2017 Daytona 500 to be Michael Waltrip's final NASCAR race

Aaron’s will sponsor Michael Waltrip’s final NASCAR race — the 2017 Daytona 500.

2017 Daytona 500 to be Michael Waltrip's final NASCAR race
Michael Waltrip, BK Racing Toyota
Michael Waltrip
Michael Waltrip, BK Racing Toyota
Michael Waltrip in front of his winning Daytona 500 car, the No. 15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Michael Waltrip, BK Racing Toyota
Michael Waltrip

Waltrip, who has three wins on the 2.5-mile superspeedway including two Daytona 500s, will pilot the No. 15 Aaron’s Thanks Mikey Toyota for Premium Motorsports on February 26.

“I can reflect on my career with a lot of emotions and one company that has been there for me is Aaron’s,” said Waltrip. “I started working with Aaron’s almost 20 years ago with some commercials and six Xfinity Series races when I had a team behind my house. 

"We have been together ever since and it makes my heart smile thinking about all the great things we did together.”

Aaron’s has supported Waltrip for more than 17 seasons of his 32 NASCAR seasons. The Atlanta-based company signed a mult-year agreement to use the FOX Sports analyst as an Aaron’s spokesman.

“We can’t wait to watch Michael compete in his last race with the same flair and thrills he’s been known for throughout his amazing career, and it will be a nostalgic moment to see him and the Aaron’s logo flash across the finish line together,” said John Robinson, Aaron’s, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer. “Michael has been a great sportsman and partner to Aaron’s.”

In 783 career Cup starts, Waltrip has posted four wins, four poles, 41 top fives and 132 top 10 finishes. Although he retired from full-time competition to concentrate on team ownership prior to the 2010 season, Michael Waltrip Racing shut down following the 2015 season. 

Waltrip competed at both Daytona and Talladega last season. He finished 12th in the 2016 Geico 500 in May at Talladega. But Daytona marks the track where Waltrip scored his first career Cup win in 2001.

“The Daytona 500 in a lot of ways defines a racer’s career and I am proud to have been able to win our sport’s most prestigious race twice,” Waltrip said. “I have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows at the Great American Race.  

But when you are a NASCAR driver who has the privilege of racing here, you love Daytona no matter what happens.  In my 30th and final Daytona 500, I am just going to enjoy every moment and be happy that Aaron’s has given me one more opportunity to hoist the Harley J. Earle trophy.”

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