Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion, improved 23 positions over the course of the 90-Lap NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) event at Watkins Glen International to earn a ninth-place finish on Sunday afternoon.
“This is a good weekend,” said Bayne after the race. “Finishing fifth yesterday in the XFINITY race and ninth today in the Cup race is a good road course weekend for me. We made a lot of progress this weekend and that is really good. My guys on this AdvoCare Fusion worked hard all weekend and it feels good to bring home a top-10. Hopefully we can continue to build off of this and make gains on the Chase.”
Bayne took the green flag from the 32nd position and immediately reported to crew chief Matt Puccia that the AdvoCare Ford was very loose, especially through the Esses. Despite the handling issue, Bayne raced his way into the top 25 and up to 23rd before the first round of green flag pit stops began on Lap 23. Bayne continued his climb forward from there as he raced into the 21st position before a caution on Lap 48 saw Puccia call the AdvoCare Ford to pit road again for four tires and fuel.
An opportune caution just four laps after the stop gave Puccia an opportunity to make a strategy call and decided to keep Bayne out on the race track as several of the race leaders came to pit road. The strategy call paid off as Bayne took the ensuing restart from the fourth position. The Knoxville, Tenn. native continued to battle for position inside the top 10 until a Lap 59 restart shuffled the Roush Fenway Racing driver back to 12th.
Bayne maintained his top-15 track position despite a rash of late-race cautions and lined up for the final restart on Lap 86 in 11th.
In the closing stages, Bayne would charge his way back into the top 10 and up to ninth as he crossed the finish line for the final time. The top-10 finish was Bayne’s fifth of the 2016 NSCS season.
With the result, Bayne now trails the 16th and final position in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship grid by eight points.