Trevor Bayne picked up the 2nd last-place finish of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career in Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 at the Talladega Superspeedway when his #21 Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford lost the engine after he completed 22 of the race’s 192 laps.
The finish was Bayne’s first of 2013 and his first in a Cup race since last June at Michigan, thirty-one races ago.
Qualifying was rained-out on Saturday, so Bayne qualified 15th based on his practice speed of 198.372 mph. He was looking for vindication after a miserable SpeedWeeks in February, where he had one of the fastest cars in qualifying, only to wreck and finish last in his Budweiser Duel, then crash again in the 500 and come home 27th. In his two other starts at Las Vegas and Texas, however, Bayne had been improving, finishing 23rd and 18th, respectively.
During the opening laps of the Talladega race, it appeared that Joe Nemechek would tie the late J.D. McDuffie for the most last-place finishes in Cup Series history. Nemechek started 41st and was the first car to lose a lap. However, it was Bayne who ended up 43rd when a telltale plume of smoke burst from his #21 entering turn one, drenching in oil the windshield of Jamie McMurray’s #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet. Nemechek ended up 39th after his own engine let go. 42nd-place Kasey Kahne once again narrowly avoided his first last-place run in Cup after a hard crash on Lap 42.
The race was won by David Ragan, securing the first Cup Series victory for underdog team Front Row Motorsports. For more on this team, click here for the special LASTCAR feature.
*This was the first last-place finish for the #21 in a Cup race at Talladega since 1996, when Michael Waltrip’s #21 Citgo Ford lost the engine after 16 laps of the DieHard 500. This was the only previous shortened Talladega race FOX brought up during the telecast, a race shortened by both rain and darkness to 129 laps. It is also the race where Dale Earnhardt suffered extensive injuries during this grinding thirteen-car pileup on Lap 118. Waltrip, who finished last that day, finished 4th on Sunday.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
43) #21-Trevor Bayne / 22 laps / engine
42) #5-Kasey Kahne / 42 laps / crash
41) #83-David Reutimann / 43 laps / crash
40) #29-Kevin Harvick / 47 laps / crash / led 1 lap
39) #87-Joe Nemechek / 53 laps / engine
LASTCAR CUP SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Mike Bliss, Michael McDowell (3)
2nd) Trevor Bayne, Dave Blaney, Joe Nemechek, Scott Riggs (1)
LASTCAR CUP SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #19-Humphrey-Smith Motorsports, #98-Phil Parsons Racing (3)
2nd) #7-Tommy Baldwin Racing, #21-Wood Brothers Racing, #44-Xxxtreme Motorsports, #87-NEMCO Motorsports (1)
LASTCAR CUP SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Ford (5)
2nd) Toyota (4)
3rd) Chevrolet (1)