Trevor Bayne shares diagnosis and leans on faith

Trevor Bayne at Texas Motor Speedway in November 2013
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs  
From the high of winning the 2011 Daytona 500 to the low of being sidelined with a mystery illness the same season, Trevor Bayne has seen his share of ups and downs in NASCAR. Now it turns out his previous ailment, originally thought to be Lyme disease, is actually multiple sclerosis.

Bayne received the diagnosis over the summer, and said he has no symptoms and takes no medications for the condition, but had undergone periodic testing since the original puzzling illness.

“We were unsure of the diagnosis, and that's why I continued to go back regularly more than annually to go to the Mayo Clinic and get tests done and try to figure out an answer,” Bayne explained. “As a race car driver, you want to have all the data you can, all the information, and know how to best take care of yourself. Pretty much what they recommended is for me to do what a normal, healthy person should do, which is to work out hard, to eat the right things.”

The 22-year-old talked about his diagnosis in a press conference today, along with Steve Newmark, president of Roush Fenway Racing, who made it clear his organization is behind Bayne 100 percent as he drives the No. 6 car in the Nationwide Series in 2014.

“I think that the diagnosis is a refreshing one for Trevor to understand the situation,” Newmark said. “He is one of our premier race car drivers and we fully expect him to be competing for wins and championships well into the future. We have a lot of respect and admiration for the fact that he wanted to come out and make this known publicly.”

That begs the question of why Bayne chose to announce his diagnosis. Since he has been cleared to race by both NASCAR and his doctors, he was under no obligation to share his medical information.

“Our team has been unbelievably supportive of me,” Bayne said. “Roush Fenway, the Wood Brothers, AdvoCare, Motorcraft, and Quick Lane Ford, everybody involved and we've talked to in this has given me so much support that it's been unbelievable. So I figure if they take it that well, then why hide it from anybody and feel like there is a part of my life that I can't talk about or have to keep in the dark? Because I'm a pretty open book and never want to feel like I have something like that behind the curtain.”

But he has another reason that’s most meaningful to him. Bayne wants people to know he relies on God’s strength to get him through hard times.

“We go through a lot of tough things as race car drivers and as people,” he said. “And … I want people to see that part of my life. The struggles I go through, and how we handle not only with our own strength, but what God empowers us to do through him.”

Bayne said his wife, Ashton, whom he married in June of this year, has been supportive and helps him keep perspective.

“She's been by my side all the way through this. That is what is so great about being married to somebody who is the same as you are in their faith and through everything.”

Bayne’s Nationwide career stats include 10 top fives, 50 top 10s and six poles in 117 starts. He has two wins in the series, one of which came at Iowa this year, just a few days after his wedding.

“More than anything, I appreciate the support of my team and our sponsors here. They've been unbelievable,” Bayne said. “Obviously, I feel great. I've had no symptoms and everything's going really well. But the biggest thing we want to figure out is how to keep winning races and championships and keep this thing going.”
Trevor Bayne shares diagnosis and leans on faith Trevor Bayne shares diagnosis and leans on faith Reviewed by Beth Reinke on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 Rating: 5