Category Archives: 2011

Bayne Leads The Way For Ford in Talladega Qualifying

Trevor Bayne and his No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion will line up on the outside of the second row for Sunday’s 43rd annual Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway after posting a qualifying lap of 181.011 miles per hour, best among Ford drivers and best of the drivers who had to make the starting field through their qualifying times.

Bayne said that when it comes to qualifying on superspeedways like Daytona and Talladega, it’s the crew that deserves most of the credit.

“I think that shows how much work the 21 guys put into these cars,” he said. “They do a great job at the superspeedways, and the work shows up here. It is all about speed, and our car has it. I think it is a solid run for our Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion.”

Now it’s on to Sunday’s race, where Bayne and his Donnie Wingo-led crew will have to come up with a plan to succeed in the two-car “tandem” racing that has become the norm at Daytona and Talladega.

“Hopefully we can keep it up there all day,” Bayne said. “Qualifying doesn’t really matter once the green flag drops with all the drafting that is going on. You will move around from the back to the front and back again. We will hang out and see who we hook up with.”

Bayne and Wingo say the logical plan would be to hook up with another driver from the Ford camp, but since that’s a group of seven and the Wood Brothers are a one-car team, they’re the odd man out when it comes to a drafting partner.

Wingo said the pre-race plan is for Bayne to try to initially hook up with someone who qualified close to the front, then go from there.

“We’ll see how it all shakes out,” Wingo said. “We’ll just see who’s available to draft with.”
Wingo said he’s not worried that Bayne didn’t participate in drafting practice on Friday as he and the team were concentrating on qualifying.

“Trevor was able to come here and run a full day during the [Electronic Fuel Injection] test,” he said. “He got back in his rhythm running with David Ragan.”

Team co-owner Eddie Wood said he’s not overly concerned that his team is heading into Sunday without a definite drafting plan, especially since his driver and team are this year’s Daytona 500 winners.

“I’m sure we’ll have one by the time the race is over,” he said.

The Good Sam Club 500 is set to get the green flag on Sunday just after 2 p.m. Eastern with TV coverage on ESPN.

Bayne And The Wood Brothers Ready to Tackle Tandem Racing at Talladega

 

Fresh after a Bank of America 500 run that showed they had the muscle to run with the leaders on an intermediate track, Trevor Bayne and his No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion head to Talladega Superspeedway, where they’ll be among the pre-race favorites for Sunday’s Good Sam Club 500.

Although he has made just 15 career Sprint Cup starts, the 20-year-old Bayne has developed a reputation for knowing how to push and be pushed in the two-car “tandem” drafting that has become commonplace at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, the two giant tracks where restrictor plates are used to reduce speeds.

Bayne won the Daytona 500 in February and started on the outside pole at Daytona in July. In April at Talladega, he ran among the leaders and led five laps before being collected in a crash.

Over the years, his Wood Brothers team has been among the best at the two mammoth superspeedways. They’ve won 15 times at Daytona, including five Daytona 500s, and five times at Talladega.

Bayne said he’s ready to take on Talladega again.

“I’m excited about it,” he said. “Last time we didn’t get the run we wanted, but we showed speed. At all the superspeedway races, the Wood Brothers have done a good job of building a fast hot rod.

“I like going to [restrictor-plate tracks]; we just have to stay out of trouble.”

Avoiding crashes at Talladega and Daytona is a big part of the challenge at those two tracks, and Bayne is making that a big part of his race day strategy.

“If we can keep that mindset until the end, we’ll be really good,” he said. “I’m pumped about the car. They say it’s really good.”
A new factor this time around at Talladega is a rules change by NASCAR that has been implemented with the intention of trying to limit the amount of time two drivers can stay hooked up in tandem while also providing for more passing.

The restrictor plate that will be used in practice will have openings that are increased by 1/64 inch to 57/64 inches in diameter, and the pressure relief valve on the cooling systems will be changed to reduce pressure by about eight pounds per square inch from that allowed in April at Talladega. Teams also will be prohibited from applying any substance to the bumpers, something that was done in recent races to aid in pushing.

Bayne said the new rules will cut down on the time drivers can run bumper to bumper.

