500 Victory A Hit Among Competitors
By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
The outcome of Sunday’s Daytona 500 proved doubly popular with NASCAR drivers, teams and officials.
A driver they consider a good kid got the victory in his first start, and the Wood Brothers Racing team got back to Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway after a 500 for the first time since 1976.
Here is some reaction from the infield to the victory by Trevor Bayne, who was driving the fabled No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford:
Driver Bobby Labonte who finished fourth and helped push Bayne to the victory: “Congratulations to Trevor (Bayne) and the Wood Brothers – that’s awesome for those guys.”
Driver Jeff Gordon, four-time Sprint Cup champion: “I think it’s very cool. Trevor’s a good kid, and I love the Wood Brothers. I’m really happy for him. And I think it’s great for the sport. To have a young talent like that—he’s got that spark, you know?”
Driver Carl Edwards, who finished second to Bayne in the 500?: “But as a person, you know, as a friend of Trevor’s, it’s amazing to watch him have that success. I’ve only known him for a short time, but he’s what seems to be truly a good guy. I think a lot of people in the sport see that. Hopefully a lot of the fans see that. So that’s good for the sport. I still would have liked to beat him, that’s for sure.
“Well, I think the world’s going to like him a lot. I think he’s going to have a lot of fun this week. I think he’ll do a good job of representing the sport in whatever he does this week. He’s a guy that has a ton of enthusiasm. He’ll walk right up to you, stick his hand out, just seems like a really good guy.
“I mean, when you’re competing against people, you don’t always have that kind of feeling about them, that you really like being around them. Hey, maybe now if he keeps winning races, maybe we won’t get along so well. But he just seems like a great guy.”
Driver David Gilliland, who finished third Sunday: “I think he’s done a great job. I watched him all weekend. He was in a different Duel than me. He definitely has everybody’s respect out there. That’s what it takes.
“Obviously on a day like today, for him to stay out front all day really, people to work with him, I think he’s done a fantastic job.
“I think obviously it’s neat that he won the Daytona 500. Like Carl said, he’s such a great guy, nice guy, upbeat guy always, I’m glad he won today. And the Wood Brothers are great people. They deserve it.”
Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.: “I want to congratulate the Wood Brothers and the whole team there. They did an awesome job and had a good car all weekend and that boy drove his heart out. I’m proud of them.”3 Comments