Trevor Bayne, driver of the No.6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang earned his 14thtop-10 result of the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) season on Saturday afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after taking the checkered flag in the ninth position.
“It was a good points day for us,” said Bayne after the race. “We were able to make some gains on the guys in front of us in the points and we were fortunate enough to qualify for Nationwide Insurance’s Dash 4 Cash again. But man, it was hot out there. My cool box didn’t work from the beginning of the race so it was just really hot all day long. I’m really proud of the effort Chad (Norris) and my guys gave all weekend long here in Indy. We’ll take this top-10 finish and move on to Iowa and go for that $100,000 prize.”
Bayne took the green flag from the 11th position on a warm Saturday afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a cool box that had malfunctioned. Battling the elements both inside the car and on the track, Bayne set his sights on moving forward as he improved to ninth just prior to the first caution period of the day on Lap 15. After pitting for four tires and adjustments, Bayne returned to the track in the 11th position and only needed one lap to rejoin the top-10. Despite battling for position inside the top 10, the driver of the No.6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang fought a car that’s handling was both loose entering the corner and tight exiting the corner. This handling condition made it difficult for Bayne to maneuver his way through traffic.
Undeterred by handling issues, Bayne continued to move up the leaderboard. By Lap 37, Bayne had moved up to the sixth position with his eyes set on joining the top-five as the race leaders began to hit pit road for green flag pit stops. Bayne ultimately climbed his way up to the third position before heading to pit road on Lap 46 for four tires and a chassis adjustment. Due to staying out longer than the majority of the leaders, Bayne was shuffled back to the 13th position upon returning to the track following his pit stop.
The AdvoCare Ford would continue to ride just outside of the top-10 until crew chief Chad Norris utilized a Lap 54 caution to call Bayne back to pit road for four tires and adjustments. After several laps discussing strategy under caution, Norris and Bayne both decided that that stop would be the last time they hit pit road and that they will be going to the end of the race on fuel. Bayne took the ensuing restart from the 12th position but only needed five laps to work his way all the way up to fourth.
Bayne would remain in the fourth position until a Lap 76 restart shuffled the AdvoCare Ford back outside of the top five as the car’s handling began to go away. Fighting a loose and tight condition, Bayne would maintain his track position inside the top 10 throughout the closing stages of the 100-Lap event and hold off a charging Regan Smith to earn a ninth-place finish at the famed 2.5-mile oval.
With the result, Bayne remains sixth in the championship standings and trails championship leader Chase Elliott by 47 points as the NNS heads to Iowa Speedway.