Crew chief Donnie Wingo and the crew of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion battled back from a crash in Thursday’s Budweiser Duel to put a brand new Ford Fusion on the track for Sunday’s Daytona 500. Despite the high hopes, another incident midway through the 500 kept them from being able to put a happy ending on their Speedweeks story.
On Lap 139 of 200, nine drivers, including Trevor Bayne in the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion, crashed heading into Turn One. Bayne’s Fusion sustained considerable damage, but his crew patched up the car, and he finished the race in 27th position, two laps off the pace.
“It looked like somebody checked up in front [Brad Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford Fusion], and he slowed down,” Bayne explained. “I slowed down and still got in the back of him a little bit, but not enough to wreck him, and then I got drilled from behind and it just turned me.”
Up to that point, Bayne had been able to run up into the top half of the field from his 33rd starting position, but he was never able to get up front, as he did in Thursday’s opening Duel, where he led a race-high 36 laps.
“I kept trying to pull down to the bottom to try to make something happen, but anytime I pulled out of line I got freight-trained,” Bayne said.
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said that despite the disappointing results he was proud of his team’s efforts in Speedweeks.
“We brought two fast cars down here, but just never were able to get to the front in the 500,” he said. “We’ll take them home, fix them both and have them ready to go at Talladega.” Next up on the schedule for Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew is the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 8-10.
That race will be the first intermediate-track test of the new Generation-6 Sprint Cup race car, and it will come at one of Bayne’s best race tracks. He finished ninth there last year.
Wood said his team already has put a lot of effort into putting a fast 2013 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion on the track for the 400-miler at Las Vegas.
“We put a new 2013 Ford Fusion body on the best-handling chassis we had from last year,” Wood said. “We’re anxious to get there and see how it goes.”