History was made at the Daytona 500 this weekend. E3 Spark Plugs congratulates Trevor Bayne, whose never-saw-it-comin’ victory made him the first driver to win the Daytona 500 in his first attempt since Lee Petty won the inaugural event in 1959. As if that wasn’t enough, Bayne also is the youngest Daytona 500 winner to date, beating former record-holder Jeff Gordon by five years, six months and 11 days. Gordon was 25 when he landed the checkered flag in 1997. Bayne turned 20 on Saturday, the day before the race.
Many racing pros and fans were expecting the unexpected this year, given the recent repaving of the Daytona International Speedway. The last time the race took place on new pavement was in 1979 when Cale Yarbrough and Donnie Allison wrecked in Turn 3 on the last lap and Yarbrough and Bobby Allison duked it out on the infield grass while Richard Petty blasted in from nowhere to win the race. But nobody expected Bayne’s win – including Bayne himself.
“I keep thinking I’m dreaming,” Bayne, who races for Wood Brothers Racing, told reporters in Victory Lane. “Our first 500 — are you kidding me? To win our first one in our second-ever Cup race, I mean this is just incredible. .. It’s crazy to get my first win before a Nationwide win — I didn’t know how to get to Victory Lane.”