Bayne’s Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion Becomes a Grass Catcher In His Brickyard Debut
If there was freshly sheared grass blowing across Indianapolis Motor Speedway during Sunday’s Brickyard 400, Trevor Bayne, along with many others had an unfortunate way of finding it.
Three times during the running of the race, the first coming after just six laps, Bayne had to make an unscheduled pit stop to have grass removed from the grille of his car or risk ruining the engine from overheating. But all three times, he and his Motorcraft/Quick Lane team were able to bounce back, and as the laps wound down, Bayne found himself running fourth.
Once again, he had to head to pit road – this time for fuel – and he wound up 30th at the finish. He said having to turn onto pit road with seven laps to go, when he was running just a few car lengths behind eventual race winner Paul Menard Jr., was a hard move to make.
Bayne went on to say that the earlier, unscheduled pit stops, were a bigger factor in the final result.
“We had a few times where we had to pit when we didn’t want to with grass getting kicked up into our grille a few times,” he said. “When you get back in the pack like that those things are going to happen."
"We were just unfortunate to have it happen to us three times and have to pit so many times.”
Bayne had the misfortune of finding himself running just behind drivers who veered off into the grass, with the splitters of their cars clipping the grass and sending it blowing across the speedway to be picked up by oncoming cars.
But he and the team hung in there and had a strong run at the finish, even if the final result didn’t reflect it.
“It was a hard-fought day for a 30th-place finish,” Bayne said. “It doesn’t feel like that, but we learned a lot.
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said he’s confident that Bayne did gain a lot of knowledge about racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, one of the most demanding tracks in all of motorsports.
“This race was a learning experience, and we got through it,” Wood said. “We came here to run 160 laps, and that’s what we did.”
Wood also said that the team’s decision to stop under the green flag to clear grass from the grille was the right thing to do.
“There’s no need to take chances that early in a race, it doesn’t take but a couple of laps to burn an engine down.” he said.
By: wood brothers racing