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Trevor Bayne's Daytona 500 Win Might Be Just What NASCAR Was Looking For
Published February 21, 2011
HOLLYWOOD STORY: In Orlando, Mike Bianchi writes under the header, "Not Even NASCAR Could Have Scripted Trevor Bayne." Bayne is "one of the sport's most uplifting winners." Bianchi: "For all of the NASCAR naysayers who say this sport doesn't have enough good story lines, how can you not love this one?" Bayne "has everything the critics say the sport is missing." Bianchi: "He has personality. He has pizzazz. He has loads of humility but no fear. He has the faith, fun and family values that NASCAR fans crave" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 2/21). In Las Vegas, Mike Smith wrote, "This story reads as if a team of Hollywood scriptwriters had been airlifted to Daytona to create the perfect story for the 53rd Daytona 500" (LASVEGASSUN.com, 2/20). In Charlotte, Jim Utter writes of Bayne, "What a refreshing personality and incredible story" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 2/21). FANHOUSE.com's Holly Cain noted most of Bayne's fellow drivers "declared him 'the next big deal' before the 500." Cain: "It was the prevailing opinion that he is exactly what NASCAR needs to sustain its popularity -- a combination of youth, charisma and talent" (FANHOUSE.com, 2/20). USA TODAY's Nate Ryan notes "Trevor Bayne" and "Wood Brothers," his team, were "trending on Twitter after the race." Driver Carl Edwards, who finished second in the race, said of Bayne, "A new winner, up-and-coming guy that's tied to so much history. This is as good as it gets. If people aren't watching, that's their problem, because we got some great stuff going on here" (USA TODAY, 2/21). More Edwards: "The world's going to like him a lot. I think he'll do a good job of representing the sport in whatever he does this week" (SCENEDAILY.com, 2/20).
WAS RACE GOOD FOR NASCAR? WQXI-AM's Ryan Stewart said Bayne's win was "very good for NASCAR because parity, to me, is very important." Stewart: "This was one of the most exciting races I've seen." But WQXI's Doug Stewart said it is "terribly bad" for NASCAR because it "shows that more so in this sport than any other sport luck becomes involved." ESPN's Skip Bayless said Bayne "won by default" because all the "big names wrecked." Bayless said with the record number of caution flags, the race became "unwatchable after a while" ("ESPN First Take," ESPN2, 2/21).