“Our AdvoCare Fusion ran pretty well tonight,” said Bayne after the race. “We had some good speed over the long run and were able to really make gains on some guys on the top. I just want to thank all of my guys for their hard work. We didn’t get to really have any final practice yesterday and I’m just really proud of their effort tonight.”
Bayne took the green flag for the 334-lap event from the 23rd position after advancing to the second round of knockout qualifying on Friday evening. Throughout the early stages of the evening, Bayne reported that the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion had a loose handling condition through the entry and exit of the corner. Crew chief Bob Osborne then utilized a Lap 31 caution period to bring the Roush Fenway Racing driver to pit road for four tires and adjustments.
Restarting in the 24th position, Bayne would maintain his position inside the top 25 until the first round of green flag pit stops saw the AdvoCare Ford improve to 21st. However, due to the length of the green flag cycle, the Knoxville, Tenn. native fell one lap behind the race leaders. After battling hard with Austin Dillon, Bayne was able to work his way back onto the lead lap by way of the free pass during a Lap 108 caution.
Bayne was then able to move his way back into the top 20 on the ensuing restart, but the loose handling condition returned, shuffling Bayne back to 22nd just before the second round of green flag pit stops began on Lap 156. A caution 15 laps later trapped the AdvoCare Ford one lap down, but Bayne was able to once again be the recipient of the free pass as he was able to race his way back to being the first car one lap down.
Despite being back on the lead lap, a pit road penalty for driving through too many pit stalls forced Bayne to restart at the tail end of the field following a caution with just over 80 laps to go. Utilizing a never give up attitude, Bayne was able to work his way back up to the 20th position following a lap 268 restart.
In the closing stages, Bayne would battle for position with Roush Fenway teammates Greg Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. inside the top 20, ultimately earning an 18th-place finish.
With the result, Bayne ranks 23rd in the championship standings and trails 16th-place Paul Menard by 39 points as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19.