Trevor Bayne – ‘To Everything there is a Season’

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Like every other NASCAR fan I had been looking forward to the Daytona 500 since the end of last season.  The track repaving and the anticipation of not knowing what to expect created a new buzz for NASCAR’s premier race of the season.

Then in the blink of an eye, everything changed. I received a call on February 2nd and found out that my brother had been killed in a senseless accident.

Suddenly I seemed stuck in a vacuum while the rest of the world swirled around me. Time stood still and the only thing that mattered was that I had lost my big brother.

He was six years older than me and I always looked up to him. I listened to the same music and shared his love of fast cars. I even had a few teenage crushes on his friends.

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As the days passed, my emotions took over and I all I could do was hang on and try to ride out the storm. For the first few days, I couldn’t bear to close my eyes. All I could see was the tragedy that took my brother’s life. One minute my heart was breaking and the next moment I found myself angry at the world.

This isn’t the way it was supposed to happen. I never even got to say goodbye.

I watched the Budweiser Shootout, qualifying and the Duels through clouded vision as I struggled to find my way out of the fog that had enveloped me.

As the Daytona 500 approached, I wasn’t even sure if I would watch. I could just imagine all the stories that would be told on the 10 year anniversary of Dale Earnhardt’s death. My loss was too fresh and I didn’t know if I could handle the remembrances of another life lost far too soon.

Race day came and I guess old habits die hard as I found myself in front of the television watching the race. As I was waiting for the race to start I remembered a conversation I’d had with some fellow race fans on a NASCAR fan site.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had just won the pole for the Daytona 500 and we talked about the very real possibility that he might have a shot at winning the race. We also discussed Trevor Bayne and how strong his car had been in qualifying.

This is what I told my friends.

“Highly unlikely, probably impossible, but wouldn’t it be cool to see Bayne win the 500 in the No. 21 car for the Wood Brothers? That, my friends, would be a story!”

Perhaps it’s just that Bayne was on my mind because, ironically, my brother was also born on February 19th.

I first got to know Trevor Bayne when I interviewed him in October 2009. My first impression was that this was a kid who had the potential to become one of NASCAR’s future stars. Since then I’ve had the opportunity to speak with him on several occasions and I’ve continued to follow his career closely.

As I watched the final laps of the race unfold, I had no idea who was going to win. Was Bayne really going to be able to win the 500 in only his second Cup start?

As he crossed the finish line in first place, I found myself grinning from ear to ear and I couldn’t help but laugh out loud as I heard him scream, “Are you kidding me?”

For the first time in weeks, I had completely forgotten everything else and was lost in that moment.

The excitement soon faded and I know that I will struggle daily to come to terms with my brother’s death. But I also realize that I am beginning to heal and will once again be able to feel not only life’s heartbreak but embrace its joy.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-4
“To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,  a time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,  a time to mourn and a time to dance.”

6 COMMENTS

  1. Please accept my sincerest condolences on the sudden,untimely loss of your brother,Angela!!

    I’ve been through the heart break of loss many times in my 65 years, but the ones that hurt the most were the sudden unexpected,no time to sat good bye ones–and the losses that came far too early–I found that,in time,I adjusted and learned to live with them–but know that I’ll never will get over them. All are in my heart and on my mind just about every day-even after many years!

    I wish you the love of friends and family and the smiles of little children (our worlds future!) I believe they will help you accept and heal!!

    sincerely, Lynne C. Sondelski

    • Thanks Lynne and you’re right, the sudden losses are the hardest to accept. But I’m fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends who support me. Your words of encouragement mean a lot to me, thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. What an awesome article…from tragedy engulfing a life to a “possible dream” of a young man that was interviewed over a year ago, winning the “Daytona 500!” After all, he was young and that would only be his 2nd career race in the Cup Series! But, sometimes in life…dream’s actually do come true!! And so….there it was…a “crazy” Daytona 500 with something like 16 cautions…cars hooked up 2×2 going around that track! The laps wound down and there, “in the blink of an eye” was, just turned 20 year old Trevor Bayne in the lead with other cars right up on him! The white flag waved in the air, showing only ONE lap to go! They raced around the track, Trevor still in the lead, holding off his competition! Down the front stretch they came and there for all of NASCAR Fans all over the world to see, was 20 year old Trevor Bayne taking the Checkered Flag! I was amazed by this young man and that is when I began to follow him. For Angela Campbell, who was mourning the loss of her brother fresh in her memory, watched in amazement this young man that she had interviewed and someone that she saw great things to come for him, take that Checkered Flag and WIN the “Daytona 500!!” So, for Angela, time stood still for awhile and she could do nothing but Smile…forget about her loss and rejoice along with Trevor!

    It takes time for wounds to heal and Angela will continue to have good days & bad days, but watching this young man that she saw great things ahead in his future, just win the biggest race of the season…us NASCAR Fans call it “Our Superbowl”, she got to experience pure Joy!! As with the quotes from the Bible…”To Everything there is a Season”, I see healing coming to her one day at a time! I enjoy every article that I’ve read by Angela Campbell and all I can say is….”Way to go Trevor” and I will wait with anticipation for the next article by Ms. Campbell!

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