Trevor Bayne and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew overcame fueling issues and damage from a crash to post their second top-10 finish in four starts this season.
Bayne started 11th and ran in the top 15 for most of the race, but fell a lap behind when his fuel tank ran dry during a long green-flag stretch of racing. Crew chief Donnie Wingo opted to take the wave-around at Lap 150 so the team could rejoin the lead lap.
Then on Lap 176, while running in the lead group, Bayne was bumped by the spinning car of Casey Mears.
The Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew made repairs to the No. 21 Ford Fusion; and Bayne lined up ninth for a restart, with four of the scheduled 188 laps left to run. On the restart, a wreck at the front of the pack sent cars spinning, but Bayne steered clear.
The race extended to 194 laps, setting up a green-white-checkered-flag run to the finish. Bayne survived that dash and came home eighth.
“We will take that especially after all that mayhem out there,” Bayne said. “We ran out of fuel once, and spun out once after getting hit.”
“I slowed way down, and I don’t know what happened. It was a good caution for us because we needed fuel to make it to the end.”
Overall, he said, it was a great team effort.
“I think that is a great finish for us,” he said. “Two top-10’s on the year out of four starts is not terrible. We can keep working on it. They always give me good superspeedway cars, and if I can make them last to the end, I know we can have a shot to win.”
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said he too, was pleased with the way Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew overcame adversity to finish with the No. 21 among the 10 car numbers on the Talladega leaderboard.
“Trevor did a great job, and Donnie called a great race,” Wood said. “When we ran out of fuel, Donnie changed the strategy, took the wave-around, and got us back on the lead lap.”
Wood did say the team would go to work and try to determine why the No. 21 Ford Fusion wouldn’t take a full load of fuel, the same problem that occurred last fall at Charlotte Motor Speedway. All indications on a pit stop are that the fuel cell is full, but it obviously isn’t.
“We’ve got to figure that out,” Wood said. “It was a good day for us overall. It all worked out.”
Bayne and the Wood Brothers return to the track in two weeks for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.