was collected in a last-lap crash in his Gatorade Duel.
At Phoenix, he took a conservative route during time trials, an appropriate strategy given the fact that he was racing a back-up car after crashing the primary during practice on Friday.
“You have to be [conservative] until you get in the race,” said Bayne, who ran a best lap of 134.756 miles per hour in qualifying. “I had to be a little conservative, but I was still pushing it. I was shaking when I got out of the car because I thought I pushed it, but I think I got into Turn One a little too low and couldn’t carry any speed.”
Bayne pointed out something that may be getting overlooked in the fanfare surrounding his stunning victory in the Daytona 500. He’s just a rookie. But he also has the confidence it takes to give his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion a strong run once the green flag flies to start the race.
“The car’s really good,” he said.
Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 is set to start just after 3 p.m. Eastern Time with TV coverage on FOX.