“I don’t think we can stay hooked up as long with the water pressure being lower,” he said. “It’s going to be easier to blow off that water, and you don’t want to do that.

“It’s going to mean more switching [positions].”
And that, he said, could increase the likelihood of crashes.

“You’re going to have to be more cautious, kind of stay back a little bit or get up front and try to lead,” he said.

Despite his record of success, Bayne has had difficulty securing a drafting partner before the race, and this time around at Talladega is no exception. It’s one of the disadvantages of being with a single-car team in an environment where most of the top drivers belong to one of the multi-car camps.

With seven Ford teams in the mix, Bayne knows he could wind up starting the race with a driver from another manufacturer as his drafting partner.

“I’ve been working on it,” he said. “I found out last time that you have to be prepared. You have to have a running mate.”

Qualifying for the Good Sam Club 500 is set for Saturday at 12:15 p.m. Eastern Time, and the race is set to get the green flag on Sunday just after 2 p.m. Eastern with TV coverage on ESPN.

Fueling System Failure Spoils Strong Charlotte Run for Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team

For the first two thirds of Saturday’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, rookie Trevor Bayne was giving the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion, with its Glen Wood tribute paint scheme, a run like the ones Wood himself once delivered back in the day.

After qualifying 10th in his first Cup race at Charlotte, Bayne stayed among the top seven or eight for much of the race and was running a strong seventh when he ran out of fuel under the green flag.

Instead of continuing to contend for a top-five finish or better, he wound up trapped three laps down and finished a disappointing 31st.

Team co-owner Eddie Wood said a problem with the car’s fuel system, one that is new to NASCAR this year and one that teams are required to use, likely kept the team from contending for a victory.

Wood said the first time the fueling issue came into play Bayne realized he was running dry and made it to pit road even though he should have been able to run three more laps.

The second time the problem occurred, with 97 laps to go, he was even further from his scheduled stop when he ran dry and stalled on the track.

“We really won’t know exactly what happened until we get it back to the shop,” Wood said. “It was really unfortunate because we had a shot at winning the race. It was the best shot we’ve had at a mile-and-a-half track all year.”

Bayne, who also gave the invocation prior to the start of the race, agreed that the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion was a potential winner.

“We had an easy top-five car,” he said. “I feel like this would have been another shot to win a race. That thing was just so fast. It was that way all weekend. On the long runs it was that good, and the whole race we didn’t adjust one thing and we were really competitive. There aren’t many nights when you get to do that and be that fast”.

“We didn’t get the finish we deserved, but it’s definitely a confidence-builder for the whole team to run that good all night. We want results, but they’ll come if we keep running that good.”

Bayne said there were a lot of Fusion drivers who were liking their cars at Charlotte.  “At one point I looked up, and I think all but one car in the top seven were Fords and that was just really cool to see them that dominant at a track,” he said. “It’s cool that they got the win, but I wish it was the 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion in Victory Lane instead.”

Eddie Wood said that overall, he and the Wood Brothers team were upbeat about the night’s events. The team got to honor founder Glen Wood, who has been elected into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and some of the team’s original crew members – Leonard Wood, Delano Wood, Kenny Martin, Jack Kendrick and Cecil Wilson – were on hand and wearing Hinchman crew uniforms just like the ones they wore in the 1960s.

“It was a good night,” Wood said. “The car was fast. The pit crew was fast. Trevor did a great job. Daddy was there with most of his original crew members. Matt Kenseth won the race, and Carl Edwards kept the points lead so it was a good night for the Blue Oval.”

Wood went on to say that running competitively helps ease the pain that comes when a failed part takes the team out of contention.

“When you’re running well, you can deal with it when things go wrong,” he said.

Now Bayne and the Woods head back to Talladega Superspeedway for Sunday’s Good Sam Club 500. Talladega is the sister track to Daytona International Speedway, where Bayne and the No. 21 Fusion won the Daytona 500. 

Bayne Drives Glen Wood Tribute Car to Top-10 Start at Charlotte

 

Trevor Bayne and the crew of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion knew what a big disappointment it would be for the entire NASCAR community if their car, with its Glen Wood tribute paint scheme, wasn’t in the starting field for Saturday’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

 

But Bayne and his Donnie Wingo-led crew, working without the safety net of a guaranteed starting position, put the pressures aside and came away with a top-10 starting position for Saturday’s race.

