The Daytona 500 defending champ Trevor Bayne, who in 2011 became the youngest person to ever win NASCAR‟s biggest race, is looking to make history for a second year with a consecutive win on Feb. 26. But despite striving to be first, once again, Bayne continues to make clear he is really second.
Bayne‟s story of perseverance and faith on the road to last year‟s victory is featured in a video on I am Second, a website featuring the stories of personal struggle, transformation and hope of celebrities and everyday people.
Bayne and other drivers regularly put on “Finish a Winner” outreach events, and I am Second is starting a year-long association with the group by presenting the first of the outreach events Friday, February 24th at the Bandshell on the Daytona Beach Boardwalk. A new I am Second film featuring six different NASCAR drivers, including Bayne, will be premiered at the event.
“Racing gave me something to set myself apart,” said Bayne of growing up with a history of racing on both sides of his family. At the young age of 15, Bayne moved to North Carolina on his own to cultivate his career. Around the same time he felt his self-assurance begin to grow, his faith in God started to slip away. “Just when I thought I could handle it all on my own, God gave me a few wake up calls,” said Bayne.
Bayne began to turn to prayer, studying God‟s word, and surrendered his life to what God wanted, not what he wanted. In 2011, he joined the Roush Fenway racing team, one of NASCAR‟s largest premier racing teams, in the Nationwide Series. Through a partnership with the historic Wood Brothers team, Bayne also secured a handful of Sprint Cup starts, including the Daytona 500.
“I was thinking „There is no way we can win this race,‟” said Bayne.
“Nobody‟s ever won the Daytona 500 in their first attempt.” But Bayne proved statistics wrong. Feeling butterflies throughout the entire race, Bayne realized on the last lap that he was leading. Even as he crossed the finish line, he yelled into the radio in disbelief. Bayne decided to use his win as a platform to speak to audiences about his story and faith, something he says drives him to be a better Christian everyday.
“The Daytona 500 win is great, but it doesn‟t define me – Christ defines me,” said Bayne. “Being second is what winning is all about. Being second makes me feel like the biggest winner in the world.”
The February 24th “Finish a Winner” event begins at 6:00 p.m. ET and features music from two bands, interviews with multiple Daytona 500 drivers and is followed by an autograph session. The Bandshell on The Boardwalk is located adjacent to the Ocean Walk Shoppes, a collection of restaurants, stores and public space located in the heart of Daytona Beach. The new driver film will feature Bayne, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Blake Koch, Justin Allgaier, David Starr and Michael McDowell. Several of those drivers and others will be at the autograph session.
I am Second is designed to help individuals discover hope. The iamsecond.com website includes authentic film testimonies of “everyday” people and celebrities related to a variety of personal struggles, including abuse, addictions, pride, eating disorders, broken families and the search for success and meaning in life. The movement was launched in December 2008. In addition to reaching into 217 countries internationally, the iamsecond.com website also delivers resources and inspiration for community involvement. The movement has recently published its first book, Real Stories, Changing Lives.