News & Media


Happy Hour: Bayne slams wall in first lap of Phoenix practice

February 25, 2011, Mark Aumann, NASCAR.com

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Brake problem forces Daytona 500 champion into wall and a backup car

One week after being the belle of the fancy ball, Cinderella shattered the glass slipper.

On his first lap in Friday's initial Cup practice at Phoenix International Raceway, Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne knocked a bit of the shine off the victory -- and bent up the entire right side of his No. 21 Ford -- when his brakes failed heading into Turn 3.

Subway Fresh Fit 500

Final practice
Pos.DriverSpeed
2.David Ragan136.034
3.Carl Edwards136.024
4.Jamie McMurray135.993
5.Greg Biffle135.716

Bayne realized something was wrong with the car, but his relative inexperience showed when he stayed on the throttle and on the track instead of slowing and heading back to the garage. Heading into the corner, the car washed up the track and slapped the outside retaining wall twice, the first time hard enough to fold in the right front wheel well.

"On pit road I told them the brakes felt like they weren't working right," Bayne said. "I paced myself getting into the corner and the brakes just never worked. It was either just one of them working and it locked them up."

Bayne tried making adjustments in the car during that lap, but nothing helped.

"When I went into the corner, as soon as I let off the gas, I said, 'I'm crashing,' because I knew it wasn't gonna slow down and it happened," Bayne said. "There was not much I could do there."

While some crewmen unloaded the backup car from the hauler, others started scavenging the trashed primary -- which sported an identical paint job to the one that will be on display in Daytona for the next 12 months -- for salvageable parts.

"I don't know what happened there," Bayne said. "I don't know why. It's the first backup car I'm gonna have to go to, but I don't know what happened to the car and why the brakes weren't right there."

Bayne turned 28 incident-free laps in final practice, sitting 33rd on the speed chart with a fast lap of 133.052 mph. Kyle Busch paced the final practice on the flat one-mile oval at 136.085 mph, just a tick faster than Ford teammates David Ragan and Carl Edwards, as drivers made a flurry of mock qualifying runs in the final few minutes.

Travis Kvapil and A.J. Allmendinger scraped the wall twice, once in each practice, while Dave Blaney damaged the front end of his No. 36 Chevrolet in final practice when he spun and collided with the inside retaining wall coming out of Turn 2. The team was expected to use a backup for qualifying.

Landon Cassill was another driver in disbelief when the engine in his No. 60 Toyota let go in a big ball of white smoke just as he crossed the start/finish line on his first practice lap. The team spent the rest of the session putting in a replacement.

"It was an oil-pan failure," Cassill said when pressed for specifics. "The oil pan failed to hold all the parts inside."