Sunday, February 20, 2011
Trevor Bayne Takes Daytona 500 As Rookie
In a most remarkable Daytona 500 that went 208 laps rather than the scheduled 200, rookie Trevor Baynes survived the carnage on the race track to prevail for the storied Wood Brothers team in the classicly painted #21 made famous by the "Silver Fox" David Pearson. On a perfect weather day, Baynes got the right drafting assistance at the right time and held off all challengers through the final green-white-checker finish to get to Victory Lane one day after his 20th birthday. On a record setting day for cautions and lead changes, the race was topsy turvy from the very beginning as the "Big One" occurred on lap 28 and took several favorites out of contention right from the beginning. The tandem pushing draft work was a sight to behold as drivers ran inches apart at close to 200 mph in pairs or pairs or fours, or eights - sometimes a pack of 20 would roar by my position in Turn 1 and it was difficult to get them all in the frame.
For my first Daytona 500 experience, I loved every bit of this weekend, but now I must hit the road back to Indy. I know I will be back again and am very appreciative of the opportunity given me by Associated Press to work for them this weekend. And while I did not sell any pictures to AP, I made some new friends, added to my racing photography resume while checking off a Bucket List item. When I get back to Indy this week, I have several thousand images to sift through from the last three days of on track activity, and notes from the long drive or conversations with my racing friends to put into another blog post. Until then, here's my first quick slideshow from today's race. Enjoy. See you at the racetrack!