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Nationwide: Bayne's long-awaited maiden series victory

Trevor Bayne made it to victory lane for the first time in the Nationwide Series, beating a dominant Carl Edwards at the final restart and holding off Denny Hamlin to the line.
He might have won the Daytona 500 in Sprint Cup back in February, but Trevor Bayne has never found his way to victory lane in the 77 Nationwide Series events he has run - until he finally took the chequered flag in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon.

"This is just as surreal as the 500," declared Bayne. "That's hard to say, but this has been so long. We've worked so hard to get our first Nationwide win and I wasn't sure if it was ever gonna happen."

Bayne hadn't exactly dominated the race up until then; in fact the first time he took the lead all afternoon was at the restart on lap 194 when he managed to get past long-time leader Carl Edwards as well as Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer. After that it was a matter of holding off the charging Hamlin to the finish line, which he did by a slender 0.142s.

Elliott Sadler had won pole position in Friday qualifying and Kyle Busch had put the #18 onto the front row beside him, but Hamlin inherited the ride after Busch was parked for the weekend by NASCAR following an on-track clash with Ron Hornaday in the Truck Series event. Hamlin had been put to the back of the field because of the driver change, and spent the first 50 laps working his way uneventfully but implacably back into the top ten.

Sadler duly led for the first few laps of the race which included a caution on lap 3 for Jamie Dick spinning on the frontstretch, but Sadler was soon passed by Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards and Trevor Bayne and it was Edwards who emerged with the long-time hold on the lead spot that lasted for virtually the rest of the race. Only the occasional interruption during pit stop sequences saw him out of the lead as he slipped into cruise mode.

There were four more cautions during the race - two for debris (on laps 91 and 179), and one for David Ragan's engine going up in smoke on lap 114 and leaving fluid on the track. A final caution came out with ten laps to go before the end when Jason Leffler scraped the outside wall through turn 4.

Up until this point Edwards' restarts had been imperious and this time was no different, as he got a boost on the final restart from Bayne. But then the 20-year-old ducked to the inside line to fight for the lead himself - and he pulled it off.

"He earned that one," admitted Edwards. "He drove really well. That restart he did a really good job. I wasn't worried about giving him the bottom because I thought I could hang on his door and beat him ... It's tough to lead that much and not win the thing, but Trevor is a great guy and he deserves to win."

"It's crazy to think only one year ago I was making my first Cup start," said Bayne. "To come back to Texas and get our first Nationwide win, this is a place I'm going to love from now on ... I don't know if you could script a story like the year I've had."




Related Pictures

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Carl Edwards, driver of the #60 Fastenal Ford, races Clint Bowyer, driver of the #33 Rheem Heating, Cooling & Water Heating Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 5, 2011, in Fort Worth, Texas. [Picture Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Danica Patrick, driver of the #7 GoDaddy.com/DanWheldonMemorial.com Chevrolet, leads a group of cars during the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 5, 2011, in Fort Worth, Texas. [Picture Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]
Trevor Bayne, driver of the #16 RickyVsTrevor.com Ford, crosses the start finish line to take the chequered flag and win the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 5, 2011, in Fort Worth, Texas. [Picture Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, leads the field in a restart during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville at Road America on August 29, 2015 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, lead the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in ninth place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #20 Hisense Toyota, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, lead the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, poses with Miss Coors Light Amanda Mertz and the Coors Light Pole award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, poses with Miss Coors Light Amanda Mertz and the Coors Light Pole award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin in action. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Regan Smith, driver of the #7 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 15, 2015 in Lexington, Ohio. (Picture Credit: Jonathan Moore/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet, Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, Sam Marson and Dave Marson, founders of Nature`s Bakery, pose for a photo opportunity after announcing a multiyear deal partnership during a press conference on August 18, 2015 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. The partnership will begin with the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for Stewart-Haas Racing)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, lead the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place Sunday, August 16, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Regan Smith, driver of the #7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet at New Hampshire on July 7, 2014. (Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Regan Smith, driver of the #7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet at Chicago on July 18, 2014. (Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Regan Smith, driver of the #7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway on 30 May 2015. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

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