A Long-shot Rewrites History at Daytona Speedway
Richard Petty once said, "We run for two championships in NASCAR. You run for the championship in points and then you run to win the Daytona 500." Vegas oddsmakers had Trevor Bayne at a 225 to 1 long shot - Winner winner, chicken dinner!
The average joe might see the headline, Trevor Ban Wins the Daytona 500, and not appreciate the scope of the accomplishment. It would be like a long-shot nag winning the Triple Crown, a college quarteback leading an NFL team to a Super Bowl victory, or a community organizer from Chicago ending up in the White House. (Unlikely, but not impossible)
From this day on, Bayne's name will be inscribed on the Harley J. Earl trophy, alongside past legends of the sport. Drivers to have won this race reads like a who's who of Motorsports -- Mario Andretti, Fireball Roberts, A.J. Foyt, Bill Elliott, seven time winner Richard Petty, and a host of others. It took Dale Earnhardt twenty tries to get his checkered flag. Twenty year old Trevor Payne is the first rookie to win the 500 in only his second Sprint Cup start.
Since Lee Petty won the first event in 1959, only thirty-five drivers have claimed victory. The list of drivers with zero wins is extensive and includes former series champions, Rusty Wallace, brothers Terry and Bobby Labonte, Tony Stewart, and Kurt Busch. Crowd favorite, 52 year-old Mark Martin, is winless after twenty-seven tries.
When asked about where he went for pre-race advise, Bayne said, "Yeah. Talking to David Pearson, it was small, simple advice that a lot of people would tell me. He said, Be careful. Do the 21 car some justice. That stuck out.
"I entered that race with a totally different mindset than I normally had. As a 19-, 20-year-old, you manage a lot of your things off of performance. You want to be the guy that leads every lap, you want to make a statement, you want to do everything right. You put a lot of pressure on yourself.Continued on the next page