The 2011 defending Daytona 500 Champion Trevor Bayne drove the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion along the old beach course and through the streets of eastern Volusia County on his way to Daytona International Speedway.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The 2011 defending Daytona 500 Champion Trevor Bayne kicked off the stock-car portion of Speedweeks 2012 on Friday morning by driving his No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion for the Wood Brothers along the old beach course and through the streets of eastern Volusia County on his way to historic Daytona International Speedway.
“This is probably the coolest thing I’ve got to do outside of actually racing on other tracks,” said Bayne. “As a racecar driver you watch races of the beaches and I wish we could come back here and get the groove all rutted up and try to miss the potholes, but this is an unbelievable feeling – being on the beach where it all started. This is history right here.”
Eddie Wood, co-owner, knows a lot about the history behind beach racing, as his father, Glen Wood, won three sportsman races.
“We hear stories from our dad almost daily,” Eddie Wood said. “I think racing on the beach is probably the one thing that our dad is most proud of. I’m really a big believer in history and tradition, so this is about the coolest thing I’ve ever done, besides the Daytona 500 last year.”
Escorted by the 2012 Toyota Camry Daytona 500 pace car, Bayne began his drive on A1A south of Dunlawton Avenue and traveled north along A1A before heading west on International Speedway Blvd. to NASCAR Way.
“I’m glad I get to be the first driver to do this because this is a really cool tradition,” Bayne said. “They also told me I get to do some donuts at an intersection a little later on, so I’m pretty pumped about that. The difference is the police are actually leading me this time, instead of following me when I do them.”
Staying true to his word, Bayne did do a couple donuts in front of a cheering crowd before entering Daytona International Speedway at Gate 7 and crossing the start/finish line waving a large green flag.
“Having Trevor Bayne, the youngest champion in the history of the Daytona 500, drive from the historic beach course to the Speedway was a fantastic way to up the ante for this year’s Speedweeks,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “Trevor is a talented driver and I can’t wait to see how the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion fares in this year’s Daytona 500.”
On Sunday, Feb. 26, Bayne will attempt to become the first repeat champion of the Daytona 500 since Sterling Marlin back in 1994-95.
“I’ve been trying to get to that same mindset of not trying to win it on the first lap, but just get back to that, ‘make it to the end,’ ” Bayne said. “You can win from 15th with two to go with this kind of racing, so I’m excited about it.”
Tickets for the 54th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26 as well as other Speedweeks 2012 events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com
or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP
If you are unable to attend in person, be sure to tune in to the Daytona 500 on FOX on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. ET.
Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway
) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates
) and fans can also follow NASCAR (@NASCAR) and hashtags #NASCAR and #DAYTONA500.