Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion, battled a loose-handling race car for much of the afternoon before recording a 17th-place finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) event at Richmond International Raceway on Sunday.
“We had a good AdvoCare Ford,” said Bayne after the race. “We ran solidly inside the top 15 for much of the day and would’ve finished there if we had a few more laps. I just want to thank all my guys for their hard work. We’ll get after it next week in Talladega.”
Bayne began the 400-Lap event from the 16th position after rain canceled qualifying on Friday, leading NASCAR to set the field by practice speeds per the rulebook. In the early stages Bayne had one of the fastest cars on the track, consistently running lap times as fast as the leaders. The good long-run speed also helped Bayne improve up the leader board and into 13th before the first round of green-flag pit stops began on Lap 89.
The Knoxville, Tenn. native returned to the track in 16th and raced his way back into the top 15 just past the halfway mark before reporting to crew chief Matt Puccia that the AdvoCare Ford was really loose both on entry and exit of the corner. Puccia then utilized a rash of cautions to bring the Roush Fenway Racing driver to pit road for chassis adjustments in the hopes of rectifying the handling condition.
Although the handling condition improved during the course of a long run, Bayne continued to fight a loose handling condition on the short run.
In the closing stages, Bayne would battle with Ryan Newman for several laps before ultimately taking the checkered flag in the 17th position.
With the result, Bayne improves two positions in the NSCS championship standings to 18th and now trails the 16th and final position in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup by 11 points.
Next up for the NSCS is Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, May 1.