Michael Waltrip Racing is continuing its tradition of honoring collegiate-level national champions with special paint schemes on its No. 55 Toyota this weekend and Kentucky Speedway with a special scheme featuring the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Champions — the Cardinals from the University of Louisville. Brian Vickers will drive the car.
“this will certainly help my popularity with local fans this weekend,” Vickers said. “I’m a big fan of sports in general, so to have the national champions on board is a huge honor. They are winners, and it’s always cool to surround yourself with success. Our goal is to make them proud.”
Louisville’s recent championship was the second-straight for a school from Kentucky, as the University of Kentucky was the NCAA champion in 2012. In last year’s Kentucky race, the No. 55 donned a special paint scheme honoring the UK Wildcats. Kentucky native and car owner Michael Waltrip drove that car.
Like everyone in Kentucky, I grew up watching basketball,” Waltrip said. “It’s a part of our culture and tradition. We have so many great teams in our state, that when March Madness rolls around, it is just a great time of the year for everyone.”
MWR, along with sponsor Aaron’s, has also been honoring football national champions from Alabama in spring races at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The last time the Sprint Cup circuit visited that track in May, the No. 55 carried a special paint scheme honoring the University of Alabama’s most recent championship team. It was the fourth-straight year of honoring either Alabama or Auburn University at Talladega.
“We have a history of showcasing collegiate championships on our race cars to highlight our brand’s involvement in collegiate sports,” Aaron’s Director of Sports and Event Marketing Rich Lamprey said. “We hope that NASCAR fans and college sports fans, alike, will appreciate the Louisville paint scheme, and we look forward to Brian bringing the Cardinals to the checkered flag in Kentucky.”
The Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky is scheduled to take the green flag shortly after 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.