Bayne picks up sponsor for All-Star race
Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne landed the sponsorship he needed to enter the Sprint All-Star Race next month at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The 20-year-old Bayne became the youngest Daytona 500 winner in race history when he won the season-opener. It earned him an automatic berth in the All-Star race, but Wood Brothers Racing didn't have sponsorship to put Bayne in the $1 million race.
Good Sam Club, a sister company of Camping World, signed on Tuesday to sponsor Bayne in both the May 21 All-Star race and this Sunday's event at Talladega Superspeedway.
''You never give up in this business until it's time to load the car and you can't go,'' said team co-owner Eddie Wood, who thanked Camping World chairman Marcus Lemonis for putting his company on the No. 21 Ford.
''In my heart, I thought that something would come up for the All-Star because it just seemed like too many people wanted it to happen, we wanted it to happen, Trevor did, everybody did, so, thankfully enough, Marcus Lemonis came along and he was the lifeline to it.''
The Wood Brothers are only planning an 18-race schedule for Bayne because of sponsorship issues. The All-Star race wasn't under consideration until Bayne qualified for it with his stunning Daytona victory.
''When I found out I was invited, it didn't even cross my mind that we didn't have sponsorship for that,'' Bayne said. ''We started talking about it, and they were like, 'Well, we think we might run the All-Star race. We're invited but that doesn't mean we can go.'''
Bayne's father, Rocky, initiated the talks with Lemonis when he called him three weeks ago asking for help for the All-Star race. The family had met the CEO several years ago while watching a race from Lemonis' suite at Dover International Speedway.
''I told his father when he was leaving that if he ever needed anything to give me a call,'' Lemonis recalled. ''I got a call about three weeks ago from Trevor's father and he said, 'Marcus, I need a favor. My son won the Daytona 500. ... I really want my kid to get into the All-Star race and a couple of other races. Do you have any ideas?'''
Meanwhile, Bayne said he's fully recovered from a reaction to an insect bite that had him briefly hospitalized Sunday.
Bayne said he was bit on the elbow two weeks ago, and ignored the swelling for two days. When he arrived last week at Texas Motor Speedway, the swelling had gone down, and Bayne thought everything was fine. Then he developed a rash, and experienced numbness in his arm during Saturday night's race.
''When we landed, I just went to the hospital to get it checked out and they gave me antibiotics and fluids and it all went away,'' Bayne said. ''So it looks like I'm not going to turn into Spiderman, unfortunately.''