Bayne optimistic despite Duel setback

Shock 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne is pleased with the speed from his Ford Fusion, and vows to remain patient starting from the back of his CanAm Duel.

Bayne optimistic despite Duel setback
Trevor Bayne, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Trevor Bayne, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Trevor Bayne, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Champion's breakfast: 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, Wood Brothers Racing Ford
Champion's breakfast: 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, Wood Brothers Racing Ford
Trevor Bayne, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Pit stop Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Bayne, who scored a famous and emotional victory at Daytona for the Wood Brothers five years ago, said he was happy to play the patience card in today’s CanAm Duel that will help decide the grid for Sunday’s 500.

He and Roush Fenway Racing teammates Greg Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished third practice second, third and fourth fastest. However, Bayne and Biffle will be forced to start their Duel from the back of the pack after having their rear gears changed.

The 24-year-old from Knoxville, Tenn., said: “It is nice to have track position if you are in the top three or four, but anywhere beyond the top three it doesn’t really matter. It gives you a little freedom to be able to chill out when everyone is acting crazy at the beginning and take care of your equipment.

“I like being at the front. It is the safest place and you have the best shot of winning from the front. [But] We will work our way there, patiently though, and if I see it getting crazy I can back out and wait for a while. I have my teammates in the Duel with me and hopefully we can work together and see what we can do.”

In fourth practice, Bayne was only 19th fastest but saw another Ford, that of Brian Scott, take P1.

“We got it fixed and now the car is running really good,” said Bayne. “It has a lot of speed and drives really good. Hopefully on old tires it will keep that handling because right now it drives great. It is superspeedway stuff so anybody can lay down a lap but I really like the drivability in the car, more so than the speed on the chart.

“The ability to go from the back of that drafting pack and work our way up to second behind Biffle and see what the Fords had was really good. We will continue to learn and see what it does in the race tomorrow night.” 

Cautious hopes for 2016 season

Commenting on the increased speed of the Roush cars since 2015, Bayne commented: “I think Ford has made a lot of improvements in the off-season. Everyone makes improvements and you don’t know where you stack up until you get here but right now it looks really good.

“This is a nice change. Hopefully we can keep it going at the 1.5-mile tracks in a couple weeks.”

Senior teammate Biffle echoed Bayne’s sentiments regarding the RFR cars’ speed at Daytona and also his hopes for the season.

“This is good, it is good for Ford, and it looks like the Penske guys are fast as well,” said Biffle, whose best results in the Daytona 500 have been a pair of third places.

“We are happy with the speed of the car. It feels good. It has been eight years since I had a fast car down here. I don’t know if it is fast enough to win yet but it is definitely fast enough to run up front, and that is what counts.” 

Biffle, who hasn’t won a Sprint Cup race since June 2013, then added: “The real test will be the next three races and how we stack up there. How are our cars? How are we turning? How are we keeping up on a long run?

“I am not worried about right now. I was worried about it before I got here but now I am not worried about it because we have good speed. Now my focus stays on this… but you start thinking a little about Atlanta and Vegas.”

shares
comments
Danica Patrick on how she remains calm while racing
Previous article

Danica Patrick on how she remains calm while racing

Next article

Majority of Cup teams decide not to participate in Thursday practice

Majority of Cup teams decide not to participate in Thursday practice
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021