For a team not assured of a starting spot, just making the field for a Sprint Cup race is a significant accomplishment in itself. But the members of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew, who have become accustomed to strong qualifying runs at restrictor-plate tracks, were a bit disappointed with their run against the clock on Friday as Trevor Bayne and his No. 21 Ford Fusion qualified 16th for Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
“It’s not exactly what we were looking for,” said crew chief Donnie Wingo. “We just didn’t pick up speed from practice like we thought we would. I’m a little disappointed.”
But Wingo has a totally different attitude about the team’s prospects for Saturday night’s 400-miler.
“I think we’ll be fine for the race,” he said. “Everything went pretty smoothly in practice. The car was fast right off the truck.”
Bayne also was upbeat after Friday’s qualifying session.
“You always want to be on the pole, so I’m not completely satisfied, but these guys work hard,” he said. “We have a good race car here, and they reminded me that the big trophy is tomorrow night, so we’re in the show and that’s a good thing….
“I’m happy with the car they brought for me, and I think it’s going to race well. That’s what’s important.”
The Coke Zero 400 is scheduled to get the green flag just after 7:30 p.m. on Saturday with coverage on TNT.