Trevor Bayne’s 57th and final ride in the Wood Brothers’ No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion ended prematurely when contact with another car just 60 laps shy of the finish of the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway damaged his car too much to continue on.
His 42nd-place finish was no indication of the potential of the No. 21 Ford Fusion, which was running 23rd and poised to move up when a cut valve stem on a tire led to parts of the damaged tire wrapping around the brakes, ripping the brake line loose and damaging the sheet metal in the wheel well.
“It had gotten dark, and the track was doing just what Trevor and Donnie expected,” team co-owner Eddie Wood said. “The track was coming to us, and Trevor was running some really good lap times. He had gotten in the lucky dog position, which would have gotten us back on the lead lap when the next caution came out.”
“Unfortunately, that caution flag wound up being for us. We weren’t going to win the race, but a top-15 wasn’t out of the question.”
With not enough time left to properly repair their Fusion, the Woods, crew chief Donnie Wingo and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team were left with front-row seats for one of NASCAR’s all-time greatest moments as the final race of the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup delivered the kind of “Game 7” moment that chairman Brian France envisioned when he decided on the current elimination-style Chase format.
“I congratulate Brian and everyone at NASCAR for putting on one of the most exciting races I’ve been to in a long time. It was a classic showdown between Ford, Chevy and Toyota.” Wood said of the grand finale of Ford Championship Weekend. “I was around when Bill Sr., who started NASCAR, was running things. And I was there when Bill Jr. came along and gave it a new dimension with corporate sponsorship, TV coverage and the involvement of Winston as the title sponsor of the series.”
“Now, it’s Brian’s time. He’s the chief, and he’s come up with a way to add a lot of excitement to our sport.
“It’s great stuff.”
When the checkered flag flew to end the Ford EcoBoost 400, it also marked the final appearance of veteran crew chief Donnie Wingo atop the Motorcraft/Quick Lane pit box.
Wood said that the relationship with Wingo and Bayne has been a good one.
“It’s been a great four years,” Wood said. “They gave us one of our biggest wins ever in the 2011 Daytona 500, and they’ve been great to work with.”
“Like all the other great ones before them, they’re a part of our history now, and they’ll always be treated as such.”
“We wish them both well as they move on to their new ventures.”
The Wood Brothers and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team along with their new driver, Ryan Blaney, return to the track next February for the 57th annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.