Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 11/17/14

BRISTOL, TN - AUGUST 21: Michael Waltrip, driver of the #55 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, leans on his car prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2009 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Michael Waltrip may not be NASCAR's best-known owner driver (that honor goes to three-time champ Tony Stewart). But he still manages to get in the spotlight regularly, thanks to an outgoing personality and a willingness to sacrifice dignity for the worthy cause of making interesting commercials for his sponsors. On Sunday, he will make his second Sprint Cup start of the season at Talladega Superspeedway.

A two-time Daytona 500 champion, Waltrip received help for this weekend's race at Talladega from nine-year-old Emery Beavis of Dyerbury, TN, who designed the No.55 Toyota’s paint scheme. Beavis won the grand-prize in the Aaron’s “2012 Color Your Way to Talladega” contest. She and three guests will attend the Aaron’s Dream Weekend in Talladega to watch Waltrip drive her design in Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Sunday marks Waltrip’s 52nd Cup Series start on the 2.66-mile Alabama track. Waltrip finished ninth in last fall’s race at Talladega and owns a win, seven top-five and 15 top-10 finishes in his starts at Talladega Superspeedway. He’s also led 212 laps at the high-banked track. On Monday (April 30), Waltrip celebrated his 49th birthday.

Best Talladega memory: “As a kid, in 1981, I remember going to Talladega sitting in the grandstands watching my brother (Darrell Waltrip) race. On the final lap Darrell came off turn four racing Terry Labonte for the win. Out of nowhere, Ron Bouchard shot past them and won the race right at the finish line. That was probably one of the coolest races I had ever seen, except that my brother didn’t win. Since that moment I always wanted to race at Talladega. I got my chance and in 2003, I came off turn four with the lead and Jeff Gordon tried to pass me. I was able to hold him off for the win. I remember that day in Victory Lane thinking about the race I watched in 1981. It felt great for me to finally do what I watched 22 years earlier.”

On special paint scheme: “I love the paint scheme Emery Beavis colored for me. It’s a happy paint scheme, and I am a happy person so it suits me just fine. When I see that colorful paint scheme it just makes me smile. I think it’s really cool how Aaron’s gets the fans involved and it makes them feel like they are a part of the team. I can’t wait to meet Emery and her family this weekend in Talladega.”

MWR PR

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Heat lose a key player with McRoberts out for rest of season

Belichick: Ryan is 'buttering me up' with Hall of Fame praise

Marshall: Bears need to gel and do some kumbaya

Ray McDonald investigated for possible sexual assault

Red Sox appear content with rotation despite lack of true ace

Iguodala gets technical for mocking Conley travel

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bo Pelini takes shot at Nebraska during introductory presser

Belichick: Patriots need to play better against the Jets

Rex Ryan doesn't want to get in trouble talking about Revis

Bears Conte willing to shorten lifespan for NFL career

Former NFLer Simeon Rice: I was sexually abused as a child

Jets owner favorites tweet about firing John Idzik

Wade Miley confident in health, diet after trade from D-Backs

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson lead in 2014 athlete Google searches

Molding the market: All eyes on Max Scherzer

Another "Fire John Idzik' plane flies at Jets practice

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

Report: Some Browns shunned Manziel during pregame

Making an attempt to understand Celtics' priorities

Gronk makes awkward sausage joke on 'Top Chef'

Walmart ripped for confusing Anthony/Lin doll

RG3 taking sabbatical from social media for rest of season

David Robinson's son to walk-on at Duke next year

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

RG3 quits social media for season

Each NFL division’s MVP

5 NFLers who must step up in Week 16

Most impressive college hoops teams

Five reasons why FSU is going to win the CFB Playoff

Boxer admits to dive in Rourke bout

FCC heard about Brady's swearing?

Embracing the hate of the Eagles-Cowboys Rivalry

DeSean Jackson mocks Eagles

Andrew Hawkins defends shirt

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.