First there was Tiny Lund in 1963, then Cale Yarborough in 1968, A. J. Foyt in 1972 followed by David Pearson in 1976. These are the four men who have driven the famous Wood Brothers number 21 Ford into victory lane after winning the Daytona 500.
And now you can add the name Trevor Bayne to that illustrious list.
Trevor Bayne. Learn that name and remember it for you are going to be hearing a lot more about this young kid from Knoxville, TN who just turned 20 years old the day before the 500, wasn?t even born the last time the 21 car won the Daytona 500, heck, he was only 10 the last time the Wood Brothers? team won any Cup race.
There was a time when the Wood Brothers were one of the dominant teams on the NASCAR circuit. With veteran David Pearson driving, they won 11 races in 1973, and 10 races in 1976. All told the Wood Brothers have 98 wins in the Cup series.
The list of drivers who have wheeled the red and white number 21 could make a Hall-of-Fame all on their own. Curtis Turner, Dan Gurney, Junior Johnson, Marvin Panch, the aforementioned Foyt and Pearson. Cale Yarborough, Donnie Allison, Neil Bonnett, Buddy Baker, Kyle Petty, the list goes on. And now, Trevor Bayne.
This year?s crash filled Daytona 500 was a record setting race in several ways. A record number of lead changes at 74, and a record number of caution flags at 16. At the end a lot of cars looked as if they had just finished 500 laps at Martinsville instead of 500 miles at Daytona.
Through it all, through all the carnage, through all the drafting, and spinning, more drafting, and more crashing, Bayne showed a maturity and wisdom that belied his age and inexperience. This was, after all, only his second ever Cup race and his first time ever at Daytona. He didn?t even know where victory lane was!
The fact that the car Bayne drove was resplendent in the traditional red, white, and gold numeraled livery of the Wood Brothers, just like all the others, made the win that much more significant and poignant.
At the end his car was clean and damage free save for a scarred and scraped front bumper from pushing other cars into contention. He pushed when he could, backed off when he should, and in the end he just flat out beat everybody else to the checkered flag.
Fellow Ford drivers Carl Edwards and David Gulliland tried to set up a slingshot pass coming down to the finish but had to settle for second and third respectively.
Elliot Sadler was the last driver to win in the Wood?s car when he won at Bristol in 2001. Before that, Morgan Shepherd won at Atlanta in 1993. Just two wins from 1993 until 2011. During that time the team fell on hard times. Adequate sponsorship was hard to find and they struggled to qualify for races.
And now, the biggest race of the year has been won by the oldest continuously operating team in NASCAR, and the youngest driver to ever win the 500!
Opinions expressed in blogs are those of the individual bloggers and do not necessarily represent the views of racing-reference.info.