Trevor Bayne holds Daytona 500 trophy aloft after winning Sunday.
Trevor Bayne knocked out several hundred media requests for interviews during NASCAR's annual Tuesday teleconference with the winner of the Daytona 500.
Bayne has already been giving interviews for the past day-and-a-half and this particular interview hosted reporters from across the country and internationally, as Bayne drove from the Chicagoland Speedway to the airport in preparation for a flight to San Francisco.
The San Francisco event is also an annual event held in San Francisco's Ghiradelli Square. Bayne was not completely clued in as to what he would be doing in San Francisco, but he did know there would be an ice cream sundae named after him. Bayne thought that was "pretty cool."
Trevor Bayne is surrounded by well wishers in VIctory Lane.
Trevor Bayne was asked, "How is your energy level and what do you expect the response to be from other drivers when you walk through the gates next weekend in Phoenix?"
Bayne responded honestly, "I was scared to take any credit because as I talked about earlier, I felt weird coming in and winning our first one with all the other drivers that have been doing this so long. Now after seeing their support it helped me realize that we did earn this thing."
Bayne continued and explained how he reflected. "I have been working at this since I was five years old. There is nobody that deserves this more than Leonard, Len, Eddie and Glen Wood, they have worked their butts off, and Donnie Wingo in his 31st Daytona 500."
Trevor Bayne burns down the tires of the famous WOod Brothers No.21 as his team celebrates.
When Bayne was asked, "Have you had any more thoughts of changing your check mark for nationwide and running for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year and Championship?"
Bayne backed off his statements on Sunday regarding a talk with Mike Helton about changing his status, “I think I am going to stay with Nationwide. I think it is a great thing they are doing for the sport for the young drivers there to be able to rise up as champions.
"Nothing has really changed for me other than that I am the Daytona 500 champion which is really incredible. I think we are still going to have an awesome year for Roush Fenway running for that Nationwide championship."
On Monday morning NASCAR clarified that Bayne could run the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, but that he would not receive the points he earned for the Daytona 500 win.
Trevor Bayne had Bobby Labonte behind him an restrictor plate specialist Tony Stewart next to him.
Trevor Bayne was asked, "Do you have any sense that you have done something of championship quality right now?"
Bayne paused before answering, "I mean, I'm starting to take that in a little bit just because of all the hype around it. I've always known, like I said before, that this is an incredible thing, an incredible race. But it's an even bigger deal than I even expected."
Bayne finished by saying, "The Daytona 500 is a big deal. It's so cool to win it. I feel so blessed, man. To have that good of a racecar, that I was in the position to be able to make the moves I made, to be guided, I can't describe how crazy it is that God surrounded me with these quality people, quality equipment, made it come together that perfect in our first-ever attempt."
Bayne has been on an endless gauntlet of media interviews but his answers have been straight forward and reflect his genuine personality. Hopefully he does not fall into the clutches of a media consultant that turns him into a rehearsed and bland interview.
Carl Edwards moved his way past Bobby Labonte but couldn't close the deal when he got to Bayne's bumper.
Trevor Bayne watched all the races over Daytona Speedweeks. In all of those races, the car leading coming out of turn four was passed for the lead just before the finish line. Bayne answered the next question with this in mind.
"Trevor, can you explain to the people what was going through your mind with one lap to go. Here you are out there with a chance to win, yet there were also drivers out there that had been doing this for years. You actually must have said to yourself, Who and what do I watch out for?"
Trevor answered and discussed his concerns for the sling shot move, "I had been watching the other races all weekend long, the Truck race, the Nationwide race. All the races I watched were won by a different driver than the one who was leading on the last lap. I was concerned about that. I didn't want to be the guy who was leading, the guy who was pushing him was able to make a move. I didn't want the second pack to come up behind us and catch us."
