In celebration of its 55th year, Aaron’s, Inc. will sponsor PRISM Motorsports’ No. 55 with driver Michael Waltrip in the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway April 25.
Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 champion and former winner at Talladega, will return to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing with a long-time sponsor in Aaron’s and a long-time friend in PRISM co-owner Phil Parsons.
“This is cool. I’m ready to race again and Talladega is a place where I know we will be very competitive,” said Waltrip who owns four restrictor plate victories including a Talladega win in the fall of 2003.
Parsons said Waltrip was a natural choice for the Talladega high banks.
“Michael brings a tremendous amount of experience to our race team,” Parsons said. “He knows what he is looking for in our cars, in our race setups and what we need to do to make our team better on these types of tracks. Plus he’s a very dear friend and I’m excited we’re putting him behind the wheel. We’re going to Talladega with every intention of winning the race.”
Waltrip owns 760 Sprint Cup starts and finished 18th in the Daytona 500 on Feb. 14 in his lone 2010 start.
“Phil and (co-owner) Randy Humphrey are getting started at PRISM Motorsports and I hope I can help them move through the learning curve a little bit faster,” Waltrip said. “I think it is going to be a lot of fun. Talladega is some of the best racing in the world and I’m glad I’ll get to be part of it in the Aaron’s 55th Anniversary Toyota.”
“Having Michael Waltrip drive the No. 55 in honor of Aaron’s 55th anniversary celebration is special to everyone at Aaron’s.” stated Robin Loudermilk, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aaron’s, Inc. “There is no better ambassador for our brand than Michael and no better way to celebrate 55 years of offering quality home furnishings to our customers than having the No. 55 Anniversary Dream Machine racing at the front of the pack during the Aaron’s 499.”
Aaron’s Chief Operating Officer Ken Butler continued, “Talladega will mark the first time that Michael has driven for Aaron’s on the Cup side and we are thrilled to have him pilot this commemorative 55th anniversary paint scheme. We have a long history together and are glad we have the opportunity to support him in his second Cup Series start of 2010.”
This season Waltrip has devoted more time to ownership of Michael Waltrip Racing which fields Toyotas for David Reutimann’s No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine and Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS entry. In addition, Waltrip’s time is spent as an analyst on Showtime’s “Inside NASCAR” and SPEED’s weekly talent show “Fast Track to Fame” as well as joining Parsons as a television commentator in SPEED’s coverage of truck series races.
The Aaron’s 499 at Talladega is the only race Waltrip has planned in the 2010 season.
PRISM Motorsports will field the No. 55 for Waltrip and the No. 66 for Dave Blaney at Talladega. Since its inception in 2009, PRISM Motorsports has purchased race cars from Michael Waltrip Racing.