Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 6 Liberty National Ford Fusion, ran inside the top 15 for much of Sunday afternoon’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) event at Atlanta Motor Speedway, earning a 12th-place finish.
“Today was a solid day overall,” said Bayne after the race. “We had some good speed right off of the truck with our Liberty National Ford and were able to make good adjustments throughout the day today that kept us in the game. I can’t thank these guys enough on this team for their hard work. Today was a good step in the right direction and we’re ready to build off of this next week in Vegas.”
Bayne began the afternoon from the 15th position after advancing to the second round of knockout qualifying on Friday evening. Throughout much of the first stage, Bayne battled a Liberty National Ford that was loose rolling from the center to the exit of the corner. This loose-handling condition didn’t affect the Roush Fenway Racing driver’s climb forward however as Bayne raced up to as high as ninth before the first stage came to an end on Lap 85.
After pitting for four tires and a slight chassis adjustment in-between rounds, Bayne took the green-flag for Stage 2 from the 11th position. In a stage that was dominated by green-flag runs, the Knoxville, Tenn. native rejoined the top-10 and finished Stage 2 in the 10th position, earning one bonus point in the process.
When the third and final stage began, the handling of the Liberty National Ford had shifted toward the tight side. Despite the tight-handling condition, Bayne continued to fight for position in the top 10, running as high as eighth before a caution on Lap 262 gave crew chief Matt Puccia an opportunity to make more adjustments to try to improve the cars handling.
Bayne returned to the track following the stop in 12th but continued to battle a tight Liberty National Ford for much of the final stage. In the closing laps, Bayne would race with Roush Fenway teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for position before ultimately taking the checkered flag in the 12th position.
Next up for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 12.