Bayne Trying for More Daytona History
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on June 30, 2011 | 8:24 A.M. EST
Bayne kicked off the season by becoming the youngest driver in history to win the Daytona 500. (Photo: Getty Images)
Trevor Bayne has a chance to do something no driver has done in nearly 30 years with a win in Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
Should Bayne roll into Victory Lane in the annual mid-summer trip to “The World Center of Racing,” he’ll become the first driver since Bobby Allison in 1982 to sweep both Daytona races in one season.
“That would obviously be an awesome accomplishment,” said Bayne, who became the youngest driver in history to win the Daytona 500. “I didn’t know it’d been almost thirty years since anyone did it and to be in company with someone like Bobby Allison would really be something.”
After his upset win back in February, Bayne has been looking forward to returning to the scene of the 500 triumph. He believes he’ll have a different approach this time around at Daytona than he did during Speedweeks.
“The expectations are different and that’s the hardest part, keeping that in check and not going there thinking, ‘Man, I’ve got to win this thing,’ and then drive too hard and get myself in trouble to where I crash,” Bayne said. “I’ve got to go there with the same mindset of just making all that laps and that’s gonna be important to do.”
Bayne will also have the difficult challenge of racing into the show during qualifying since the team does not have a Top 35 guaranteed starting spot.
However he has faith in the team to provide him with a car capable of turning a fast enough lap to get into the show.
“With it being an impound race we can’t make some of the changes that we made before to help us qualify, so our car is probably not gonna be as good as it was for the Daytona 500 qualifying session, but I’m expecting we’ll still be really fast,” Bayne said. “They tell me this car is really good and I trust that, so I’m not really that worried about it. Still, you know that anything can happen, so I’ll be definitely hoping for a good run in qualifying.”
Bayne believes he’s over the medical set back that took him out of competition for nearly two months. He has undergone a battery of tests for a still undisclosed illness but says he feel good and doesn’t anticipate any further medical problems.
"You're never in the clear," Bayne said. "The first time it comes around, you don't expect it, you feel great. I went hiking the day before and went jumping in waterfalls, and I wake up the next morning and I'm messed up. It could come back at any time. I don't think it's supposed to, but hopefully it doesn't."
Bayne is doing his best to keep an even pace as the busy week rolls on and he makes his return to the site of the biggest win of his young racing career.
"Now I kind of feel numb," Bayne said. "I was talking to somebody the other day, I'm like, 'Well, dang, no matter what happens I'll just feel numb because it doesn't feel as high or as low as what I've been through.' It's tough to maintain that, but then again, I'm not really defined by that. It's great to win a Daytona 500 and it stinks to get sick, but at the end of the day, racing's what I do, it's what I love to do, but it's not everything I'm made of."