Trevor Bayne and the crew of his No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion spent most of their pre-race practice time at Indianapolis Motor Speedway preparing their car for qualifying, which meant sacrificing time normally spent preparing for the Brickyard 400.
Still, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew was able to look over data from their fellow Ford teams and come up with a set-up that allowed Bayne to run in the top 20 for much of the race. But that all came to an unexpected end when a right-rear tire went flat with 63 of 160 laps to go. Bayne avoided hard contact with the outside wall but slammed into the guardrail inside, damaging his car too much to continue. He was 43rd in the final rundown.
“I had a right-rear tire go down getting into turn three,” Bayne said. “I thought I felt it about a half-a-lap sooner, but just didn’t have time to check it out.
“The spotters are on the other side of the race track, so they can’t tell what’s going on. It let go getting into turn three, and I had it saved off the fence and then the right-rear tire cut the brake line so I couldn’t get it stopped by the time I hit the inside guardrail.”
Bayne said the setback was especially disappointing because the team was poised for a respectable finish.
“We had a decent car, decent enough that when we got track position we could hold on to it,” he said. “We were running top 20 and had a chance to do even better than that.”
Team co-owner Eddie Wood pointed out that the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team did a great job improving the car with each pit stop, making the eventual outcome even more of a let-down.
“They were making the car better every pit stop,” Wood said. “It was better on the long runs than a lot of people.”
Bayne said it seems like luck would have it that misfortunes on the track tend to arise more often on days when the car is running strong.
“It stinks to end our day like this with a brand-new car, so I feel bad for my guys here,” he said. “You never have days like this when you’re running 35th; it’s always when you have a decent car.”
“I just feel bad about it, and we’ll see what we can do next time.”
The Motorcraft/Quick Lane team returns to the track in three weeks for the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.