On Sunday, Bayne etched his name in marble as the youngest winner in Daytona 500 history, taking the checkers just one day after his 20th birthday. And he did it with the kind of style that's had past Cup champions praising his game and, in Jeff Gordon's case, wanting to pair up with him.
So who is this kid? We'll enlighten you ... and make you feel old beyond your years while doing so.
You can be forgiven if you've never heard of Bayne before Sunday. He's bounced around the lower echelons of the Nationwide Series for a couple years; our references to him on this site have mostly been about him changing teams, being the subject of a Twitter war and getting caught up in a wreck — none of which, you'll note, have anything to do with his racing ability.
The Daytona 500 was Bayne's second Cup-level race. That's right, second. He was born in 1991, which means he's about as old as that Nevermind CD you still play every now and then. He pulled off the greatest upset in NASCAR history, and he's not even scheduled to run a full season for his team.
Oh, and about that team. The legendary but now single-car Wood Brothers Racing earned more from this one race — $1.5 million — than it did all last season. And it returned to victory lane in Daytona for the first time since 1976, when David Pearson piloted a very similar-looking 21 to a classic last-lap win over Richard Petty.
"I figured they had a chance after seeing that boy race in the [Gatorade Duels]," Pearson said. "I talked to him this morning. I told him to keep his head straight and not to do anything crazy. I told him to stay relaxed."
Afterward, Bayne seemed comfortable in the moment, sitting alongside racing legends like Donnie Wingo and Eddie and Len Wood. He couldn't even begin to take in the magnitude of the moment.
"If I tried to put it into words, I wouldn't be doing it any justice, that's for sure," he said. "To get this win, it's my first win in NASCAR, period, in any of the top three series, my first Sprint Cup win, our second-ever race, I mean, that's setting the standard."
He'll have plenty of opportunity to get used to being a champion, as he'll be traveling the country this week. And so far, it looks like he'll be handling it just fine.