Trevor Bayne, the surprise winner of the 2011 Daytona 500, has revealed that he has multiple sclerosis. However, he will continue racing, including this weekend's season finale at Homestead.
Shortly after winning the Daytona 500, Bayne began suffering numerous health problems, including numbness in his arm and nausea, that he initially attributed to Lyme disease. But Bayne repeatedly visited the Mayo Clinic for diagnoses, and has received his answer. He learned of the MS diagnosis in June, and revealed it publicly on Tuesday.
''I think MS takes time to diagnose and, as a doctor, you don't want to jump right in and give a diagnosis to somebody,'' Bayne said in a press conference. ''I think a smart doctor is going to continue to do things. Obviously, it's a different kind of condition than something where you can just see it immediately, so over time they just evaluate you and the doctors just run a bunch of different tests.''
Bayne has not exhibited symptoms of the disease, and indicated it is possible he may not ever do so.
"I want to have all the information possible, so I continue to be checked out at the Mayo Clinic and appreciate their doctor support and their knowledge," he said. "They've obviously cleared me to race, and so has NASCAR, so I just continue to trust them to give me the best information as possible, and that's what we'll continue to do."
"Trevor has become like family to us, and the important thing right now is for him to focus on what's best for him," said Eddie Wood, co-owner of Wood Brothers Racing, in a statement. "We know he has a strong support system behind him. As for right now, we'll continue to concentrate on our team and the race ahead at Homestead."
MS is a disease in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system. Mild symptoms can include fatigue, while more severe ones can include paralysis.