Trevor Bayne says he had Lyme

Updated: January 24, 2012, 5:51 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

CONCORD, N.C. -- Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne says there are no aftereffects from Lyme disease, which sidelined him for two months last season.

Bayne is less concerned about his health than with having the sponsorship that would allow him to compete for the Nationwide Series title. Roush Fenway Racing president Steve Newmark said he should know in a few weeks if that will happen.

Doctors never officially called Bayne's illness Lyme disease, referring to it instead as an inflammatory condition. But the 20-year-old driver said during the Sprint media tour Tuesday that he since has been told it was Lyme.

Bayne
Bayne

"They wouldn't (confirm) because it's such a hard thing to define," Bayne said. "All you can look at with Lyme is a rash. I had already had medication for it, so it can hide. Lyme is ... something that hides in your bloodstream. It is hard to diagnose.

"To me, if they treat it and it goes away, to me that seems like a pretty good answer."

Bayne complained of numbness in his arm while driving in the Texas Sprint Cup race in April, and initially was hospitalized because of what he thought was an insect bite, After later complaining of nausea, fatigue and vision impairment, he went to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for further tests.

Bayne returned to driving a part-time Cup schedule for the Wood Brothers and a Nationwide Series schedule for Roush Fenway in July, winning his first Nationwide race at Texas in November.

"I'm feeling good," Bayne said. "Obviously, they treated me for Lyme the last time and everything went away. I feel fine. I've been working out pretty hard again. I know I don't look much buffer, but I've been working out."

Bayne will be back in the Wood Brothers' No. 21 Ford to defend his Daytona 500 title on Feb. 26. He again will run a limited Cup schedule, and hopes Roush Fenway Racing comes up with the sponsorship that allows him to compete for the Nationwide title.

He has yet to check in which series he will run for points.

"I want to run for that (Nationwide) championship because I'm competitive and I want to be a part of that at the end of the year," Bayne said. "It keeps your guys going. In between races you stay fired up because you're running for points."

Newmark said the goal is to one day have Bayne and defending Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in Cup cars, calling them the future of RFR.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.

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ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter

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