By Ben White
Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 6 Roush-Fenway Fords, took a giant step toward stardom when he became the surprise winner of the Daytona 500 in 2011 while driving for Wood Brothers Racing.
It all started for the Knoxville, Tenn. native when he was five years of age racing go-karts. Over the next eight years, he collected three world championships with over 300 feature wins.
Bayne competed in the Allison Legacy Series at age 13 and was named their youngest top rookie. He logged 14 wins, 19 pole positions and 30 top-five finishes in 41 starts in 2005. That same year, he won the series championship.
In 2007, Bayne gained top rookie honors again in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series Southern Division. It led to being signed by Dale Earnhardt Inc. as a driver for their development program in 2008. That year he began competing in the NASCAR Camping World East Series, where he grabbed his first NASCAR series win at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway.
In 2009, Bayne made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, where he finished 23rd driving Jimmy Mean’s No. 52 Chevrolet. He was chosen to run a part-time schedule for Michael Waltrip Racing in 2009.
Bayne made his Sprint Cup debut in November of 2010 at Texas Motor Speedway for Wood Brothers Racing, finishing an impressive 17th. Three months later, his remarkable Daytona 500 win was in the NASCAR record book.
Four years of limited schedules set the stage for Bayne to finally run the full slate of Cup races in 2015. The 24 year-old feels he has the experience to help return Jack Roush’s No. 6 Fords to championship status.
“It’s crazy to think my dream is finally coming true,” Bayne said. “This is the year where I get to do what I’ve always wanted to do-to be a Sprint Cup driver full-time. To think about that it’s a pretty wild feeling. To know I’m driving for Jack Roush in his 6 car and we have one sponsor on the car every single weekend, I couldn’t paint a much better picture.”
“…With the new guys coming into Roush trying to change that culture a little bit and really focusing on what we can do with these race cars to make them more competitive, I feel that we’re making big gains.”