Trevor Bayne got some good TV exposure for the special paint scheme on his No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion during the ESPN broadcast of Sunday’s Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard. The type of coverage; however, wasn’t exactly what Bayne had in mind when he strapped in for the 400-miler at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Bayne made the broadcast – and post-race highlights – with a couple of spectacular saves when his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion, carrying a special paint scheme commemorating Henry Ford’s 150th birthday, broke loose in traffic.
A loose condition plagued Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew throughout the race. It led to him losing a lap early on, kept him mired in traffic and left him with a 28th-place finish, the same place he started.
Team co-owner Len Wood said the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew made adjustments to their black-and-white Ford Fusion throughout the race, but the way the race played out kept them pinned a lap down and unable to recover.
With just three caution periods, the opportunities to rejoin the lead lap through the free pass or wave-around were very limited.
“We never got to use the wave-around rule to get our lap back, because every time we were planning to use it, one of the leaders stayed on the track, and that kept us a lap down,” Wood said.
By NASCAR rules, if any of the leaders choose not to pit during a caution, there is no wave-around.
Still, Bayne and the team kept working to improve the handling of their car.
“We made adjustments on every pit stop, but we never really got it right,” Wood said. “It was better at the end, and it was really good in clean air, but unfortunately there wasn’t much clean air where we were running.”
Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew return to the Sprint Cup Series on Aug. 18 for the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.