Daytona 500's Trevor Bayne started winning streak in East TN

1:17 PM, Feb 21, 2011   |    comments
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We first saw Trevor Bayne on 10News six years ago. As a middle school student, he was breaking records on the go-kart track. Sunday, he broke records again as the 20 year-old became the youngest driver to ever win the Daytona 500.

Bayne is the youngest winner in the events 50 plus year history. He drove himself to Daytona and filled out the form to run a full season on the nationwide tour. Now all of those plans many have to be changed.

Bayne was fast all week, qualifying third and earning the trust of drivers like Jeff Gordan in practice and the qualifying races. He teemed with David Ragan to stay near the front all day, but on the last restart he lost his drafting partner, but gained first place. Bayne held off some veterans to win in just his second Sprint Cup Race and in his first attempt in Daytona.

The Knoxville native got his start in racing right here in East Tennessee. Back in 2004, when he was in seventh grade at Greshman Middle School the then 13-year-old had already won more than 250 go-kart races on tracks where speeds topped well over 100 mph.

Bayne accomplished all of this while still maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. It is a level of discipline and dedication he loved even then. "I've spent everyday of my life since I was five years old doing some kind of racing, going to a track if I'm not driving or working on a race car during the week," explained Bayne in the interview from 2004.

Some of Bayne's earliest victories seemed to foreshadow what was to come. In the 2004 story, Bayne's father told 10News his son's biggest victories were at go-kart tracks in Daytona.

Previous story from the Associated Press

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Twenty-year-old Trevor Bayne has won the Daytona 500 in only his second Sprint Cup start.

Bayne won NASCAR's biggest race Sunday -- just one day after his birthday -- by holding off Carl Edwards by 0.118 seconds.

As he crossed the line, Bayne screamed into his radio: "Are you kidding me?!"

The kid gave the historic Wood Brothers team its first victory since 2001 and became the youngest Daytona 500 winner.

Bayne was pushed by Bobby Labonte and had just enough fuel to get across the line ahead of a hard-charging Edwards. David Gilliland was third and Labonte settled for fourth.

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