CORNELIUS, N.C. — The No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine team at Michael Waltrip Racing will wait until the third race of the season before its regular driver Brian Vickers climbs behind the wheel of the team’s Toyota Camry.

 

As Vickers recovers from December heart surgery, MWR founder and co-owner Michael Waltrip will make his 28th start in the Great American Race in Daytona where he has won twice. Rising star Brett Moffitt will drive the No. 55 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 1 before Vickers returns at Las Vegas on March 8.

 

Crew Chief Billy Scott said the disappointment of the team not having its regular driver is offset by a two-time Daytona 500 champion in the car.

 

No. 55 CREW CHIEF BILLY SCOTT: “It’s pretty cool to have someone with Michael’s experience and success in Daytona with us. I’ve worked with Michael in more than 20 superspeedway races over the years and I know he’s one of the best in the business at Daytona and Talladega. I think he knows every trick in the book when it comes to this place.

 

“We can learn from him and have a chance to run up front. The No. 55 finished third with Mark Martin in 2013 and Brian (Vickers) came within a few feet of winning here in July. We have a lot of confidence in our Toyotas and in Michael.”

 

MICHAEL WALTRIP ON RACING IN THE DAYTONA 500: "It's amazing first of all, but it really hit home when they said, 'We've got your seat in the car. Come down and check it out.' Just to get to the car and see the crew guys come over and say, 'How is it? We're so happy you're driving our car.’ I’m honored. I'm obviously down to my last couple of Daytona 500s if not the last one and to be able to have that energy and have those boys be happy that I was climbing in their car it reminded me of back in 2001 when I went to drive for Dale (Earnhardt) -- how good that felt. I had that same feeling.” 

 

WALTRIP ON DAYTONA IMPORTANCE: “Daytona probably means more to me than most. The ups and downs and just as a kid in Kentucky going there for the first time and seeing that track and how much it meant to me and now I felt that same way. I felt like that kid again the other day when I was sitting in that car and all of the crew guys were there to help me get fitted in and ready to go."

 

CLICK ON THIS LINK TO READ MORE ABOUT WALTRIP’S THOUGHTS ON DAYTONA

 

BRIAN VICKERS ON LAS VEGAS RETURN: “The doctors say that I'll be as strong as or better than I was before. The way the patch was replaced, it's actually a better way to do it because it's using your own natural skin to patch the hole as opposed to an artificial device, which is always better. They feel really good about my heart, that I'm actually better off than before and as far as my sternum -- obviously cracking my sternum open -- again they keep telling me that when that bone grows back, it will grow back stronger than before. Actually where it grows back together will not be the weakest link anymore -- it will be somewhere else. Not to mention it's like wired together. It's about the size of a coat hanger making loops around my sternum. My doctors have insisted on giving me enough confidence that I'll be healthy and ready to go and strong as ever.”

 

NOTES:

 

  • CHASSIS: Primary: 789 won pole, finished 20th at Talladega in October with Vickers behind wheel. Backup: 748 finished 41st in 2014 Daytona 500 and 25th at Talladega in May with Waltrip.

 

  • WALTRIP:

 

  • The 2015 Daytona 500 marks Waltrip’s 28th start in NASCAR’s most prestigious race. The 2001 and 2003 race winner owns 778 Sprint Cup starts – the ninth most of any driver.

 

  • Since beginning a part time schedule in 2010, Waltrip has worked as a team owner and television commentator in NASCAR. He’s enjoyed unparalleled success away from the track.

 

  • Waltrip’s best-selling book “In the Blink of an Eye” marked the 10th anniversary of his 2001 Daytona 500 victory. After hitting the shelves in January 2011, it soared to fourth and spent 11 weeks on The New York Times Best-Seller list.

 

  • Waltrip advanced to the seventh round of competition in the hit ABC television show Dancing with the Stars in the fall of 2014. More than 12 million viewers’ watched Waltrip and partner Emma Slater dance for eight consecutive weeks in the fall of 2014.

 

  • Waltrip owns four Sprint Cup, 11 XFINITY and a Camping World Truck Series victory. He’s led 1,409 laps in Sprint Cup competition. The two-time Daytona 500 champion has started 778 Sprint Cup races, 279 XFINITY races and nine truck events.

 

  • The owner and co-founder of MWR, Michael Waltrip will make attempt to make his 54 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Daytona this weekend. Waltrip has three wins, seven top-five and 15 top-10 finishes. He has led 359 laps of competition and has logged over 20,000 laps and over 50,000 miles at the World Center of Racing.