 

Bayne toured the track at 191.259 miles per hour on his qualifying lap to earn the 10th starting spot on a night that saw Ford drivers take seven of the top 12 starting spots. Bayne’s Ford was fast from the start, as he posted the ninth best speed in practice with a lap at 190.476 mph. Both his qualifying and practice speeds were the best of the go-or-go-home drivers who weren’t among the top 35 in car owner points and therefore not assured of starting spots.

 

Team co-owner Eddie Wood said he was especially proud of the effort, considering how much the paint scheme, based on the one that appeared on the 1963 Ford Galaxie that his father drove to his final win as a driver, meant to his family and to legions of Wood Brothers fans.

 

“We’re really happy to make the race,” Wood said. “There was a lot of pressure on Donnie and Trevor and the crew, but they worked hard all through practice and qualifying.”
Wood pointed out that while a top-10 qualifying result is impressive enough in itself, it’s even more noteworthy considering what was at stake.

 

“To put up that kind of lap when you’re trying to make the race on speed is something else,” he said.

 

Bayne, racing a Sprint Cup car at Charlotte for the first time and running in Cup for just the 15th time, said that even though he was pleased to make the starting field, he probably left a little speed on the track during his run against the clock.

 

“I definitely got a little bit loose in [Turns] One and Two, but I think I could have driven it a little bit different down there,” he said. “I tried to roll out early but stay in the gas a little bit until the center, and when I did that and finally unloaded I got loose.”
Then he got a little tight on the other end of the race track, but overall he was pleased with his effort.

 

“We went a little bit faster than practice, so that was good,” he said. “It was a good qualifying run for the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford.”

 

The Bank of America 500 is set to get the green flag on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with TV coverage on ABC.

Charlotte Paint Scheme Honors Glen Wood’s Last Winning Ride

The Wood Brothers have had lots to celebrate in 2011, including a win in the Daytona 500 and the election of team founder Glen Wood into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The celebration continues during the Bank of America 500 weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as the paint scheme on the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion honors Glen Wood’s final win as a race driver.

The Motorcraft/Quick Lane car will be painted in the same colors as the 1963 Ford Galaxie that Wood drove to victory at Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C., on July 13, 1963, and crew members will wear shirts just like the ones the Wood Brothers wore in the mid-1960s.

That No. 21 Ford from 1963 was rugged, fast and versatile. In its first race, at Riverside, Calif., Fred Lorenzen turned the car over in practice, but the Woods repaired it at the track, and Lorenzen took a 22nd-place finish. From there it was on to Daytona, where the Woods’ regular driver Marvin Panch was badly burned in a sports car crash and one of his rescuers, Tiny Lund, took over the No. 21 and drove it to victory in the Daytona 500 in one of the biggest stories ever in auto racing.

Wood returned to the seat at Bowman-Gray that July, and the “Master of the Madhouse” lived up to his nickname earned on the quarter-mile track known then and now as the “Madhouse.”

He started on the pole, but was involved in an early spin. While fellow future Hall of Famers Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett took turns on the point, Wood was using his mastery of the Madhouse to work his way back to the front, no small feat on the small, narrow track. On Lap 107 of 200, he took the lead from Jarrett and led the rest of the way.

The red-and-white Ford was back in Victory Lane on Sept. 29 at North Wilkesboro Speedway with Panch driving, and Dave MacDonald finished second in it at Riverside. That talented stable of drivers combined to give the Woods the 1963 car owner’s championship for the series now known as Sprint Cup.

Then that history-making Ford was turned back in to Holman Moody in exchange for a new model, and the Woods began to focus on building a faster car for the 1964 season.

The Stuart, Va.-based team also began to change its strategy when it came to its driver line-up.

With the team finding increasing success with other drivers behind the wheel of their fast Fords, Glen Wood soon cut back on his driving. After his win at Bowman Gray, he only ran three more races, two of them at Bowman Gray. Then the driving portion of his Hall of Fame career came to a close on Aug. 23, 1964, at Starkey Speedway in Roanoke, Va., where he started on the pole and finished third in a race that he also helped promote.

