“I feel like we were just starting the race,” he said. “The first thing I saw was the 17 (Ricky Stenhouse Jr.) coming across in front of us, and I was already past the pit road entry and couldn’t turn down there.
“I slowed down enough, but four or five cars hit us from behind and sent us up the race track and we hit the outside wall.”
The Donnie Wingo-led Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew repaired their Ford Fusion and put Bayne back on the track, although numerous laps behind the leaders. Still, he was in position to regain many of the lost positions when the rains returned and the race was called 48 laps shy of the scheduled distance, leaving him with a 38th-place finish.
Bayne said the setback was especially tough, given the speed his No. 21 Ford Fusion typically has on the restrictor-plate tracks at Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway.
“It is a terrible way to end our day for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion when you feel like you have a shot to win these races and know you are really good here,” he said. “It is disheartening for these guys…..
“The only thing we come here for are the top-fives and wins, and this is not what we wanted.”
The good news on an otherwise disappointing day for the Wood Brothers team was seeing their long-time friends, the Petty family, celebrating in Victory Lane with their No. 43 Ford Fusion.
“We’re really happy for Richard, Dale, Aric and the rest of the team,” team co-owner Eddie Wood said. “It was a big day for the sport as a whole to have the 43 car in Victory Lane at Daytona on the 30th anniversary of Richard’s 200th win and on the day that our good friend Barney Hall retired from the MRN broadcast booth.”
The Woods and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team return to the track in three weeks for the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27.