Waltrip Talladega Preview
CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine driver Michael Waltrip returns to the driver’s seat at Talladega Superspeedway Sunday in the Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup race. The two-time Daytona 500 champion’s No. 55 will carry a special paint scheme honoring the 2012 University of Alabama’s BCS National Championship football team. Waltrip will sport an Alabama firesuit and a specially painted helmet similar to the school’s football helmet. Waltrip, winner of the Talladega fall race in 2003, nearly won the October race before a last lap wreck.
WALTRIP ON RACING AT TALLADEGA: “Every time I go to Talladega I just have a lot of confidence because of all the success I have had there before. I have been able to win there and I came pretty close to winning there last year. It’s awesome going to a track that you know you have a chance to win. For me, this weekend, it’s all about putting that No. 55 Aaron’s/Alabama National Championship Toyota into victory lane.”
ON RACING THE ALABAMA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TOYOTA: “It’s going to be really fun to race the Alabama National Championship car this weekend. There are a lot of passionate fan in that part of the world that love Alabama football and NASCAR. It’s a special opportunity to mix the two together. I really look forward to representing all the Alabama fans this weekend in Talladega.”
NOTES OF INTEREST
• Media: Waltrip will visit the media center 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
• A-Day Game: Aaron’s unveiled the No. 55 paint scheme in front of 78,000 fans at University of Alabama's spring football game on April 20. Coach Nick Saban signed the hood.
• Happy Birthday: Waltrip celebrated his 50th birthday on Tuesday.
• Waltrip at Talladega: Waltrip will make his 54th career NSCS start at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday. In 53 previous starts, he has one win, seven top-five and 15 top-10 finishes. Waltrip has led 32 races for a total of 233 laps.
• Alabama Football Power: This is the fourth consecutive Talladega spring race Aaron’s Inc. and MWR have honored a national championship football team from the state of Alabama. Aaron’s also honored Auburn University in 2010 as well as the University of Alabama in 2009 and 2011.
• Roll Tide Gear: Visit www.nascar.com/rolltide55 to purchase Waltrip/Aaron’s/Alabama merchandise. The NASCAR.com Superstore plans to launch a sweepstakes mid-week, giving away Waltrip’s race-worn firesuit.
• Autographs: Waltrip will sign autographs Saturday at the MWR merchandise trailer track at 9:30 a.m.
• Display Visit: Waltrip will visit the Aaron’s display in the sponsor midway Sunday at 9:25 a.m.
• Social Stop: Make Michael Waltrip Racing’s “Social Stop” your second screen on Sunday to follow all the racing and social media action when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway in the Aaron’s 499. MWR’s “Social Stop” goes live race morning allowing fans to view information from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube all on one page. Twitter feeds from MWR drivers, media members and NASCAR fans will populate the page. Visitors can also interact with fellow race fans and answer poll questions on the page. Visit www.facebook.com/michaelwaltripracing
• No. 55 drivers: Mark Martin will drive the No. 55 in 24 races, Brian Vickers in nine races and Michael Waltrip in three races (Daytona in July and both Talladega races.)
NAME: Michael Waltrip
HOMETOWN: Owensboro, KY
RESIDENCE: Huntersville, NC