DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Trevor Bayne clearly had a fast Daytona 500 car.
Then it was wrecked.
Bayne, winner of the 2011 Daytona 500, led a race-high 37 laps in the first Budweiser Duel on Thursday before he was caught in a multi-car crash seven laps from the finish. The damage to his Wood Brothers Ford was so severe that the team was rolling out a new No. 21 Fusion for use in the Daytona 500.
"Our best (car) was the one we were qualifying and racing," Bayne said. "I know they can build consistent fast race cars. This didn't end the way we wanted to for sure."
But the Wood Brothers weren't deterred. The wreck meant Bayne will start 33rd in Sunday's season-opening Daytona 500 – but that's just one spot worse than he started the year he pulled off his stunning win.
Team co-owner Eddie Wood wasn't sure if the backup car would be ready for Friday's practice.
"We may not even practice on Friday, but that's OK," Wood said. "We didn't practice on Friday in 2011, and we won that race."