The 2011 version of the Wood Brothers’ car will carry the same color scheme as the ’63 version, with red on the bottom of the car and white on top, and the logos will be 60s style as well. Glen Wood’s name will be on the roof, but where the Glen Wood-driven version carried the logos of English Ford in High Point, N.C., the Trevor Bayne-wheeled car will have Motorcraft/Quick Lane instead. But as Wood’s son and team co-owner Eddie Wood pointed out, the sponsor really is the same, even after nearly 50 years.

“Back then it said ‘English Ford’ but it was really sponsored by the Ford factory,” Wood said. “And 48 years later we’re still sponsored by Ford Motor Company.”

For the 20-year-old Bayne, the Charlotte paint scheme is another part of his ongoing, year-long lesson in Wood Brothers and NASCAR history. Since he began driving for the Woods about a year ago, one of Bayne’s favorite parts of the job is being around the shop and hearing stories from the past from Glen, Leonard, Eddie or Len Wood. The conversations are a bridge to an earlier era, one that drivers his age and many a fan know little of.

“When they’re telling stories, I think, ‘Did racing really used to be that way?’” he said, adding that the Woods’ history is in many ways the history of NASCAR. “The Wood Brothers are timeless. They have wins and history from the early days of the sport until now. They’re very proud of their history.”

Bayne said that as he runs paint schemes like the ones he’s run featuring David Pearson and now Glen Wood, he’s reminded that the men he knows only as friendly senior citizens once were tough competitors behind the wheel in an often rough-and-tumble era.

“But you can tell that once they put the helmet on they’d really go for it,” he said. “Glen Wood is The Man.”

Donnie Wingo, the current crew chief on the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion, has only been a part of the Wood Brothers history for a short time, but he’s been friends with the family for years.

So it’s no surprise that he’s already a fan of the throwback paint scheme that will adorn the same Fusion that Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. drove to an 11th-place finish earlier this year at Charlotte when he was filling in for the recovering Bayne.

“It’s pretty cool,” Wingo said. “The car really stands out. I like the background and the way it makes the numbers and the writing on the car stand out.”

And Wingo likes the idea of being part of a gesture to honor a true racing legend.

“It means a lot,” he said.

Qualifying for the Bank of America 500 is set for Thursday at 7:10 p.m., and the race is set to get the green flag on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with TV coverage on ABC.

Bayne’s Ford Fusion Finishes on Fumes at Chicagoland

On a day when gas-mileage strategies and long green-flag runs scrambled many a team’s best-laid plans, Trevor Bayne and the crew of his No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion stretched their final tank of fuel to the finish to score a 23rd-place finish in the rain-delayed Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Bayne and his Donnie Wingo-led crew spent the first two-thirds of Monday’s race tuning their Fusion to adapt to a race track they hadn’t been on since Saturday because of persistent rain. But each time Bayne came to pit road, Wingo and the crew tuned on the car, and with 100 miles or so to run, it was turning the kind of lap times they were looking for.

“We got the car really fast at the end,” said team co-owner Eddie Wood.

But they were unable to fully capitalize on the speed they’d found. They raced their way into the “Lucky Dog” free pass position and stayed there lap after lap, but no caution flag flew to allow them to rejoin the lead lap.

Then on the race’s final green flag run, Bayne, like many others in the field, was forced to take a conservative approach to try to make it to the checkered flag without running his gas tank dry. He almost got there under full power, but began slowing in the final two corners and coasted across the line in 23rd place.

Wood said the fuel strategy worked out just right. “We ran out at exactly the right place,” he said. “It started running out in Turn Three, but Trevor made it across the line without losing any positions.”

Wood said he and the team were upbeat afterwards about their performance.

“Trevor did a good job,” he said. “Donnie made some good calls in the pits. We had good speed. We were just a little off at times, but at the end the car was the best it had been all day. And the pit crew did a good job.

“It wasn’t a bad day at all.”

Bayne and the Wood Brothers return to the Cup circuit next month at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 15. The weekend will be especially important for the Woods and their fans as the paint scheme for that race will be a tribute to team founder and 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Glen Wood.

Bayne’s The Best ‘Go-Or-Go-Home’ Geico 400 Qualifier

When a NASCAR Sprint Cup team shows up at the race track without the luxury of a guaranteed starting spot, the most important pre-race task is to earn a starting spot for the main event.

