NASCAR: Bayne talks about illness

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 26, 2011

Associated Press
CONCORD ó Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne may never learn what caused the illness that has sidelined him the past five weeks.
An insect bite initially caused Bayne to seek treatment after he experienced numbness in his arm during an April race at Texas. He thought everything was fine after, then woke up with double vision two days after the April 17 race at Talladega.
Roush Fenway Racing sent him to the Mayo Clinic, where he spent a week undergoing tests to determine what was causing his symptoms.
ěI think I finally just had to accept that nobody knows,î Bayne said Thursday. ěI still donít have an official diagnosis, but they treated everything they thought it could be and since then everything has gone away. To me, they hit something.î
Bayne said he went through a series of MRIís, a spinal tap, and at one point had 16 needles in him at the same time. But nobody could pin down what he did have.
In the end, doctors simply said he suffered from an inflammatory condition.
ěIt is not anything terminal or anything like that,î Bayne said. ěI heard somebody say cancer and leukemia and those things, but that is not even a word that I heard in the hospital. That was not even an option. They have ruled out all those things.î
Bayne believes he could have simply been worn down from the whirlwind month he experienced after becoming the youngest winner in Daytona 500 history. The 20-year-old was the surprise winner of this yearís season-opening race, and the media attention on the fresh-faced Bayne had him flying all over the country for appearances.
ěIt could be just a series of events where you get a bug bite and your immune system is down and we had been running for a couple months hard every day after Daytona and it wears down your immune system,î Bayne said. ěThat is what I am hoping for. Whether that is it or not, only time will tell with that.î
Bayne said his symptoms have cleared up and he could have raced this weekend at Charlotte. But heíll now return for next weekendís Nationwide Series at Chicagoland Speedway.
His next Sprint Cup race will be next month at Michigan for the Wood Brothers.
RFR is using Matt Kenseth as Bayneís replacement for the Nationwide race Saturday. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will try to make his Cup debut for the Wood Brothers in Sundayís Coca-Cola 600.
ěThat was a no-brainer with Trevor and Ricky being best friends,î team owner Eddie Wood said. ěTrevor is going to help him with the transition because he went through the same thing at Texas last fall of having to make the show and Ricky will have to make the show as well.î