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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]
Brian Scott. (Picture Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision finishes in twelfth place Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. This Chevrolet drivers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (respectively) in the Chase of the Cup Championship. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for thirteenth position Friday, November 20, 2015 for Sunday`s Championship 4, the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick will be joined by Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS to compete for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eleventh position Friday, November 20, 2015 for Sunday`s Championship 4, the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Truex, Jr. will be joined by Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS to compete for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, November 20, 2015 for Sunday`s Championship 4, the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Gordon will be joined by Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS to compete for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. Sunday will be Gordon`s last race as a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, advances to the Championship 4 with his fourteenth place finish Sunday, November 15, 2015 in the final round of the Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Truex, Jr. is joined with Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Pepsi Chevrolet SS, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS to the Sprint Cup Series Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida next Sunday. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Pepsi Chevrolet SS, advances to the Championship 4 with his sixth place finish Sunday, November 15, 2015 in the final round of the Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Phoenix International Raceway (renamed Jeff Gordon Raceway for the day to honor the four-time champion) in Avondale, Arizona. Gordon is joined with Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS  and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS to the Sprint Cup Series Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida next Sunday. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, races to victory Sunday, November 15, 2015 in the final round of the Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS advances to the Champion 4 with his second place finish. Harvick is joined with Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Pepsi Chevrolet SS to the Sprint Cup Series Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida next Sunday. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, leads Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, lead the field onto pit road due to rain during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

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