Trevor Bayne

This young man pictured below, Trevor Bayne, won the Daytona 500 in the spring of 2011. Then he got a bite on his arm and went downhill from there. Lyme disease was suspected and he was treated immediately with IV antibiotics. After several months he recovered, going to show that you need to...

Get it Right! Treat the Bite!

UPDATE- September 7, 2011- See 2nd article below for the good news! After IV antibiotic treatment Bayne returns to race in the 2011 season!

UPDATE- February 16, 2012- See 3rd article below about Lyme disease going to the Daytona 500 by way of jumbotron!

Daytona 500 champ Trevor Bayne reflects on his illness

By AL PEARCE on 5/26/2011


Trevor Bayne said no one seems to know precisely what illness or combination of illnesses have forced him to miss the last five NASCAR weekends.

Reigning Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne has spent the past month or so reading and hearing that he has everything from cancer to Lyme disease to leukemia. In fact, he said on Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, no one seems to know precisely what illness or combination of illnesses have forced him to miss the last five NASCAR weekends.

The 20-year-old Roush Fenway/Wood Brothers driver faced the media for the first time since being hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic in early May. He won't run Saturday afternoon's Nationwide Series 300 or in Sunday night's Sprint Cup 600 at Charlotte, but he expects to return for next weekend's Nationwide race near Chicago and the June 12 Cup race in Michigan.

“I finally had to accept that nobody knows what it is,” said Bayne, the youngest-ever Daytona 500 winner. “I can promise you that if I was just tired or not feeling great, I'd still have been in the car because I'm a racer. I went to bed Monday night [after the April 22-24 Talladega weekend] feeling great and woke up Tuesday seeing two of stuff. I went to the hospital and had the best doctors in the world at the Mayo Clinic checking me, and they don't know what it was.

“They treated me for things they thought it could be. Just like that bite, whether it was Lyme or not. They don't have any evidence of that, but they still treated it. Since then, all my symptoms have gone away. Everything is pretty much 100 percent back to normal and that's pretty exciting. [The doctors'] biggest hope is that it was an isolated event that's gone now. It could be a series of events where you get a bug bite and your immune system is down.

“We'd been running hard every day for a couple months after Daytona, and it wears down your immune system. That's what I'm hoping for, but only time will tell. I don't have an official diagnosis, so they treated everything they thought it could be. Since then, everything has gone away. To me, they hit on something. Hopefully it was an isolated scenario where a lot of things were going on and my immune system was down, and [I] got a bite.”

Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark and Wood Brothers co-owner Eddie Wood thanked the media for the respectful way they've reported their driver's illness and treatment.

“I want to express our gratitude for the respectful way you guys have treated this story,” Newmark said. “We recognize it's newsworthy and something you have to follow and report on, and we appreciate the fact that [the media] respected the privacy of a 20-year-old and let us work through this.”

Said Wood: “Thanks to everyone for the respect they gave our team, as well as Trevor going through this. Everybody has treated us with a lot of respect--which you always have--and I appreciate that. We're all excited that Trevor is back. He's our guy and our driver, so whatever he's going through, we're going through. We've tried to make the best of it. I'm glad he's back. You guys can see how he has that warm and fuzzy feel again.”

Bayne said his recent difficulties have revealed a side of racing he'd never fully appreciated.

“The biggest thing I've learned through this is how supportive people in the garage are,” he said. “Carl Edwards flew up to see me in Minnesota [at the Mayo Clinic], and Tony Stewart used his plane to fly my family back and forth. Jack Roush sent me back and forth on his plane, and his guys came out and hung out for the night. Michael McDowell was there for five days. Everybody in the garage texted me at least once to see how I was doing.

“Another thing that's been put into perspective is how blessed I am to be a race-car driver. You get wrapped up sometimes and go through the motions. But when you have to sit for four or five weeks, you realize how cool it is to be driving. In a sense, I'm actually thankful for this eye-opener. It's been tough, like this week when I thought I was ready to go and they had to give me another week to make sure I could be competitive. I'm looking forward to hanging out this weekend and finally being at the track. Missing [last weekend's] All-Star Race crushed me, but I'm back now and as ready to go as ever.”

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Posted on Wed, Sep. 07, 2011 10:55 PM

Daytona winner Bayne finally healthy and happy after illness


The Kansas City Star

Two months after his improbable victory in the Daytona 500, Trevor Bayne woke up, opened his eyes and saw double.

He saw two sprinkler heads instead of one in the ceiling above. Two light fixtures. Two of everything.

Bayne had no idea what was wrong with him. Turned out the best doctors at the Mayo Clinic weren’t sure either.

