FORT WORTH — Trevor Bayne made his final scheduled start in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition Sunday in the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to drive here,” Bayne said after climbing out of his racecar for what could be the final time.
“I’m not real happy about this year and the way things were handled, and the way things happened so that’s probably what I’ll remember the most about this year.
“People paid us back for hard work but other than that I’m thankful for what I’ve gotten to do here and I’d love to do it more. It’s a surreal feeling knowing it could be your last laps here. But for me, this doesn’t define me and we’ll keep going.”
Bayne started the event in 15th and worked his way up to 12th by the time Stage 1 concluded. After a slow stop on pit road, Bayne restarted 20th and struggled to move back up through the field. He finished Stage 2 in 18th.
Bayne made no progression through the field in Stage 3 and ultimately finished 21st, 2 laps down.
“We qualified good and I was able to play defense and hold the guys off for a long time to keep the track position,” Bayne said. “We had two bad stops in a row where I lost 10 spots on pit road and then we lost 5 seconds on the green flag stop, and that put us behind and nobody could pass.
“Once we were trapped around 20th that’s just where we were running so had we kept that track position with stops we could have finished top 15, it just didn’t play out that way.”
Bayne, 27, made his first Cup Series start at Texas Motor Speedway in 2010 with Wood Brother’s Racing in the famous No. 21 machine. He won the most prestigious race in NASCAR , the Daytona 500, in 2011. It is his only victory in NASCAR’s premier series.
The Knoxville, Tennessee native joined Roush Fenway Racing in 2015 and ran full-time thru 2017. Bayne scored 13 top-10 finishes with Roush and led for just 42 laps in the four-year span.
In May of 2018, it was announced that Matt Kenseth would join Bayne running part-time in the No. 6. Bayne has finished the highest of the two drivers with an 11th-place effort in the Bristol Motor Speedway Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race.
Bayne told ESPN that he doesn’t have enough sponsorship to take to a team for 2019 and that the AAA Texas 500 could potentially be his last race ever.
Matt Courson is the Managing Editor for The Racing Experts. Courson has covered NASCAR events at 19 of the 23 active racetracks. When not at the track, the 20-year-old Journalism major enjoys spending time with family and playing Ingress.