Trevor Bayne and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion team had things going their way for the first third of Saturday’s Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. But a brush with the wall ended all that and put the team in survival mode for the rest of a race that saw just two caution periods, none of them in the final 234 laps.
The exceptionally long stretch of green-flag racing offered no real opportunities for the team to make repairs to the No. 21 Ford Fusion, and Bayne and the team wound up with a disappointing 28th-place finish, four laps behind race winner Greg Biffle.
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said he was somewhat surprised – but pleased – that the crew’s repairs to the right-rear of the car held up through to the checkered flag.
“We were lucky to finish the race without the right rear quarter-panel giving us more problems,” he said. “It’s disappointing because things were going fine early on. The car was just a little loose.”
But as Bayne moved up on the race track, the car took off toward the wall. Although he kept going, the damage was significant, both cosmetically and handling-wise.
“It took away a lot of the side force and some rear down force, which made the car very loose,” Wood said. “Then we didn’t have another caution to repair it.”
Bayne and the Wood Brothers Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team return to the Sprint Cup circuit on May 6 for the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.