Michael Waltrip Race Summary: No.55 Aaron’s Dream Machine/University of Kentucky Toyota driver Michael Waltrip finished 30th in Saturday night’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway. It marked the two-time Daytona 500 and Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame member’s first Sprint Cup race in his home state. The Owensboro native started 39th in the Aaron’s paint scheme that paid tribute to the University of Kentucky’s NCAA championship basketball team. Waltrip stayed on the lead lap until lap 36 when he barely missed earning an Aaron’s Lucky Dog free pass. The No. 55 persevered throughout the race despite not hearing Waltrip because of a radio malfunction. The No. 55 also overcame a late race flat tire that forced a green flag stop. Waltrip will drive the No. 55 Aaron’s “Christmas in July” Toyota at Daytona on Saturday night.
- Started 39th and finished 30th
- Marked first Sprint Cup race in home state.
- Aaron’s paint scheme honored University of Kentucky’s NCAA championship basketball team.
- Lost lap to leaders on lap 36 and suffered a late race flat tire that left team three laps behind leaders.
- Team ran entire race without communication from the car because of a radio malfunction.
WALTRIP: ”I was too nervous to really enjoy the pace laps, but racing here in Kentucky in front of these fans was an awesome experience. I was just too worried about running bad. We took off and run pretty decent. I just know that our team builds really good race cars. That’s a good feeling car right there and I’m proud of my team. This weekend was fun. The crowd was wonderful and getting to honor UK on our car was something special. I think we made a lot of new fans tonight. Aaron’s made my dreams come true this weekend.”
- Brad Keselowski won the race by 4.399 seconds over Kasey Kahne.
- Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon rounded out the top five.
- The race took two hours and 45 minutes.
- The race featured 17 lead changes among six drivers.
- Four cautions slowed the race for 24 laps.
- NASCAR estimated the attendance at 105,000.