Trevor Bayne drove his No. 6 AdvoCare Rehydrate Ford Fusion to his best finish of the 2018 season on Saturday night under the lights at Bristol Motor Speedway, finishing 11th at his home track.
“Jack asked me in the driver’s meeting how my car was and I told him it was a 10th to 15th-place car and if we could get it to turn we’d be better than that,” Bayne said. “Early in the race it turned and we drove up into the top-10 and were running about eighth. I had the speeding penalty and kind of overcame that and got back up to seventh or eighth and then that last restart it was all about what lane you were going be in.
“We were going be in the top, but Jimmie pitted and I was like, ‘Oh, man.’ So I started on the bottom and cost us a few spots and ended up 11th, but it’s a good finish for our guys. Every weekend when I leave the track I just kind of look and say, ‘Did I do everything I could do to get every position,’ whether that was 23rd or 11th, so I felt like I did a good job tonight. I wish I wouldn’t have sped on pit road. I wish I wouldn’t have let the 4 get by me at the end, but I shouldn’t have tried to cross Jimmie over and just got greedy and it cost me a spot. But, all in all, it was a good day and we’ll keep fighting.”
Bayne rolled off the grid 23rd, but quickly worked his way to the front in the opening laps. A multi-car accident just two laps in allowed the Knoxville, Tennessee, native to get inside the top-20. By the competition yellow at lap 60, Bayne was up to 14th, fighting a tight-handling Fusion.
He would restart 12th and drove himself into the top-10 by the start of stage two where he restarted ninth. He worked his way up to eighth just shy of lap 200, but was caught speeding on pit road following a pit stop. After restarting 17th, he got back up to 14th to begin the final 250-lap segment.
Some 40 laps later, Bayne fell back to 15th, fighting a tight-handling machine. But, the team continued work on the car and gained more spots on pit road, restarting 12th at lap 359. After again falling back with tight conditions, the team again gained spots on pit road, putting him 12th at the restart with 55 to go.
The team would bring the No. 6 to pit road one final time at lap 473 when Bayne rode 10th, tuning the car up one final time. After a late yellow at lap 481 in which he was eighth, Bayne restarted the final 13-lap shootout seventh – on the inside lane – which cost him a few spots at the end.
The No. 6 car returns to the track following the off weekend at Darlington Speedway, Sept. 2, for the Bojangles’ Southern 500. Race coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.