“I hate that we had issues there around the halfway point,” said Bayne after the race. “We were making steady gains on our AdvoCare Ford before we had to go behind the wall for repairs after that flat tire. We’ll rebound from this and look to finish the season strong at Phoenix and Homestead.”
Bayne took the green flag for the 334-Lap event from the 29th position and immediately began to move forward, racing his way up to the 22nd position by the Lap 25 competition caution. Taking the ensuing restart from 22nd, Bayne steadily moved his way forward again, improving to 19th before the caution flag fell once again on Lap 35.
Crew chief Bob Osborne viewed this caution as an opportunity to play with some strategy and decided to keep the AdvoCare Ford out on the race track while some of the race leaders came to pit road. The call worked as Bayne took the Lap 41 restart from the 11th position.
The Knoxville, Tenn. native maintained his position in the top 20 until the caution flag was displayed again on Lap 51. After pitting for four tires and a chassis adjustment during the caution, Bayne returned to the track in 24th. When the race went back to green Bayne reported that the AdvoCare Ford was very tight through the center of the corner.
This tight handling condition persisted throughout much of the middle portion of the event. Despite the handling, Bayne again raced his way into the top 20 and up to the 18th position before contact with the outside retaining wall flattened the right-rear tire of the Roush Fenway Ford. After calling Bayne to pit road to survey the damage, Osborne decided the car had to go behind the wall as a brake-line had been cut.
After spending over 30 laps in the garage making repairs, Bayne returned to the track and took the checkered flag in the 39th position.