Roush Fenway Racing driver and former Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but the team announced Tuesday that the 22-year-old has been cleared by doctors to continue to compete in NASCAR.?
Bayne has undergone testing at the Mayo Clinic, the same institution where he was examined repeatedly in 2011 for what the driver believed was Lyme disease, which sidelined him for two months that season. Multiple sclerosis is a more serious, less predictable disease of the central nervous system which interrupts the flow of information between the brain and the rest of the body, and symptoms can range from numbness and tingling to paralysis in extreme cases.
"We are 100 percent supportive of Trevor and his ability to compete in a race car," Roush Fenway team owner Jack Roush said in a statement. "I have full confidence in Trevor, and his partners have all expressed that same confidence and support. As with all of our drivers, we look forward to standing behind Trevor and providing him with all of the tools he needs as he continues to develop in his young career."?
Bayne won the 2011 Daytona 500 for the Wood Brothers, and was sidelined later that same season after complaining of numbness in his arm while driving in a race. This season Bayne is competing full-time on the Nationwide Series, where he is sixth in the standings entering Saturday's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He has competed in every event and has one victory on the year, at Iowa Speedway in June.?
"I've never been more driven to compete," said Bayne. "My goals are the same as they've been since I started racing. I want to compete at the highest level and I want to win races and championships. I am in the best shape I've ever been in and I feel good. There are currently no symptoms and I'm committed to continuing to take the best care of my body as possible. I will continue to trust in God daily and know that His plan for me is what is best.?
"As for now, I want to close out the season strong this weekend at Homestead and then shift my focus on getting ready to compete for the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship in 2014. I have a great team, a great family and great people all around me. I have been truly blessed in life and I look forward to what my future holds."?
A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Bayne has two career Nationwide victories to go along with his Daytona 500 championship. He will return to the Nationwide tour for Roush next season.
NASCAR on Tuesday extended its support.
"We support Trevor and are proud of the way he's addressing his condition. We know that he's in very good hands and we're confident of his ability to continue to compete at a high level in our sport."
FULL SERIES COVERAGE
FULL SERIES COVERAGE
- Motor Racing
- Sports & Recreation
- multiple sclerosis
- Roush Fenway
- Daytona 500