HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Trevor Bayne overcame major contact with the outside wall to score a strong fifth-place finish in last Saturday's Ford 300 in the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"That is an awesome way to come to the end of the season," Bayne said on pit road after the race. "I was thinking about that coming off the last corner, thinking about how we have three months to think about this last race.
"I am glad it was a good one for us. It could have been a really bad one because we got into the fence there running around sixth or seventh and we were really tight. I got out of the corner and cut down the tire, it took off and I got the wall."
Bayne was running in seventh-position and turning the fastest times on the race track when he had a tire go down on lap 134 of the race. The tire forced him to make hard contact with the outside wall, severely damaging his No. 17 Roush Fenway Ford. While the day appeared a lost cause, Bayne and the No. 17 team battled back, fighting through the field from 27th to his first top-five run in a Roush Fenway Ford.
Despite severe damage to both the right side and nose of his Ford, Bayne broke back inside the top 10 on lap 167. He stayed out after the final caution on lap 173; restarted in third position and held on for the top-five finish.
"We came back in and they worked on it and God must have done some doctoring on it because it came to life again," added Bayne. "We were able to drive to the front and stay there after everybody took tires. We were able to stay up front and bring this thing home fifth."
Bayne had started the race ninth based on the morning's qualifying session. He and the No. 17 team had overcome a slow stop on pit road and an ill- handling car early, to move up to seventh when he had the tire go down on lap 134.
Bayne was one of two Roush Fenway cars in the top 10, with Raybestos Rookie of the Year winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finishing just in front of him and veteran Carl Edwards just behind him; Roush Fenway placed four cars inside the top-10 of the race, with Paul Menard finishing 9th.
"If we can run like that every weekend it will be exciting," said Bayne. "It was wild because I would look up and I would be fifth and Stenhouse would be 10th and then we would flip spots and ended up finishing fourth and fifth.
"I am really proud of him for winning Rookie of the Year. Carl (Edwards) finished right behind us which shows the consistency of the cars. I am really happy with everyone here at Roush Fenway to battle back like that and get us that type of run."
The finish was Bayne's sixth top-five of the season. He finishes his first full season in the Nationwide Series with three poles, six top fives and 11 top-10 finishes. With the finish, Bayne moved up one spot to finish seventh in the final 2010 Nationwide Series point standings.