|Trevor Bayne celebrates his Daytona 500 win with the
Harley J. Earl trophy.
NASCAR fans can be a particular lot.
There are the old-school purists who long for the days when the likes of the Silver Fox and The King would go wheel-to-wheel for the win.
Then there are the hipper, come-lately aficionados who gravitate toward the cooler, celeb-like personas of say Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.
In recent years, NASCAR has had its challenges appealing equally to both extremes of the fan spectrum.
But Sunday, in the Daytona 500, NASCAR hit the jackpot.
Trevor Bayne is the youngest driver to ever win the Daytona 500. He won it in only his second Sprint Cup Series start. He’s barely 20 years old. He drove his own pick-up truck to Daytona. Plus he’s charming, articulate and boyishly attractive to boot.
Bayne is young and on the rise. And, in a marriage made in NASCAR fan heaven, this youngster just happens to drive for one of the oldest names around – the legendary Wood Brothers. These are the guys who invented the pit stop. Who hired David Pearson. Who were NASCAR when NASCAR wasn’t cool.
So when Bayne drove that retro No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion into Victory Lane – more than just those assembled rejoiced. There was happiness in the living rooms of armchair crew chiefs, squealing fangirls and casual NASCAR fans everywhere.
Trevor Bayne’s win is a win on a much larger scale. And when it comes to appealing to both old fans and new, he’s exactly what NASCAR needed.