“We had a better car than 13th tonight,” said Bayne after the race. “A couple got by us with tires but I was glad we could hang on to what we did, especially running that whole last bit on two tires. It’s just fun to be able to race and make changes on our car and go for it. We ran in the top 10 most of the night.
“We’re making gains with this AdvoCare Ford Fusion and we’ve got to keep rolling with it,” added Bayne. “The 17 finished 11th, so that’s good for our organization. We’re getting better and showing that It wasn’t just a fluke to finish in the top 10 just once. We’re proving that we can be there every week and that’s what we have to do.”
Bayne took the green flag from the 28th position after qualifying was rained out on Friday afternoon, setting the field of 43 based on speeds from the first practice session on Friday morning. Once underway, the Roush Fenway Racing driver would race his way into the top 25 before the first caution of the event came out on Lap 19. Restarting in the 21st position, Bayne would be shuffled back to 33rd just prior to the competition caution being called on Lap 30.
Following the competition caution, Bayne took the green flag on Lap 35 from the 31st position but steadily moved his way forward, racing up to 26th despite battling a loose handling condition on entry and exit of the corners and a tight handling condition in the center. Despite maintaining his position throughout the ensuing green flag run, Bayne ultimately feel down a lap to the race leaders.
The Knoxville, Tenn. native did not stay down a lap for long, earning his way back onto the lead lap via the free pass when the caution came out once again on Lap 98. Once back on the lead lap, Bayne began to methodically work his way forward. He cracked the top-20 on Lap 141 and then only needed six more laps to move into the top 15.
Bayne continued to charge forward, utilizing a Lap 156 restart to move into the sixth position. Bayne maintained his track position inside the top 10 while relaying to crew chief Bob Osborne that the AdvoCare Ford was still tight in the center of the corner. Then, during a Lap 206 caution period, Osborne called Bayne to pit road for two tires and adjustments, sending the AdvoCare Ford back out onto the track in the eighth position. Bayne remained inside the top 10 until the handling began to shift more toward the loose side.
In the closing stages, Bayne battled for position with Roush Fenway Racing teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. before taking the checkered flag in the 13th position.