Trevor Bayne and the crew of his No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion did just that on Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway as Bayne turned a lap at 180.638 miles per hour to earn the 28th starting position for Sunday’s Geico 400.

While a 28th-place effort doesn’t sound like something to be celebrated, it was the best result of the teams outside the top 35 in car owner points and therefore not assured of a starting position. And it’s not a true indicator of how the car will perform under race conditions.

Bayne, being in a vulnerable “go or go-home” position, couldn’t afford to take chances on a qualifying lap, so a conservative approach was appropriate under the circumstances. But for a race driver, that’s always a little disappointing.

“Well, we are in but it isn’t exactly what I wanted,” Bayne said. “We have been pretty fast all weekend, so we definitely wanted to be top-15 in qualifying here.”
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said that while Bayne may be a bit disappointed, he accomplished the team’s primary objective for Saturday.

“He got in the race,” Wood said. “That’s what he was supposed to do.”
Both Wood and Bayne are optimistic that Sunday’s end result will be more satisfying.

“I think it will be good in race trim, so I am ready to start this thing,” Bayne said.

The Geico 400 is scheduled to get the green flag on Sunday just after 1 p.m. (2 p.m. Eastern) with TV coverage on ESPN.

Bayne, Woods Ready for Fresh Start in Chase Opener

All across the Sprint Cup garage, people are looking at this weekend’s Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in much the same way they approach the Daytona 500.

The 400 is much like the start of a new season, as it’s the first of 10 races that make up the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

For Trevor Bayne and the crew of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion, any comparison to the Daytona 500 evokes pleasant memories, as it was in that race back in February that the famed Wood Brothers team opened their 61st NASCAR season by scoring their fifth Daytona 500 triumph.

Now it’s on to Chicagoland and the start of the 2011 post-season.

Bayne and the Woods aren’t running the full Cup schedule and therefore aren’t in contention for the title, but they will get to share the electricity of the moment.

“It is exciting to be in the first race of the Chase,” team co-owner Eddie Wood said. “We’re proud that two of our Ford teammates, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth over at Roush-Fenway Racing, are in the Chase.”
But that doesn’t mean that Wood and his team plan to be bystanders for the final 10 races.

“From our standpoint, we’re not worried about the points,” he said. “We’re going to race as hard as we can.”
Wood said Bayne and his Donnie Wingo-led crew will be respectful of the 12 Chase drivers and race them as cleanly as possible.

“Still, at the end of the day it’s every driver for himself,” he said.

Wingo said he’s glad to be headed back to one of the high-banked, intermediate oval tracks where the Ford Fusions have run so well this season. And although his rookie driver has never run a Cup car at Chicagoland, he has run well there in the Nationwide Series. In three career starts, Bayne has two top-10 starts and a third-place finish back in June.

“It’s a place where all the Fords run well, and the laps that Trevor has run there in the Nationwide Series should help out,” Wingo said.

The Ford Fusion that Wingo has prepared for this weekend’s race is the same one the team ran at Las Vegas and at the first Michigan race, and he’s planning to set it up for running multiple grooves.

“The track at Chicago has weathered some, so the top side should be good,” he said. “We’ll set up to run the top or the bottom.”
Wingo also said that even though 12 of the team’s competitors will be racing for a championship, he’s not going to let that adversely affect his team’s chances.

“You don’t want to do anything that would affect the Chase, but you still have to run your own race and race people the same way they’ve been racing you all year,” he said, adding that if he gets a chance to use pit strategy to gain track position near the end of the race, he’ll do it. “When it comes down to the end, you have to do whatever you need to do to be at the front.”

Qualifying for the Geico 400 is set for Saturday at 12:40 p.m. (1:40 p.m. Eastern Time), and the green flag is scheduled to fly on Sunday just after 1 p.m. (2 p.m. Eastern) with TV coverage on ESPN.



JDRF Motorcraft/Quick Lane Crew Had Strong Support Team at Pure Michigan 400

Normally, at a Sprint Cup race, a race team and its sponsors are represented mostly by the driver, crew chief and car owners.

But at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, the JDRF Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion team had a special spokesperson at the track and an honored guest on the pit box.

