After a strong seventh-place qualifying effort, Trevor Bayne and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team struggled with an ill-handling car throughout much of Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 but still salvaged a 22nd-place, lead-lap finish.
“We qualified really well, and I thought that was setting us up for a really good night,” Bayne said. “The first run we were able to maintain in the top-12, and I thought if we could just get it to turn a little bit we would be alright.”
Despite their optimism, that didn’t turn out to be the case.
“We were never able to find balance in the car all night long,” Bayne said. “We would either get it sideways loose or chattering the right front tight. We weren’t able to get the speed out of it to be able to roll through the center [of the corners].”
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said the crew wasn’t making major adjustments on pit stops, but the right combination still eluded them.
“We never could get the car to suit Trevor,” he said. “Sometimes that’s just the way it works out. We were right on the edge, but we just couldn’t get it right before the night was over.”
Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew also had to deal with damage from a Lap 120 restart when he was hit from behind on a restart and sustained damage to the rear end of his No. 21 Ford Fusion. Despite the damage, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team also had some luck on their side, as they took advantage of the wave-around rule and two “Lucky Dog” free passes to remain on the lead lap until the checkered flag fell.
Bayne and the Wood Brothers team now turn their attention to the season-ending Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 16-18.