Danica Patrick, Trevor Bayne in spotlight at Daytona media day
Danica Patrick in spotlight at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - The buildup for Danica Patrick's first Daytona 500 began in earnest at Thursday's annual media day, where auto racing's sweetheart was saddled with a full schedule of commitments.
Patrick was shuffled from interview to interview, answering questions and shooting promotions for her first full season in NASCAR. She couldn't even find solitude in the bathroom: an autograph seeker followed Patrick inside and patiently waited for the driver's signature.
Patrick will make her Sprint Cup Series debut in the Feb. 26 season-opening Daytona 500. It's the first of 10 races this year at NASCAR's top level, and she's racing for the championship in the second-tier Nationwide Series.
She says she has learned how to deal with the intense spotlight while racing in the Indianapolis 500 the last seven years.
Daytona win hasn't led to full-time ride for Bayne
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Trevor Bayne still can't quite believe the whirlwind of instant notoriety that followed his Daytona 500 victory a year ago.
He took a congratulatory phone call from Vice President Joe Biden, met Pamela Anderson and occasionally trades text messages with Tim Tebow - an athlete Bayne often is compared to.
But for all his newfound fame, Bayne goes into the 2012 season without a full-time ride in NASCAR's Sprint Cup series or a guaranteed starting spot in this year's Daytona 500. Bayne's team, the Wood Brothers, currently plans to have him run 14 Cup races this season.
Bayne, who turns 21 on Sunday, says he's making the best of what he's got, acknowledging that "it's tough to do that when you only have a few races."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.