Trevor Bayne met with the media Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway to discuss his return to racing. His first words to the press were, “I missed you guys.”
[media-credit name=”Brad Keppel” align=”alignright” width=”233″][/media-credit]Bayne has been sidelined since the end of April when he experienced symptoms of fatigue and double vision. He was hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. where he underwent a battery of tests but no definitive diagnosis has been made.
When asked about the nature of his illness, Bayne explained, “Their biggest hope is that it was an isolated event that is temporary and is gone now. The diagnosis, I don’t have it yet. I don’t know. It could be just a series of events where you get a bug bite and your immune system is down and we had been running for a couple months hard every day after Daytona and it wears down your immune system. That is what I am hoping for.”
He went on to say, “Whether that is it or not, only time will tell with that. I still don’t have an official diagnosis but they treated everything they thought it could be and since then everything has gone away. To me, they hit something.”
Steve Newmark, President of Roush Fenway Racing said that even though there has been no official diagnosis, that Bayne has been declared fit to race by the doctors at the Mayo Clinic.
He is currently scheduled to be back in his No. 16 Roush Fenway Nationwide car next week at Chicagoland Speedway. His next Sprint Cup appearance will be in two weeks at Michigan.
Bayne says he has been symptom free for over a week and is obviously anxious to resume his normal schedule.
“I have been fine for over a week now. Last weekend I took it off as a caution and this week they made me take it off as a caution. This weekend I would have been fine to run I think but we want to just make sure.”
“I am 20 years old and everyone keeps telling me I have a long time to run. I am trying to listen to them, even though I am 20 and stubborn and want to be in a race car every weekend. I would be riding around with an eye patch if they would let me. It is all good. I think we have waited long enough.”
Although he admitted that the last few weeks have been hard, the situation has done nothing to dampen his enthusiasm and love for the sport.
This season started out on a high for the 20 year old Bayne with a win at the Daytona 500 in only his second Cup start. He was supposed to run a full schedule with Roush Fenway Racing in the Nationwide Series and a limited schedule in the Sprint Cup series driving the famed No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford.
Everything changed when he woke up one morning with double vision. You might think the young driver would be bitter at the interruption in his career. But you would be wrong.
Bayne handles life with a maturity and grace far beyond his years.
“I think this year is just helping me figure out what I am made of. I think if you can handle the biggest high you can have and the largest bottom you can have then the rest of the year should be easy from here.”
Throughout it all his faith has helped him maintain a positive attitude.
“I do have my faith and that is what defines me because if I was defined by this I would be in trouble right now.”
The biggest surprise for him has been the tremendous support he has received from everyone.
“Carl Edwards flew up and saw me in Minnesota and Tony Stewart was using his plane to fly my family back and forth and Jack (Roush) was sending me back and forth on his plane and these guys come out and hang out for the night. Michael McDowell is there for five days with me. Everybody in the garage texted me at least once to see how I was doing and that means a lot to me.”
Wood Brothers Racing has also stood firmly behind their driver.
Eddie Wood, co-owner of Wood Brothers Racing said, “Trevor is our guy and he is our driver and whatever he is going through we are going through,” Wood said. “If it had worked out that we could have sat this race out and waited on him we would have done it. It just got too far down the road.”
“I am just glad he is back. You guys can see how he has that warm and fuzzy feel again. I am happy.”
This weekend, Bayne will be at Charlotte Motor Speedway to help his pal, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. as he attempts his first Cup start subbing for Bayne in the No. 21 Wood Brothers car.
You might think it would be difficult for Bayne to see another racer in that car. Wrong, again.
“He is an awesome kid and I am pumped for him, said Bayne. “ I texted him yesterday and told him to own this thing because he deserves it. I think he is going to do a great job. “
Welcome back, Trevor Bayne. We’ve missed you too.