CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine driver Brian Vickers drove a Ferrari 458 in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2012 and has enjoyed a few other endurance races in his career.

But Vickers said nothing compares to Sunday night’s 600-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The longest race on the NASCAR schedule took 4:35:49 hours last year.

“When you really think about it, it’s probably one of the longest professional racing stints for a single driver in the world,” said Vickers.

“You have a lot of 24 hour races, which I have been fortunate to be able to run some of them, but nowhere in those 24 hour races do you see one driver in a car for four or more hours straight. Typically, they’re only in the car for one hour. To an extent, even though the race is not as long as say the 24 hour races, the time you are in the car continuously in the 600 is longer.”

Vickers said the challenge is as much mental as it is physical. The days of taking it easy then racing the final 100 miles are over. The approach now is like a 600-mile sprint to the finish.

“The 600 is a long race for man and machine for sure. The technology has come so far from what it used to be -- I notice that a lot more people finish it. I think it certainly tests your physical ability, but also your mental ability just to stay focused and to not only be physically capable of running the full race, but to mentally stay with it too. It’s a long race.”

The Michael Waltrip Racing team brings a great deal of optimism into Sunday’s race. During Saturday’s eighth-place finish in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Vickers turned the fastest lap on the track five times during the 90-lap event.

“I think we learned a lot. I think we’re going to take a lot of notes and a lot of information from the All-Star race to the 600. We have a good car and a lot of laps we were the fastest car on the race track. If we can just do that for 600 miles Sunday then we’ll be good.”

Cars practice and qualify Thursday, practice Saturday and the race begins at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday. 

 

NOTES

  • MWR FAN FEST MAY 21: Michael Waltrip Racing will hold its Fan Fest at its Cornelius, N.C. race shop tomorrow 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Fans may tour the shop, get autographs from MWR drivers and Miss Sprint Cup, enjoy sponsor displays, music by country music star Tim Dugger, free food and drinks. Fans will be allowed access to the shop floor Wednesday for an up close view of the team’s Toyotas as it prepares for the racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Legendary gas man Danny "Chocolate" Myers and veteran broadcaster Jim Noble will bring their Sirius-XM Radio show “Tradin Paint” to the open house broadcasting from MWR. MWR is at 20310 Chartwell Center Drive off exit 28 on I-77 in Cornelius, N.C. about 15 miles north of Charlotte, N.C. The race shop is open to the public throughout the year. Autograph Schedules: Jeff Burton 11 a.m. –Noon; Clint Bowyer Noon – 1 p.m. and Michael Waltrip 1-2 p.m. Brian Vickers will be testing at Kentucky Speedway and not be in attendance.

 

  • CHASSIS: Primary: 797 finished seventh in Fontana, Calif. Backup: 801 has not raced.

 

  • AARON’S: Aaron’s joined MWR in 2000 serving as a primary sponsor in Sprint Cup and Nationwide races. The Atlanta-based company has grown from 500 to 2,100 stores in that time. Aaron's carries only the best brand names in furniture, electronics, appliances and computers and offers a variety of flexible payment options. It's really easy to get started owning at Aaron's - you are pre-approved for up to $2,500 in merchandise without needing credit. Visit Aarons.com for more information.

 

  • CREW CHIEF BILLY SCOTT: The 2014 Daytona 500 marked the first race for No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Crew Chief Billy Scott. The 36-year-old began racing motorcycles as a 5-year-old and stock cars when he turned 15. He worked in the truck series as a mechanic before he returned to college to obtain an engineering degree. After graduating in 2005 Scott worked at Robert Yates Racing and began as an engineer at MWR in 2008. He served exclusively as the No. 55 team’s lead engineer the last two seasons.

 

  • #ASKMWR: Throughout race weekends in 2014 MWR will collect questions hash-tagged #AskMWR on its @MWRteam Twitter handle. No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Jackman Wes Evans will host a 3-minute video each Wednesday on www.michaelwaltripracing.com featuring MWR experts answering the best fan questions from the weekend.

 

  

  • AARON’S NEW COMMERCIAL: Watch Aaron’s new “Own It” commercial featuring Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip that began airing nationally in April: . Click here to watch.

 

·        No. 55 CREW:

Billy Scott                                 Crew Chief

Ryan Langley                            Front Tire Changer

Chris Hall                                  Front Tire Carrier

Shannon Myers                         Rear Tire Changer

Blake Haugland                         Rear Tire Carrier

Wes Evans                               Jack Man

Jeff Kerr                                   Gas Man

Steve Channing                         Car Chief

David Cropps                           Interior Mechanic

Roman Pemberton                    Spotter

Brandon Pope                           Race Engineer

Joe Bisson                               2nd Engineer

Jeremy Sharpley                       Shock Specialist

Jacen Johns                             Front Mechanic

Joe Zanolini                              Rear Mechanic

Kevin White                               Tire Specialist

Denny Chandler                         Engine Tuner

Tim Bruce                                 Engine Engineer

Glenn Shano                             Truck Driver

            Al Nelson                                  2nd Truck Driver

 

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER:

             @brianlvickers

            @mw55

            @mwrteam

            @aaronssports

            @aaronsinc

            @toyotaracing

 

  • VICKERS CHARLOTTE & CAREER RECORD

Race

St

Fin

Laps

Money

Status

Led

2003-31

20

33

329/334

46,175

running

0

2004-12

5

15

398/400

95,850

running

0

2004-31

17

40

23/334

62,255

crash

0

2005-12

14

31

379/400

104,475

crash

98

2005-31

25

12

336/336

86,850

running

0

2006-12

17

37

331/400

90,050

running

0

2006-31

25

10

334/334

91,925

running

0

2007-12

26

5

400/400

148,525

running

76

2008-12

3

42

184/400

90,875

crash

61

2008-31

17

18

333/334

79,550

running

64

2009-12

8

5

227/227

177,898

running

33

2009-31

30

34

330/334

94,298

running

0

2011-12

18

18

402/402

124,789

running

0

2011-31

31

20

333/334

98,414

running

0

2013-31

27

25

330/334

85,735

running

0

 

 

Year

Races

Win

T5

T10

Pole

Led

2003

5 of 36

0

0

0

0

11

2004

36 of 36

0

0

4

2

87

2005

36 of 36

0

5

10

1

315

2006

36 of 36

1

5

9

1

126

2007

23 of 36

0

1

5

0

106

2008

36 of 36

0

3

6

1

232

2009

36 of 36

1

4

13

6

101

2010

11 of 36

0

0

3

0

27

2011

36 of 36

0

3

7

0

7

2012

8 of 36

0

3

5

0

158

2013

17 of 36

1

2

6

0

19

2014

11 of 11

0

2

4

0

37

11 years

291

3

28

72

11

1226


Read More News

Race Previews  |  Qualifying Reports  |  Race Reports  |  Press Releases