Bayne Takes Conservative Route in Phoenix Qualifying
Trevor Bayne and his Wood Brothers No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion will line up 33rd to start Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, one spot behind where he started the Daytona 500 a week ago.
But the paths to his two starting positions are quite different. At Daytona he was poised for a start near the front but was collected in a last-lap crash in his Gatorade Duel.
At Phoenix, he took a conservative route during time trials, an appropriate strategy given the fact that he was racing a back-up car after crashing the primary during practice on Friday.
“You have to be [conservative] until you get in the race,” said Bayne, who ran a best lap of 134.756 miles per hour in qualifying. “I had to be a little conservative, but I was still pushing it. I was shaking when I got out of the car because I thought I pushed it, but I think I got into Turn One a little too low and couldn’t carry any speed.”
Bayne pointed out something that may be getting overlooked in the fanfare surrounding his stunning victory in the Daytona 500. He’s just a rookie. But he also has the confidence it takes to give his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion a strong run once the green flag flies to start the race.
“I think it’s going to be good on a long run, but for qualifying it just wasn’t there,” he said.
“We’ll get it, plus I’m learning, too.
“This is my first time jumping back and forth between Nationwide and Cup since Texas, and they’re totally different cars and I’ve got a lot to learn with both.”
Team co-owner Eddie Wood pointed out that Bayne was hampered some in qualifying by having to go out early, as the track got faster as the session went on. And Wood was pleased with the performance of the car in the final practice session on Friday.
“The car’s really good,” he said.
Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 is set to start just after 3 p.m. Eastern Time with TV coverage on FOX.