The Motorcraft/Quick Lane race team took a step back in qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway – back toward the day when the Wood Brothers’ No. 21 Fords were almost always among the fastest Sprint Cup cars on qualifying day.
After posting the eighth-quickest speeds in the two practice sessions for Sunday’s Duck Commander 500, Trevor Bayne went out and posted the second-fastest time in the opening round of knockout qualifying. He was sixth in the second round and seventh in Round 3, with a lap at 194.503 miles per hour. His speed of 197.477 mph in the first round was the second-best overall on a day that saw the Blue Oval contingent take six of the top 10 starting spots.
Crew chief Donnie Wingo said the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team, using simulations and the knowledge gained from a less-than-spectacular qualifying effort at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, built a brand new Ford Fusion that rolled off the truck at Texas ready to go.
“The car’s been good since we unloaded it,” Wingo said after qualifying. “Everything’s gone pretty smooth so far. All the guys have done a great job all weekend.”
Bayne said his Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew deserves a lot of credit for bouncing back after a struggle at Las Vegas.
“It’s great that the Wood Brothers can bring cars like this when we don’t run full-time and be able to come out here and contend with these guys,” he said. “I felt I had a car capable of the pole if everything went perfect… At Vegas I think we were nervous about making the race at the end, so that’s a big turnaround for us coming to a mile-and-a-half [track] and having this much speed.
“I’m pretty excited to get going tomorrow.”
The Duck Commander 500 is scheduled to get the green flag just after 3 p.m. Eastern Time with TV coverage on FOX.