Former Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, who is competing fulltime in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series this season, has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
MS is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord that can produce a wide range of signs and symptoms including both physical and mental and varying in degree.
“I’ve never been more driven to compete,” Bayne said in a statement released Tuesday. “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,” added Bayne.
“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."
Bayne, who won the 2011 Daytona 500 while driving part-time for the Wood Brothers, was sidelined for over two months later that season with various symptoms, including nausea, fatigue and blurred vision.
Bayne began feeling better after he received treatment for Lyme, a bacterial infection spread through the bite of the black-legged tick. He missed several races while undergoing multiple tests last summer and doctors searched for a cause.
In January 2012, Bayne told reporters doctors believed he had contracted Lyme disease from an insect bite.
Bayne returned to racing in June 2011 after missing five races and won the Nationwide race at Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 5 of that season.
Last season, Bayne ran partial schedules in both the Nationwide and Cup series. This year, he returned to a fulltime ride in Nationwide and with one race remaining this season, has one win, six top-five and 20 top-10 finishes and is sixth in the series standings.
Bayne, 22, has also made 11 Cup starts this season with the Wood Brothers with a best finish of 16th at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May.