It was one of those storybook, happily-ever-after endings, seen often in romantic comedies and dime-store novels. Trevor Bayne – a household name perhaps only in his hometown of Knoxville, Tenn. – led the last two laps to win the 2011 Daytona 500 the day after celebrating his 20th birthday to become the youngest victor of what’s often referred to as The Great American Race. Not only is he the race’s youngest victor, he also is the only driver to win in his first try (since Lee Petty's win in the first Daytona 500 in 1959). He gave the legendary Wood Brothers racing team – NASCAR’s oldest team – its first Daytona 500 victory since 1976. Throw in the fact that the car was painted to resemble David Pearson’s ’76 500 winner (which also won involved in one of those Hollywood-style finishes) and it has all the makings of a tinseltown blockbuster.
“I figured they had a chance after seeing that boy race in the (Feb. 17) Gatorade150s,” said Pearson. “I told him to keep his head straight and not do anything crazy.” Bayne heeded the elder statesman’s advice quite well.
Bayne will make dozens of media appearances – including the Letterman and Leno shows, no doubt. And then he’s headed here – Las Vegas Motor Speedway – for the March 5 Sam’s Town 300 and March 6 Kobalt Tools 400. It will be interesting to see how he entertains himself while in Las Vegas, since he is not old enough to patronize a casino or nightclub.
NASCAR Weekend begins on Thursday, March 3 with a full day of NASCAR Nationwide Series practice and a free driver autograph session. Stratosphere Pole Day features practice for both the Kobalt Tools 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and Sam’s Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race as well as qualifying for the Kobalt Tools 400 on Friday, March 4. The Sam’s Town 300 is set for Saturday, March 5 and the Kobalt Tools 400 will run on Sunday, March 6. Two nights of World of Outlaws Sprint Car racing will take place at the Dirt Track March 2 and 3.
The Kobalt Tools 400 and Sam’s Town 300 PRN broadcasts will be carried live on KNUU-AM 970 in Las Vegas.
Tickets for all events are on sale at www.lvms.com or by calling (800) 644-4444. Follow LVMS on Facebook and Twitter.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a wholly owned subsidiary of Speedway Motorsports, a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States. For more information visit www.speedwaymotorsports.com.