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Aaron’s to sponsor Michael Waltrip at Talladega

Aaron’s, Inc. will sponsor driver Michael Waltrip at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 31 as part of its 55th anniversary celebration. The two-time Daytona 500 champion and former Talladega winner returns to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driving the No. 55 Toyota fielded by his Michael Waltrip Racing organization.

Waltrip drove the Aaron’s 55th anniversary paint scheme at Talladega in April in a Toyota fielded by Prism Motorsports. He started last but led laps 31-34 before a multi-car crash ended his race. Waltrip also finished 18th in the 2010 Daytona 500.

“If the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series raced every weekend at Talladega and Daytona I’d still be driving full-time,” laughed Waltrip. “That’s how much I like those tracks and restrictor plate racing. The only place better than sitting in the stands or watching a restrictor plate race on television is behind the wheel of the Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota.”

Aaron’s sponsorship of this race program is designed to develop awareness of Aaron’s 55th Anniversary Super Sweepstakes with scratch-off chances to win every month through November 2010 and grand prize drawings in December including multiple chances to win a Toyota Camry Hybrid. People may pick up a game card each month at any of Aaron’s 1,700+ stores. And they should register their game cards each month at Aarons.com/55.

“We could not be more pleased having Michael racing the No. 55 Anniversary Dream Machine at Talladega,” said Aaron’s Chief Operating Officer Ken Butler. “His experience at superspeedways is like no other and we are confident that he will be at the front of the pack contending for the win.”

Aaron’s, Inc. entered NASCAR racing in 2000 when it agreed to sponsor the Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Waltrip agreed to serve as spokesman for the race in a television commercial, and Aaron’s agreed to sponsor Waltrip’s Nationwide team then housed in the backyard of his home.

As Butler, Waltrip and Aaron’s became more visible through television commercials during race broadcasts, the Aaron’s race car began to develop a public identity of its own and become synonymous with the number 99, Michael Waltrip and Aaron’s.

Aaron’s support of Waltrip continued over the years as Waltrip opened his 140,000-square-foot race shop in Cornelius, N.C. Michael Waltrip Racing now fields Toyotas for David Reutimann’s No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine and Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS entry in the Sprint Cup series and Ryan Truex’s No. 00 in the K&N Pro Series. MWR along with Gary and Blake Bechtel co-own Diamond-Waltrip Racing that fields the OUT! Pet Care/Aaron’s Toyota for Trevor Bayne in the Nationwide Series.

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