DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (release) -- Roush Fenway Racing’s (RFR) Trevor Bayne used his No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang to push eventual race-winner Regan Smith to the front of the field, before making his own move for the win in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
The 2011 Daytona 500 winner would come up just short in his last-lap bid for victory, but posted a strong third-place finish to kickoff the 2014 season.
“It was a good finish at the end,” said Bayne. “We were hoping to come out of there with a top-10 and that was a good points day when you are running for a championship. With that mindset every weekend you hope for a good finish in one piece while battling for a win and that is what we were able to do today. We had a chance to make a move by pushing the 7 until I felt I could pull down without losing any spots. It was a little too late because the middle closed up. Overall, we are pleased with a third-place finish.”
Brad Keselowski finished second. He lost to Smith by .013 seconds. The finish was the second-closest at Daytona International Speedway and seventh closest in series history.
RFR rookie Ryan Reed was solid in his Daytona debut, posting an 18th-place finish despite having to overcome starting in the back of the field, a pit-road speeding penalty and getting caught up in a multi-car accident on the event’s last lap. Reed was forced to start in the back of the field, after getting wrecked during Friday’s qualifying session.
RFR’s Chris Buescher did not qualify for the race, after rain interrupted the newly formatted qualifying session. Buescher had been the fifth-fastest car on the track in the earlier practice session.
The finish was RFR’s best in the February Daytona NNS race since Carl Edwards finished runner-up in 2010.
RFR and NASCAR return to action for tomorrow’s Daytona 500; The ‘Great American Race’ is set for 1 p.m. ET and will be televised live on FOX. RFR’s Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will start the race 25th, 30th and 34th.
The NNS series returns to action next weekend at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). RFR has won eight times in NNS action in Phoenix.
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