By Doug Halberstadt
One day after turning 20 years old, Trevor Bayne celebrated by making history. The NASCAR rookie held off veterans Carl Edwards and Bobby Labonte to become the youngest winner ever of the Daytona 500.
In his first-ever start in “America’s Great Race,” Bayne took the checkered flag in NASCAR’s season-opener. Immediately after crossing the finish line, an exasperated Bayne radioed his crew and questioned the reality of the situation: “Am I dreaming? Is this real? I don’t even know where to go.”
The rookie did end up finding his way to victory lane. After pulling in his No. 21 Ford, he was immediately joined by his legendary owners, the Wood brothers. This was the first time a Wood Brothers Racing Team car had won the Daytona 500 since David Pearson won in 1976. This was the Wood Brothers’ fifth Daytona win.
Last year’s series champion Jimmie Johnson was involved in an early-race accident and brought home his Lowe’s No. 48 in the 27th position.
The series moves to Phoenix this weekend for the Subway Fresh Fit 500. The green flag is slated to drop this Sunday, Feb. 27, at 3:15 p.m. local time on Fox Sports (channel 39). Last year, Ryan Newman took the checkered flag in the second race of the season.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Feb. 23-March 1, 2011, issue