Trevor Bayne, driver of the No.6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang recorded his second runner-up result of the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) season on Saturday evening at Chicagoland Speedway, coming home in second.
“What a great finish tonight,” said Bayne after the race. “It feels great to be able to race up front and battle for the lead. Our car was so fast in the second-half of the race that we were able to really make some moves out there on the high line. I hate that we came so close to getting the win but I know that this No.6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang team is close. With that in mind, I’m definitely ready to head to Indianapolis next weekend. We’ve got momentum on our side right now and the chance to win $100,000 with Nationwide’s ‘Dash 4 Cash’. I’m ready to go.”
Bayne rolled off from the 11th position on Saturday evening and wasted little time moving toward the front, cracking the top-10 for the first time at the completion of Lap 1. Fighting a loose condition early, the driver of the No.6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang hovered around the 10th position for much of the first quarter of the event. Crew chief Chad Norris utilized a Lap 54 pit stop to make adjustments to the No.6 Ford that ultimately reversed the loose handling condition.
Upon returning to the track, Bayne began to march forward. By Lap 73, Bayne had worked his way up to the seventh position before a tight condition halted his progress. Continuing to work on the handling of the AdvoCare Ford, crew chief Norris called Bayne to pit road during the second-round of green flag pit stops on Lap 109 for four tires and adjustments. Bayne was able to return to the track in 10th and move back up to the ninth position despite still battling with a tight handling race car. An opportune caution on Lap 122 allowed Bayne to hit pit road again and get off-sequence with the race leaders.
On the ensuing restart, Bayne was able to quickly work his way into the top five. By Lap 155, Bayne had made his way into the top three and was running lap times quicker than the race leaders in front of him. As a benefit of being on a different pit strategy, the driver of the No.6 Ford was able to take the race lead for the first time on Lap 163. Bayne ultimately paced the field for 14 laps before relinquishing the lead as the final round of pit stops was underway.
After pitting for four tires and fuel, Bayne returned to the track in second and immediately began to close the distance between himself and leader Chase Elliott. Running lap times consistently faster than Elliott, Bayne was able to cut the lead to just over two seconds before ultimately running out of time. In the end, Bayne would be scored with a second-place finish. This is the second time this season that Bayne has earned a runner-up result, he previously finished second in the May 31 event at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
With the result, Bayne remains sixth in the championship standings and trails championship leader Elliott by 50 points as the NNS heads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.