By Kelly Crandall – Former Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne made public Monday that he has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, commonly known as MS.
Bayne said when he missed parts of the 2011 season from fatigue, numbness and double vision, it led him to continue to research and visit the Mayo Clinic. It finally led to his diagnosis for MS, which his younger sister also has. Bayne though, has been cleared to continue racing.
“The art of today to make this announcement comes because we didn’t want to keep everybody in the dark about things once we got information and got a diagnosis,” Bayne said. “I wanted to let everybody know what’s going on.
“More than anything, I appreciate the support of my team and our sponsors here. They’ve been unbelievable. Obviously, at first, when I found out, I didn’t know how it would be taken, and the more I talked to them, the more support I got. 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.”
Bayne won the 2011 Daytona 500 with the Wood Brothers, whom he competes on a limited basis with. He currently drives full-time in the Nationwide Series for Roush Fenway, sitting sixth in points with one race remaining.
At Iowa in June, Bayne earned his second career NNS win, right before he received the diagnosis. He’ll be back in the No. 6 car in 2014 with AdvoCare as a sponsor as he competes for the NNS championship. As well as running a limited NSCS schedule with the Wood Brothers again.
“I think that the diagnosis is a refreshing one for Trevor to understand the situation. But it absolutely has no impact on the support and the way that we view Trevor going forward,” said Steve Newmark, president of Roush Fenway Racing. “He is one of our premier racecar drivers and we fully expect him to be competing for wins and championships well into the future.”
After winning the Daytona 500 in early 2011, Bayne then missed five weeks with an illness that he believed to have developed from a bug bite. He was later diagnosed with Lyme disease. Bayne said Monday that he has yet to suffer any symptoms of MS which is a disease of the central nervous system. It can lead to loss of mobility, numbness and blindness.
“Just keep treating it the way I have before. I want to have all the information possible, so I continue to be checked out at the Mayo Clinic and appreciate their doctor support and their knowledge,” Bayne said about moving forward, noting that he plans on having a normal life.
“They’ve cleared me to race, and so had NASCAR, so I just continue to trust them to give me the best information as possible, and that’s what we’ll continue to do. In those symptoms, it’s definitely a good thing, and we’ll continue going strong and I’ll continue to go check back there to get their advice and information.”
Bayne said that with no symptoms of MS he is not taking medication. Nor does he plan to have a backup driver going forward.
EMAIL KELLY AT email@example.com
FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @KellyCrandall