“It doesn't make me who I am. It doesn't control me. I want to go out there and win races. I want people to see that you can have tough things in your life and still go on. You can stay positive and keep pushing on and rely on God for strength. I'm not going to let this scare me or hold me on a chokehold. You can't live life when you're scared."
In July, Trevor Bayne was diagnosed with MS disease, which affects the body’s nerves system. As the year came to a close, Bayne revealed the diagnosis to the world.
From a team perspective, Roush Fenway Racing team president Steve Newmark stated that the biggest concern was that Bayne was healthy and they understood his situation.
“I think that it was refreshing that he actually got a diagnosis because there had been some uncertainty about what had unfolded previously, so I know it was comforting to him and that's why he pursued it so strongly,” Newmark commented.
The diagnosis came about as a result of the events of 2011. In 2011, Bayne missed a couple of races due to issues pertaining with his elbow. He was bit by a bug and a rash developed on his elbow. It was thought to originally be Lyme’s Disease.
“There could have been local Lyme's on my elbow and that's why at the time we were like, 'That's what it is,' and it was an easy thing because I did have the rash on my arm from a bug bite,” Bayne commented. “I don't know if the two are connected.”
However they weren’t 100% sure that was the cause and Bayne wanted to know for sure the cause.
“I wasn't satisfied with not knowing, so as a competitive person and as a racer you guys know how we work,” he said. “We want to know how everything works and causes and effects, so I just kept going back for checkups and this is what it has led to.”
With diagnosis and comfort in knowing Bayne hadn’t had to deal with symptoms, focus shifted back to on track business and making sure things were good there. Each of the sponsors were notified and Newmark stated that they have everybody’s support.
“First and foremost, everyone's questions were concerns about Trevor personally, and then after that they've lined up and said, 'Tell us what you need us to do to stand behind him’,” Newmark explained. “I think that's a testament to the type of young man that Trevor is, but each one has said, 'You let us know what we need to do and we're 100 percent supportive of your effort and we want to see Trevor out there winning races.'”
Bayne brings forth a new partner for 2014 as he will have AdvoCare on the quarter panels on his mustang. Last season didn’t go as planned as Bayne failed only won one race, finishing just outside the top five in points. However, with that said, progress was made throughout the year to make the No. 6 Mustang stronger in hopes for a better 2014.
“What's impacted our season the most is how competitive the Nationwide Series is this year and how tough some of the competitors are,” Bayne said. “I feel like we've got to step up our game a little bit and get our cars a little better. This was my first year back full-time, and now we're hoping that next year we can get our cars better all the way around on the competitive side at Roush Fenway Racing. I don't think it's the season any of us would have hoped for, but we've had some bright lights also with a win at Iowa.”
In reflecting on the process, Newmark admires the 22-year-old for coming out and discussing the diagnosis with the world.
“Once Mayo and NASCAR have cleared him, he's got authorization to drive and proceed,” Newmark commented. “This was something he decided on his own, that was the right thing to do, and that he wanted to be forthright about. I think it's an admirable thing and I appreciate Trevor's honesty on that front.”