DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – 2011 Daytona 500 Champion Trevor Bayne will kick off the stock car portion of Speedweeks 2012 on Friday, Feb. 17 by driving his No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford through the streets of eastern Volusia County to historic Daytona International Speedway where he will defend his victory in the “Great American Race.”

Escorted by the 2012 Toyota Camry Daytona 500 Pace Car, Bayne will begin his drive on A1A south of Dunlawton Avenue at 11:15 a.m. He will travel North along A1A before heading west on International Speedway Blvd. to NASCAR Way.  He will enter Daytona International Speedway at Gate 7 and cross the start/finish line brandishing a large green flag.

“We encourage the local community to come out and cheer on Trevor Bayne as he drives along A1A and International Speedway Boulevard toward ‘The World Center of Racing’ to defend his Daytona 500 victory,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “We would like to extend our thanks to Volusia County officials starting with County Council Chair Frank Bruno, officials from the cities of Ponce Inlet, Daytona Beach Shores and Daytona Beach, and all the local law enforcement agencies and other officials for their assistance with this unique event that showcases the rich racing tradition of our area.”

At the age of 20, Bayne became the youngest champion of the Daytona 500 in 2011. On Sunday, Feb. 26, he will attempt to become the first repeat champion of the Daytona 500 since Sterling Marlin back in 1994-95.

NASCAR-sanctioned automobile racing was held on the famous beach road course from 1948 through 1958.  Vehicles racing on the 4.1-mile beach road course would travel north on the hard packed sand beach, turning left through the banked sand North Turn and then travel south on the two-lane paved Atlantic Avenue until they reached the start/finish line at the banked sand South Turn, thus completing one lap.

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’s social media channels on Twitter (@DISUpdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway). In addition, fans can also follow NASCAR (@NASCAR) and hashtags #NASCAR and #DAYTONA500.