The History, The Pavement, and The 20 year Old

If you’re still reading this, this is about all I can say after seeing the 2011 Daytona 500.

Speechless.

Good luck writing this article right?

WRONG

Even someone like myself, who is definitely feeling a little torn on all the new changes NASCAR is making, will all be talking for a while about this event. I mean, there’s so much to talk about that I can almost get lost in translation, figuring out where to start!

First off, the talk all week preceding the 500 was the new asphalt, the new cars and the new 2-man drafting powersquad racing. We all know about all this stuff, so let’s just forward through that.

We’ll start there. Daytona. Race season is upon us once again. The grounds that is the Daytona 500 sets the stage for the first race of the season. Daytona, a track with so much history that it can set the stage in itself for someone’s career.

And we saw that happen today.

Let me see a show of hands, how many of you knew who Trevor Bayne was before the end of last season? Any hands still up? If yours is, you might be the only one with your hand raised. Point being nobody even saw him coming. I can admit, I never saw him coming. I don’t think even Trevor himself saw him coming.

This race has been defined as it’s own Daytona 500, in more ways than one. We saw a record number of lead changes. We saw a record number of cautions. And within the first quarter of the race, we already saw a 15 car wreck that led to there being only 30 cars running at that point in the race.

To top it off, someone who isn’t planned to run full time in 2011 and is a ROOKIE, the car doesn’t have full time sponsorship, and is younger than I am, he makes the Cinderella Story happen.

Trevor Bayne, at the ripe old age of just 20 years old (he was 19 when they ran the duels!) becomes the youngest winner to ever win a Daytona 500. Simply amazing. Even someone like me, who doesn’t often get shocked at anything, I’m still in shock (in a good way).

Not only is it VERY refreshing to see someone other than Jimmie Johnson win a race, it’s refreshing to see someone so young be able to do it. I’m always a fan of seeing someone accomplish something that nobody else has. The biggest fact is that no rookie had ever won the Daytona 500. Trevor Bayne stopped that fact dead in it’s tracks. 2nd career start also means he ranks up with Jamie McMurray (and probably someone else in the long history of NASCAR, excuse me and let me apologize for not knowing) as being someone to win their first race in only their 2nd career start.

I simply can’t fathom what this young kid has done. ONLY in my dreams, playing in the old NASCAR Thunder videogames did I ever think of being a rookie and going out and winning the biggest NASCAR race, on NASCAR’s biggest stage with the lights on bright. Trevor Bayne. Better start getting used to the sound of that name. I know I will be.

Trevor Bayne is the winner of the 2011 Daytona 500! Last but not least, congratulations to you!

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