Trevor Bayne and his No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion were poised to make a bid for a top-10 finish in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 when engine failure ended their charge and left them with a disappointing 40th-place finish.
Bayne started the finale of Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway from the 17th starting position and ran around 20th place in the early stages of the race. Each time he made a pit stop, his Donnie Wingo-led crew made adjustments to his car, and he began to move up through the field.
With a little more than 50 laps to go he was running 11th, but his time there was short-lived.
The first sign of trouble was when the engine’s oil pressure began dropping. That was followed by a loss of power, and then lap times dropped off by about three seconds.
“We had a good run going, and then we had engine issues,” said team co-owner Len Wood. “Unfortunately, you’ll have things like that happen sometimes.”
It was just the second time this season that the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion failed to finish a race.
Wood said that overall he was pleased with his team’s performance. “We felt good about getting a top-10 finish,” he said. “We were off a little in the beginning, but we were able to make the car better throughout the race.”
Wood went on to say that he was glad to end the 2013 Sprint Cup season on a high note, performance-wise, even if the final result didn’t reflect it.
“I don’t think any of our teammates had the season we were looking for,” he said. “But I’m proud of our team and the work they’ve done this year.”
He said his team is now focused on the season-opening Daytona 500 and preparing for the team’s 61st year of Sprint Cup competition and its 64th in the sport.
“We’ve already had meetings about 2014,” he said. “We’ll soon be getting ready for Daytona.”