Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway played out with just one caution flag in the first 176 laps then saw 12 more in the second half of the race, and both the long green-flag run and the caution-filled final laps were factors in a disappointing outcome for Trevor Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team.
Bayne started 25th, and the lack of caution periods at the beginning of the scheduled 500-mile run offered few opportunities for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team to zero in on the correct chassis adjustments for the No. 21 Ford Fusion.
Team co-owner Eddie said the car was both tight and loose in the early going. “We just never could find the middle,” he said.
Bayne fell three laps behind the leaders at one point, but between the crew improving the car’s handling and two timely decisions to take the wave-around, he was able to get back to just one lap down. Although he was still running just outside the top 25; as the number of caution periods began to add up, so did the opportunities for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team to work on their car.
“We kept adjusting it, and got to running competitive times,” Wood said. “We were starting to go forward.”
With just 14 laps remaining in the scheduled distance, the No. 21 Fusion was collected in a crash when Kasey Kahne lost control of his car and ran into the side of Bayne, relegating him to a 39th-place finish.
“We didn’t get the finish we wanted, but it was good to see the three Ford drivers in the Chase all finish in the top 12 despite all that went on in the closing laps,” Wood said. “Hopefully all of them will still be in the running for the championship when we get to Homestead.”
The Motorcraft/Quick Lane team returns to the track in two weeks for the season-ending Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 14-16.