Bayne qualified 20th but ran better than that for much of the afternoon. His quest for speed came at a price though, as he made contact with the wall and the resulting damage kept him from getting the finish he’d hoped for.
“I am four-for-four with races here at hitting the wall and cutting tires,” Bayne said. “We were really fast every single time. We were one of the fastest cars here in both Nationwide and Cup races and that isprobably the reason, because I am using up every bit of race track that I can to get that speed.”
“The problem is there is a lot of risk with that, and I found it more than once. At the end we were still in position and we cut a right rear tire because of the damage, and we couldn’t recover from that.”
“I think we had a top-10 type day going. We never had the track position but we were as fast as the leaders.”
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said he’s happy to be patient with and supportive of a driver who will push a car to its limits, even when he exceeds those limits at times. And he said he’s even more proud of Donnie Wingo, and the entire Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew that prepared the No. 21 Ford Fusion.
“We had a really fast car,” Wood said. “We just kept getting into the wall.”
Both driver and team owner left the Sprint Cup finale feeling good about the progress they’ve made this year and about the prospects for the future.
“I think we worked the best we have together all year, and that is a very good thing going into 2013,” Bayne said. Wood agreed, and said he also is excited to see this year’s championship-winning team returning to the Ford Racing team next season.
“I’m happy for Roger Penske and Brad Keselowski and congratulate them on winning the Sprint Cup championship,” Wood said. “Having them on board next year, along with Roush Fenway, and RPM, gives Ford Motor Company a good chance to win the Manufacturer’s Championship, and that’s important to us all.”