 

  • Waltrip has the most Sprint Cup starts of any active driver at Daytona with 53.
  • AARON’S: The Atlanta-based company, with more than 2,100 stores across the country, helps customers own the life they want. Aaron's carries only the best brand names in furniture, electronics, and appliances with a variety of flexible payment options.  It's really easy to “Own It” at Aaron’s with customers who are now pre-approved for up to $2,500 in merchandise - no credit needed. During Aaron's 60th Anniversary Sale, for the first time in Aaron's history, get 6 Months same as cash on ANYTHING IN THE STORE! And lease select items at Just $60 a month. See the full selection of $60 products at your local Aaron's store or at Aarons.com/60.
  • CREW CHIEF BILLY SCOTT: Scott 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. The 36-year-old served exclusively as the No. 55 team’s lead engineer before taking over crew chief duties in 2014.

 

  • 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

Kevin White

Front Mechanic

Joe Zanolini

Rear Mechanic

Scott Swift

Tire Specialist

Kirk Butterfield

TRD

Tim Bruce

TRD

Stump Lewis

Truck Driver

Al Nelson

2nd Truck Driver

 

 

·         FOLLOW US ON TWITTER:

            @brianlvickers

            @mw55

            @mwrteam

            @aaronssports

@aaronsinc

            @toyotaracing

 

  • DAYTONA TELEVISION SCHEDULE

Friday, February 13

5 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series Practice (FOX Sports 1)

6 p.m. ET - NASCAR Race Hub: Weekend Edition (FOX Sports 1)

6:30 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series Final Practice (FOX Sports 1)

8:30 p.m. ET - 1979 Daytona 500 (FOX Sports 1)

Saturday, February 14

10:30 a.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series Practice (FOX Sports 1)

1:30 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series Practice (FOX Sports 2)

3:30 p.m. ET - NASCAR Race Hub: Weekend Edition (FOX Sports 1)

4 p.m. ET - ARCA Race (FOX Sports 1)

6 p.m. ET - NASCAR RaceDay (FOX Sports 1)

8 p.m. ET - Sprint Unlimited (FOX)

11 p.m. ET - NASCAR Victory Lane (FOX Sports 2)

Sunday, February 15

11 a.m. ET - NASCAR Race Hub: Weekend Edition (FOX Sports 1)

1:30 p.m. ET - Daytona 500 Qualifying (FOX)

Monday, February 16

6 p.m. ET - NASCAR Race Hub (FOX Sports 1)

Tuesday, February 17

6 p.m ET - NASCAR Race Hub (FOX Sports 1)

Wednesday, February 18

2 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series Practice (FOX Sports 2)

3 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series Practice (FOX Sports 2)

6 p.m. ET - NASCAR Race Hub (FOX Sports 1)

Thursday, February 19

12 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series Final Practice (FOX Sports 1)

1:30 p.m. ET - Camping World Truck Series Practice (FOX Sports 1)

2:30 p.m. ET - NASCAR Race Hub: Weekend Edition (FOX Sports 1)

3:30 p.m. ET - Camping World Truck Series Final Practice (FOX Sports 1)

5 p.m. ET - NASCAR RaceDay (FOX Sports 1)

7 p.m ET - Duel at Daytona (FOX Sports 1)

Friday, February 20

11 a.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series Practice (FOX Sports 1)

12:30 p.m. ET - XFINITY Series Practice (FOX Sports 1)

2 p.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series Practice (FOX Sports 1)

3:30 p.m. ET - XFINITY Series Final Practice (FOX Sports 1)

4:30 p.m. ET - Camping World Truck Series Qualifying (FOX Sports 1)

6 p.m. ET - NASCAR Race Hub (FOX Sports 1)

7 p.m. ET - Camping World Truck Series Race (FOX Sports 1)

Saturday, February 21

10:30 a.m. ET - Sprint Cup Series Final Practice (FOX Sports 1)

12 p.m. ET - XFINITY Series Qualifying (FOX Sports 1)

1:30 p.m. ET - NASCAR Race Hub: Weekend Edition (FOX Sports 1)

3 p.m. ET - NASCAR RaceDay (FOX Sports 1)

3:30 p.m. ET - XFINITY Series Race (FOX Sports 1)

Sunday, February 22

10:30 a.m. ET - NASCAR RaceDay (FOX Sports 1)

1 p.m. ET - Daytona 500 (FOX)

5 p.m. ET - NASCAR Victory Lane (FOX Sports 1)


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