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Former Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis

Former Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne said Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, but has received medical clearance to continue racing.

That clearance has come from physicians at the Mayo Clinic and from NASCAR, said Bayne, the 2011 Daytona 500 winner who drives for Roush Fenway Racing.

"I appreciate everyone's concern and their willingness to call and to want to find out more and all their support," said Bayne, who spoke with strong conviction about being an inspiration for others battling MS. "[We wanted] to make this announcement because we didn't want to keep everybody in the dark about things once we got information and got a diagnosis."

Steve Newmark, president of Roush Fenway Racing, joined Bayne on a media teleconference in making the announcement and expressed the organization's full support of Bayne.

"[The diagnosis] absolutely has no impact on the way that we view Trevor going forward," Newmark said. "He is one of our premier race car drivers and we fully expect him to be competing for wins and championships well into the future."

Bayne will continue to visit the Mayo Clinic for regular checkups, and currently expects no changes to his treatment, which does not include medication. Since Bayne didn't exhibit any of the symptoms commonly associated with MS, the doctors were uncertain of the diagnosis at first and the 22-year-old driver had to undergo several tests.

"We were unsure of the diagnosis, and that's why I continued to go back regularly more than annually to go to the Mayo Clinic and get tests done and try to figure out an answer," Bayne said. "In the beginning they were unsure, and they're not going to give it a diagnosis until they are sure."