NASCAR driver Trevor Bayne has hit a bump in the road — but he's not going to let it keep him from staying behind the wheel. The 22-year-old racer, who just two years ago became the youngest winner in Daytona 500 history, plans to continue to compete on the speedway despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, he revealed on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
Bayne, a driver for Roush Fenway Racing, was diagnosed with the condition this summer after extensive testing at the Mayo Clinic. (Other celebs with MS include Jack Osbourne, Teri Garr, and Montel Williams.) He previously sought treatment at that institution back in 2011, for what he thought was Lyme disease.
Symptoms associated with MS include numbness, tingling, blurred vision, and — in extreme cases — paralysis. Bayne says, however, that he feels good and has been cleared to continue racing. (He's currently ranked sixth in the Nationwide Series and is scheduled to drive in the Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday.)
"I've never been more driven to compete," he told NASCAR. "My goals are the same as they’ve been since I started racing…I am in the best shape I've ever been in and I feel good. 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. "
The young athlete (whose sister Sarah also has MS) continued: "As for now, 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."
NASCAR, for its part, supports Bayne's decision to keep on keeping on. "We support Trevor and are proud of the way he's addressing his condition," the association said in a statement. "We know that he's in very good hands and we're confident of his ability to continue to compete at a high level in our sport."
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