“I’ve never been more driven to compete,” said Bayne. “My goals are the same as they’ve been since I started racing. I want to compete at the highest level and I want to win races and championships. I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in and I feel good,” added Bayne. “There are currently no symptoms and I’m committed to continuing to take the best care of my body as possible. I will continue to trust in God daily and know that His plan for me is what is best.”
In 2011, Bayne became the youngest driver in NASCAR history to win the famed Daytona 500. He is currently sixth in the NNS standings, having accumulated one win, six top-five and 20 top-10 finishes in 2013. He will compete again full-time for the NNS championship in 2014, driving the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang. The Roush Fenway Racing driver commented on the timing of today’s announcement, saying, “I just didn’t want to leave everybody in the dark. It’s not something I was told I had to do or anything like that, but it’s just a decision we made as a group to let everybody know. There’s not really any reason why we shouldn’t let everybody know, so I just wanted to do that with you guys and obviously I found out a little earlier this year – late summer – and I just took some time to talk with some partners and our team here and my family and just everybody involved that’s really close to me and just think about this for a little bit and digest it and now I felt was the best timing to let everybody know.
“My hope is not to ever have symptoms again,” said Bayne. “Obviously, there are people who have completely normal lives with MS and I hope to be one of those people. Nobody knows exactly what the future holds for anybody, but I trust that whatever God has planned for me is what’s best for my life. I’d love to be healed. That would be perfect if that’s what he plans for. But if not, then we’ll move on day by day with it. At this point, I have no symptoms and feel completely fine to drive. I just got done with a workout a few minutes ago. Last year, December 1, I did my first triathlon because I just wanted to push my body. I wanted to see what that is and where is my limit, and I haven’t hit that limit yet. It was really cool to see that I can push my body like that, that it performs and I’ve been completely fine.”
Bayne said his care regimen for the future is fairly simple.
“I’m 22 and the doctors recommend what they recommend for everybody; to take the best care of your body you can, stay hydrated, keep yourself cool. That’s something we already do as performance athletes, anyway. We want to take care of our bodies, train hard, stay hydrated in the race car because you sweat so much, and that’s what I’ve been doing and I’ve always done that. You want to keep yourself as healthy as possible with or without a condition and now it just makes that even more apparent."
Asked about his short-term goals, Bayne said, “I want to close out the season strong this weekend at Homestead and then shift my focus on getting ready to compete for the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship in 2014. I have a great team, a great family and great people all around me. I have been truly blessed in life and I look forward to what my future holds.”