“The day before on a Monday, we were hiking and jumping off waterfalls,” Bayne said, “ and on Tuesday I woke up and had this mysterious deal going on with my eyes.”

Bayne, 20, made two trips to the Mayo Clinic where he underwent spinal taps, MRIs and had as many as 16 needles sticking in his body in search of a cause.

The closest they came to a diagnosis was Lyme Disease caused by an insect bite. After six weeks, Bayne’s eyesight had returned to normal, his heart rate and all other vitals were fine, and he was cleared to get behind the wheel again.

“I never thought I’d never get in a car again,” Bayne said on Wednesday during a visit to Kansas Speedway, where he’ll compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kansas Lottery 300 on Oct. 8. “I thought, ‘When am I going to get back in a car again?’. I didn’t know if it would be a week or two weeks … it was a gradual process.”

The experience could have plunged the baby-faced Bayne from the heights of being the youngest driver ever to win the Daytona 500 to the depths of self pity.

But from the day he won the Daytona 500, Bayne prepared himself for all the hoopla to follow, including making the rounds on the talk-show circuit and other off-track distractions, though he did not have a mysterious illness in mind.

“I had that mindset that this is really awesome,” he said of the Daytona 500 fame, “but the rest of the year is going to be tough. I’m going to be spread thin, people are going to race me harder, people are going to expect us to win every race. It’s going to be different.

“You don’t ever want to get sick in the middle of race season, but for some reason, I had a moment of peace about it, and I thought, ‘When I get back, I’m back.’”

Bayne was assured by his fulltime Nationwide Series owner, Roush Fenway Racing, that the No. 16 car still belonged to him upon his return, and Wood Brothers Racing made a similar promise for the iconic No. 21 Ford he was driving on a part-time basis in the Sprint Cup series.

“I took that time to get better and really reflect on that win and how blessed I am,” Bayne said. “A lot of times we get so focused on the competition and the stress and trying to get our teams better, we don’t focus on how blessed we are and lucky we are to be drivers.

“It changed my whole perspective on things, and I looked at it as a blessing instead of ‘Why am I sick, why is this happening, or why can’t I be out there racing?’ Instead, I got to think, ‘I get to go racing when I get back.’’’

Unfortunately, Bayne hasn’t taken a checkered flag since that magical night when he led just six laps but gave legendary Wood Brothers Racing its first Daytona 500 victory since Hall of Famer David Pearson won in 1976.

After top-five finishes in his first two Nationwide races, Bayne has had just two top-10s _ ninth place at both Nashville and Watkins Glen _ in his last 11 starts. And in four Sprint Cup races since returning, Bayne’s best was a 16th at Infineon in four starts.

The Nationwide team recently changed crew chiefs and showed some speed in the last two weeks at Bristol and at Atlanta where he led laps two laps before an accident consigned him to 33rd.

“We’ve had a decent year,” said Bayne, who is 12th in the standings despite missing five races. “Not as solid as we want to, but next year, if we could run for that championship … “

Bayne’s plans in 2011 are to run a full Nationwide Series schedule for Roush Fenway Racing and another partial schedule for Wood Brothers, including the Daytona 500.

And he is not worried about the mysterious illness recurring.

“You can’t live life in fear all the time,” Bayne said. “I just go out and race and do everything I still love to do … wakeboard .. hiking … do all the other stuff, and if it comes back, then it does. But I don’t think it will.”

To reach Randy Covitz, send e-mail to

Posted on Wed, Sep. 07, 2011 10:55 PM

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Keith Myers

NASCAR driver Trevor Bayne tossed a football around Wednesday at Kansas Speedway.

Lyme Disease is Going to the NASCAR Races- the Daytona 500!

Shortly after winning the Daytona 500 last year, young Trevor Bayne, driving for the Woods Brothers in the #21 Ford, was bitten by what was thought to be a tick or a spider. It was reported he had Lyme disease. He was hospitalized and given IV's immediately and eventually recovered. He missed a number of races, but was able to come back to finish the season.

This year Lyme disease is going to the Daytona 500, courtesy of a pro-bono spot on a jumbotron, reports Donna Weidel, President of Burgess Communications, who has suffered with Lyme disease.

The 30 second spot contains clips from the award winning movie, Under Our Skin, and directs people to the movie's website and the site.

To see the jumbotron video, click here. Trevor Bayne is talking about his Lyme disease experience here. And here. And here.

Good luck to Trevor and all the drivers and crews during the 2012 racing season. We hope they will all be safe in and out of the cars, and on and off the track!

Lucy Barnes- 2/16/12