DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Defending Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne is under the spotlight this season as the young driver tries to follow-up his Cinderella win a year ago with a repeat trip to victory lane in "The Great American Race."
Bayne was one of the main attractions of Thursday's annual Daytona 500 Media Day and said the Wood Brothers team has its sights set squarely on a second straight 500 victory.
"That’s the plan," Bayne said. "We wouldn’t have come if we didn’t think we could win. There’s a little bit more pressure this year. We’re not exactly flying under the radar, but I think we can go for it, that’s for sure.”
After his breakthrough season last year that also included his first career Nationwide Series win at Texas Motor Speedway, Bayne tries to take his career to the next level. He'll have the same basic Sprint Cup program with the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford and a limited schedule of approximately 15 races.
He has more confidence then he did this time twelve months ago and is still basking in what was accomplished in 2011.
“It’s hard to follow up, you know? It’s crazy because last year when I came here I was so under the radar," Bayne said. "I didn’t expect any of this. I just came in as a guy that had been running Nationwide and had a great opportunity to run with an awesome team, so here I am at Daytona, driving in with my truck. I qualified third and I remember looking at that podium in the center of the track all weekend long like, ‘How cool would that be to finish third,’ and they were talking about the winnings and just how awesome a top-three would be, and then we win the thing.
I’m driving out and I remember looking at that thing and seeing the 21 at the top of the board and the crazy feeling that was, but I don’t think it even sunk in – like the whole Victory Lane thing. I’m just bouncing around everywhere and the next day I’m on the plane and I look down and I see that ring and I almost teared up because I’m like, ‘Man, this is real.’ It’s not something you wake up from and go on the next day, so I’m excited to be back here this year. I’m trying to get back to that same mindset of just appreciating being here to begin with, but you do want to back that up and you do want to win and do all those things again, so, hopefully, we have a better insight of what our goal is.”
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