Joliet, Ill. (September 16, 2013) – Chicagoland Speedway proved to be a challenge for Trevor Bayne and the No.6 Ford EcoBoost team. Despite winning at the track one year ago, the team battled handling issues at the 1.5 mile tri-oval through much of the day and into the evening. Bayne’s crew made multiple adjustments throughout the race and got the EcoBoost Ford close at the end, but it was too late, the team eventually finished 15th in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Chicagoland Speedway.
The NNS headed back to the 1.5-mile race track for the second time this season. Bayne and crew chief Mike Kelley worked tirelessly during Friday’s practices to find a good balance between tight and loose conditions to have a strong Ford Mustang for Saturday’s race. At the end of final practice, the team felt they had a good car for Saturday’s 300-mile race.
During Saturday’s qualifying, Bayne felt the car was good and posted the 14th quickest lap at Saturday’s qualifying, giving the team a solid starting position for the 300-mile race.
Shortly after the green flag flew, Bayne radioed in to his team the car was too free getting into the corners and getting off. On Lap 25, Bayne visited pit road under caution for the first stop of the day. Kelley called for a track-bar adjustment along with four tires and topping off car with fuel.
Gaining two positions on the pit stop, Bayne restarted 10th. The adjustments didn’t seem to help the tight conditions of the car, eventually getting tighter and tighter until they were able to make their green-flag stop on lap 82. The team opted for a wedge adjustment as well as four tires and two cans of fuel.
Bayne returned to the track in the 15th position, radioing in the car was way worse on new tires. The team opted not to pit during a Lap 107 caution, and instead took the wave around in order to get back on the lead lap.
On lap 142 the team decided to pit under green, this time putting two rounds up on the track bar with four tires and two cans of fuel. Shortly after Bayne radioed in the car was better but still too loose off of the corners, keeping him from getting back to the throttle early enough.
The team hoped for a timely caution that would allow them to pit with the leaders and get back on the same sequence. The caution never came, with the No. 60 running out of fuel on the same lap the team was scheduled to make a green flag pit stop.
The team battled the loose conditions for the remainder of the race, making adjustments to the track bar on their final stop. Bayne left the stall blending into the field in the 16th position. Bayne gained one more position before the checkers flew, crossing the line in 15th.
1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway
Saturday, September 21
7:30 p.m. ET on ESPNEWS and PRN