Young Trevor Bayne certainly had an ace up his sleeve when it came to holding off the veterans to win the Daytona 500 yesterday. The 20 year old rookie, driving the iconic Wood Brothers #21 made famous by hall of famer David Pearson, was strong all of speed week. Yet, I don't think that many experts or casual observers gave him a chance to win Nascar's equivalent of the Super Bowl. Nonetheless, Bayne became the youngest winner of the big race. Jeff Gordon had been the driver to hold that title -- he was 25 years of age when he won in 1997.
It may not have been Trevor's day had it not been a race filled with wrecks. There were a record fifteen caution flags yesterday, much of it due to the newly resurfaced track, but some due to the new two car draft racing. About a third of the way throught the race, veteran Michael Waltrip wrecked his teammate David Reutimann, setting off a chain reaction that took out Jeff Gordon, Jimmy Johnson and many others. While many of those wrecked cars were able to be repaired and get back on the track, they were so far down that it set it up for the relative unknown to sneak in and claim the win. I must say "hats off" to a very pleasant, personable young man, who also gave glory to God following the win. I know a lot of experts may not have liked it that the 20 year old won the race, but what a great story...winning in the #21 that had not won in ten years and that had not won the Daytona 500 in 35 years, since Pearson won it. So, although Bayne did not collect any point totals for the race, since he chose to compete in the junior league Nationwide Series for points, he will have something to hang his hat on for the rest of his life -- Daytona 500 winner. Way to go, Trevor...I hope he wins many more races!