CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Determined to learn exactly what caused his mystery illness in 2011, Trevor Bayne made repeated visits to the Mayo Clinic over the last two years, asking questions about his health and medical history.
The youngest winner in Daytona 500 history wasn't sick and he wasn't suffering from any of the symptoms - nausea, fatigue, double vision and numbness in his arm - that had sidelined Bayne for five races in 2011.
He just wanted an answer.
Bayne finally got it in June when doctors confirmed that the 22-year-old Bayne has multiple sclerosis, a diagnosis he revealed publicly Tuesday.
"I think MS takes time to diagnose and, as a doctor, you don't want to jump right in and give a diagnosis to somebody," Bayne said. "I think a smart doctor is going to continue to do things. Obviously, it's a different kind of condition than something where you can just see it immediately, so over time they just evaluate you and the doctors just run a bunch of different tests."
Bayne, who was 20 when he won the Daytona 500 two seasons ago, will compete as scheduled at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend in the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series finales. He will also run a full Nationwide schedule next season for Roush Fenway Racing and a partial Cup schedule for The Wood Brothers.
Bayne's younger sister, Sarah, also has MS, but he said the disease wasn't something doctors were particularly looking for when he was hospitalized in 2011.
"MS is not a hereditary or family kind of condition, so it's something that is an individual basis," he said. "They don't connect them at all because it's not a family kind of thing."
Bayne first felt numbness in his arm during a race at Texas in 2011, six weeks after his Daytona 500 victory. At the time, he assumed it was related to an insect bite on his elbow that had become irritated and developed a rash.