Katie Hahn, the seven-year-old from Omaha, Neb., who designed the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation paint scheme that adorned the No. 21 Ford Fusion, represented the team and the JDRF like an old PR pro. She did interviews, met with fans and was introduced at the driver’s meeting.

“Katie was awesome, she and her whole family,” said Trevor Bayne, who drove the multi-colored JDRF Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion to a 24th-place finish in the Pure Michigan 400.

“I think they really enjoyed being here with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The car looks awesome. She has a bright future ahead of her in design work hopefully.”

Team co-owner Eddie Wood said Katie also might have a future in front of the cameras and microphones.

“She did an excellent job when she was interviewed on Sirius and in the other interviews she did,” Wood said. “She did it herself, and she handled herself really well.”

The Woods also were honored to have Alan Mulally, President and CEO of Ford Motor Company, watching the race from atop the Motorcraft/Quick Lane pit box.

“It’s not every day that you have someone of Mr. Mulally’s stature visit you at the race track, It is truly an honor to be part of the Ford Motor Company family.” Wood said.

Unfortunately for the Woods and their special guests, the 400 didn’t play out exactly like they’d planned.

“We fought changing conditions all afternoon,” Wood said. “At times there was cloud cover, and at other times the sun was out.”

Bayne said there were times when he felt like he was poised to move up from middle of the pack.

“We started making ground on the car at about the third run,” he said. “I thought ‘Man, we’re going to be pretty good,’ because we started passing people and coming up through the field a little bit.

“Then, at the end of every run it’d kind of fade on me….At the end, the track kept changing every time the clouds came over, and it would just really change a lot.

“It was kind of hit or miss.”

When the race boiled down to a green-white-checkered-flag finish, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team put on fresh tires for the run to the finish. Bayne lined up 19th but was unable to take advantage of his last chance to move up.

“On the restart I just spun the tires a little bit and [A.J.] Allmendinger got us four-wide there, and we ended up finishing 24th.”
Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew will return to the circuit on Sept. 16-18 at Chicagoland Speedway for the Geico 400.

Woods, Bayne Will Carry JDRF Colors On Sunday at Michigan

The multi-colored Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Ford Fusion will have a solid starting spot for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Trevor Bayne ran a lap at 187.859 miles per hour to earn the 20th starting position in the Wood Brothers’ No. 21 Ford Fusion which is carrying the special paint scheme to raise awareness and funds for the JDRF, which is the charity of choice for the team’s regular sponsors, Ford’s

Customer Service Division and its Motorcraft and Quick Lane brands.

Bayne was pleased with his run against the clock, which was about a mile per hour faster than his best lap of 187.037 mph in practice.

“That was a pretty good qualifying run,” he said. “It could be a good weekend for us. I am so excited to be driving this race car designed by seven-year-old Katie Hahn. She designed it herself, and we got to make her dreams come true by putting it on the real race car and bringing it out to the race.

“It is an awesome weekend for us. I think we will have something come Sunday. It was better for qualifying this time than last time, and I think we can learn for the race trim set up with that.”
 Crew chief Donnie Wingo said he started with basically the same chassis set-up that he used in the first Michigan race back in June then tuned on it during practice.

“We went off what we had here last time,” he said. “Maybe we should have adjusted it a little more for qualifying, but we wanted to make sure Trevor knew what he had when he went out to qualify.”
 A conservative approach to qualifying is a must for the No. 21 team as they’re not among the top 35 in car owner points, the group that is assured of starting spots for races. A mistake by Bayne or the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew during qualifying and the team doesn’t race on Sunday.

Now the focus is on getting the car tuned for the 400-mile run on Sunday. Wingo said the car was a little too free the last time at Michigan, so he’ll be adjusting for that.

He’ll also work with Bayne to make sure he gets all the speed he can out of the car all the way through the corners so he can put his powerful Ford FR 9 engine to work on Michigan’s long straightaways.

“We need to make sure we get a complete corner,” he said.

But for the JDRF Motorcraft/Quick Lane team, the most important thing from Friday is that they’ll be racing on Sunday.

“We’re here, and we’re in,” said team co-owner Eddie Wood.

Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 is scheduled to get the green flag just after 1 p.m. with TV coverage on ESPN.