CORNELIUS, N.C. — Brian Vickers should be a popular man at Kentucky Speedway this weekend. Vickers’ No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota will carry a special paint scheme during Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race honoring the University of Louisville’s men’s national championship basketball team.
At last year’s Kentucky race, MWR founder and co-owner Michael Waltrip drove an Aaron’s/ University of Kentucky themed paint scheme. At the May 5 Talladega race, Aaron’s and Michael Waltrip Racing honored the University of Alabama’s BCS National Championship football team. It marked the fourth consecutive year Aaron’s honored Alabama or Auburn University championship football teams with a special paint scheme.
BRIAN VICKERS: “I’m a basketball fan. I love a lot of sports. I enjoy watching a good basketball game. By no means would I consider myself a basketball player, but I played a little bit when I was young, and I realized very quickly that I was not very good at it, and I moved on to racing. But I do enjoy getting out and shooting some. For me, whether it’s basketball or racing, I think watching athletes at their best perform at that level is just a special thing to see. Obviously, to have those guys on the car—a team that competes at the highest level and wins championships is incredible. They’re a great basketball team, and we’re so thrilled to have them on the car and so proud, especially Michael. Obviously for Michael it’s a special thing going to Kentucky, his home state. I love going there, as well, and I’m very proud to have them on the car and what they represent. Hopefully we can go win the race.”
VICKERS ON KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY: “Part of what makes our sport so amazing is from an aerial shot some people would say ‘Gosh, Kentucky is just like Charlotte’ but no, are you kidding me? It’s not even close. You can’t even run a single piece of the setup the same, and the roughness and the characteristics of the track. It all changes. Every track is unique and has its own character, and that’s part of why we have so many different winners, guys and crew chiefs and engineers that adapt to certain services better than others and they figure out a package for that weekend that just maybe gets through those bumps a little bit better than the next guy, and I think that’s what makes it a great sport.”
CHASSIS: 722 – Mark Martin drove this car in the All-Star race. Back-up car 720 has not raced in 2013.
VICKERS IN NO. 55: Scored nine top-15 finishes in 11 races with MWR in 2012/2013.
2013: Six Sprint Cup starts: three with MWR (Bristol 8th, Martinsville 11th & Sonoma 13th.) Will run 9 races for MWR in 2013. Also made three starts in No. 11 for Joe Gibbs Racing.
CAREER: Vickers owns 265 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts. He has two wins (Talladega– 2006 and Michigan– 2009), 11 poles, 24 top-five and 63 top-10 finishes.
No. 55 IN 2013: Vickers will race nine times, Mark Martin 24 and Michael Waltrip in three races.
-Michael Waltrip Racing PR