The Daytona 500 is 11 days away, and we’re counting down the days until the NASCAR season begins at Daytona International Speedway with memorable moments at the most prestigious race in the sport.
When the Daytona 500 kicked off the NASCAR season in 2011, fans probably weren’t aware that they were about to witness history. That race was one of the wildest, most unpredictable races in the history of the event, and it included the record for most drivers to lead a single race with 22 different drivers.
The driver to lead the last lap and earn the win was perhaps the most unexpected winner in the history of the Daytona 500.
Trevor Bayne was making only his second career Cup Series start, and it was his first start at Daytona. Bayne was driving the No. 21 Ford for Wood Brothers Racing on the day after his 20th birthday, and he battled for the win in a race that included 74 different lead changes, which also set a record at the event.
Bayne eventually took the lead for good on a final restart after David Ragan was penalized, and he made his way to Victory Lane for one of the most surprising wins in NASCAR and Daytona 500 history.
Bayne wasn’t even sure where to go after he won the race.
Bayne, 26, hasn’t won a race since in the Cup Series, and he hasn’t been able to duplicate the magic from the 2011 Daytona 500.
He has since moved on to a different team, and he’s driving the No. 6 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing. He finished 22nd last year for the season, and he’ll look to make the push for the postseason in 2018.
But whatever happens for the rest of Bayne’s career, he’ll always have that 2011 Daytona 500. It might be a while before anyone breaks his record for the youngest driver to win the Daytona 500.