Trevor Bayne raced Carl Edwards hard in the last seven laps in Saturday afternoon’s O’Reily’s Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway, and then held off a charging Denny Hamlin to win his first NASCAR Nationwide Series race in 77 attempts.
Bayne found himself up front at the end and once he could smell the lead he took advantage of it. In Gatorade Victory Lane, you wouldn’t have known this kid had won the Daytona 500 earlier this season.
His 2011 season has been a roller coaster ride of extreme highs and devastating lows. He may have the biggest race in NASCAR history, but since then his season has been anything but storybook.
Earlier this season, Bayne suffered through an unexplained illness and was later treated at the Mayo Clinic. When he did return to the track, he experienced mediocre results at best. Bayne’s win on Saturday afternoon gave Jack Roush his 299th NASCAR win and helped Ford Motorsports clinch the 2011 manufacturers’ title.
In Victory Lane, Bayne said “That ending there was cool to get up and go against Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin. Right before that last caution, I didn’t think we were going to have a shot because we were about half a track behind Carl. I thought the car was good, but I just didn’t think we’d have enough time.
Edwards dominated the day but in the end Bayne wanted it more.
Another interesting development in the NASCAR Nationwide race was that Kyle Busch has been parked by NASCAR for starting a violent crash with Ron Hornaday on Friday night during the Camping World Truck race under caution. Busch will also not appear in Sunday’s Cup race.
Denny Hamlin was asked to drive the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Joe Gibbs Toyota. He used Busch’s seat in the car, as the team did not have any way to get Hamlin’s seat into the car. After the race, Hamlin emerged from the cockpit and complained of back soreness.
There are just two more races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Phoenix International Raceway will host the race next week on the reconfigured mile track, which has new asphalt. Heading into Phoenix, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. has a 17 point lead over Elliott Sadler.
Unofficial Race Results:
|1||-||16||Trevor Bayne||Ford||Ford. Drive One. / Ford Mustang||47/4||200||Running|
|2||-||20||Denny Hamlin||Toyota||Raybestos / Wix Filters||0||200||Running|
|4||-||33||Clint Bowyer||Chevrolet||Rheem Heating, Cooling & Water Heating||0||200||Running|
|5||-||22||Brad Keselowski||Dodge||Discount Tire||0||200||Running|
|6||-||6||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||Sam’s Club / Maker’s Mark Angus Beef||38/0||200||Running|
|7||-||12||Sam Hornish Jr.||Dodge||Avis||37/0||200||Running|
|9||-||2||Elliott Sadler||Chevrolet||OneMain Financial||36/1||200||Running|
|10||-||32||Brian Vickers||Chevrolet||Dollar General||0||200||Running|
|11||-||7||Danica Patrick||Chevrolet||GoDaddy.com / DanWheldonMemorial.com||33/0||200||Running|
|12||-||11||Brian Scott||Toyota||Shore Lodge||32/0||200||Running|
|15||-||38||Jason Leffler||Chevrolet||Great Clips||29/0||200||Running|
|16||-||182||Reed Sorenson||Dodge||Foametix / Bullet Liner||28/0||200||Running|
|17||-||30||James Buescher||Chevrolet||ABF Freight||0||200||Running|
|18||-||66||Steve Wallace||Toyota||5-Hour Energy||26/0||200||Running|
|19||-||88||Aric Almirola||Chevrolet||Grand Touring Vodka||26/1||200||Running|
|20||-||62||Michael Annett||Toyota||LoanStar Title Loans||25/1||198||Running|
|21||-||87||Joe Nemechek||Toyota||AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves||23/0||198||Running|
|22||-||81||Blake Koch *||Chevrolet||Daystar.com||22/0||198||Running|
|23||-||19||Mike Bliss||Chevrolet||TriStar Motorsports||21/0||197||Running|
|24||-||14||Eric McClure||Chevrolet||Hefty BlackOut / Reynolds||20/0||196||Running|
|25||-||23||Robert Richardson Jr.||Chevrolet||Takis / TiaRosa / Barcel||19/0||196||Running|
|26||-||51||Jeremy Clements||Chevrolet||Clements Racing Engines||18/0||195||Running|
|27||-||103||Scott Riggs||Chevrolet||McKinney Pipe & Steel||17/0||195||Running|
|28||-||89||Morgan Shepherd||Chevrolet||Victory In Jesus||16/0||195||Running|
|29||-||39||Joey Gase||Ford||Fenton Motorsports||15/0||195||Running|
|31||-||52||Jamie Dick||Chevrolet||Viva Auto Group||0||194||Running|
|32||-||01||Mike Wallace||Chevrolet||G&K Services||12/0||192||Running|
|33||-||15||Timmy Hill *||Ford||Poynt.com||11/0||142||Engine|
|34||-||70||David Stremme||Chevrolet||Foretravel Motorcoach||0||116||Susp.|
|35||-||108||David Ragan||Ford||Texas Tech University||0||114||Engine|
|36||-||40||Josh Wise||Chevrolet||Curtis Key Plumbing||8/0||21||Engine|
|37||-||175||Carl Long||Ford||Rick Ware Racing||7/0||15||Handling|
|39||-||146||Chase Miller||Chevrolet||Curtis Key Plumbing||5/0||13||Vibration|
|40||-||104||Tim Andrews||Ford||Fenton Motorsports||4/0||11||Vibration|
|41||-||150||T.J. Bell||Chevrolet||Liberty Tire Recycling / Pinnacle Rubber Mulch||0||9||Electrical|
|42||-||44||Jeff Green||Chevrolet||TriStar Motorsports||2/0||6||Vibration|
|43||-||147||Scott Speed||Chevrolet||Curtis Key Plumbing||1/0||3||Electrical|