Bayne explained why Edwards may have been lured into a losing decision by Bobby Labonte, "Had the 47 not left a little bit of room down low, Carl might not have been able to fit in, he might have went high. There's a lot of different scenarios that could have happened. But I'm just so thankful it played out the way it did and we were able to hold everybody off."
Davis Pearson told Trevor Bayne on the eve of Daytona 500 when they met,"You have to do this No. 21 car justice."
Bayne was more than happy to praise his car owners, the legendary Wood Brothers when asked this question, "Are you really into a lot of history with NASCAR, having the Wood Brothers as your Cup team owners?"
Bayne spoke to the Wood Brothers in reverence, "I definitely have watched a lot of highlight footage. Ever since I've been with the Wood Brothers, they are big history people. They have a lot of history. They've taken me through their shop. I've talked to David Pearson, met Richard Petty, hung out with him for a while."
"You have to love this sport. NASCAR is one of the sports that stays true to its foundation. They have the Hall of Fame, David Pearson being inducted this year. They have a lot of history stuff going on. I really appreciate that from him, remembering the people that founded this ground that we're walking on now."
Bayne has faced questions from reporters for almost two endless days after winning the Daytona 500.
Bayne was asked about his win that has transcended the sport much like Dale Earnhardt's death crossed the boundaries of normal racing coverage, "Trevor, we're all enjoying following your bright smile. Everywhere we go I run into people who aren't huge NASCAR fans, talking about the kid who won the Daytona 500. I don't know if you're feeling any of that."
Bayne reflected on his fortune for being in the situation he is now experiencing, "This has been so well-received by everybody. We've had media outlets that have never been interested in NASCAR. I don't know if it's because it's such an underdog story, the history, the oldest team with the youngest driver."
"Everybody has taken to this so well. I've had so many people come up to me and say it's exactly what the sport needed."
Bayne finished by stating, "Like I said before, I'm glad I got to be the lucky one in that situation."
Trevor Bayne has come a long way since being let go by Waltrip Racing.
Bayne was asked if he is ready for the intense media scrutiny that will now follow him as a Daytona 500 winner and the new hot news item on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit, "Your new found celebrity, do you feel prepared?"
Bayne reflected on the question and then went third person when talking about himself, "Well, I think that can be good and bad both ways. That's where I have to be true to who Trevor Bayne is. I don't want to have anything to hide. I want to be as public as possible and truthful as possible and be the same person I am in the media as I am away from it. I've tried to do that, try to stay humble through it all."
Bayne was excited that the excitement will translate into sponsorship for his Nationwide car, "It is crazy how much attention has been drawn to this. I never expected it. I'm so thankful for the fact that this might help our race teams be able to find partners to go on these racecars."
Let's face facts. If Trevor Bayne cannot find a sponsor in the aftermath of this media onslaught, no one is safe to find a sponsorship deal.
Trevor Bayne gave the Wood Brothers their first Daytona 500 win since David Pearson in 1976.
Bayne was asked if any of his interactions over Daytona Speedweeks stuck with him during the Daytona 500, "Can you remember did anyone give you advice as you were driving around Sunday that stuck in your head?"
Bayne sounded like he was holding back a chuckle when he answered, "Talking to David Pearson, it was small, simple advice that a lot of people would tell me. Just with him it stuck. He was just saying, kind of jokingly, they asked him on ESPN if he had any advice. He said, Be careful. Do the 21 car some justice. That stuck out."
"When he said that, I went into the race in kind of survival mode for the first 150 laps thinking, I have to get to the end of this, avoid any crashes, push, not be pushed, just be smart the whole time. That was crucial because that kept me calm, that kept me patient when we would drop to the back on some of the restarts to push back up to the field. Then at the end, just to make smart moves."
Bayne closed with his final thought as he ended the teleconference, "Hopefully we did the 21 car some justice like he asked us to do. I think seeing him back in Victory Lane might have done it for him, so I hope so."
I think everyone including David Pearson will agree. Trevor Bayne did do the gold leafed No.21 Motorcraft/Quick Line red and white Ford justice.