CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine driver Brian Vickers is one of 22 drivers who will battle in Saturday’s 30th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Vickers earned his entry into the event by winning at New Hampshire in July.
Vickers might appreciate the chance to run in the All-Star race a little more than most. Blood clots sidelined him in 2010 just weeks before he was to make his third appearance in the main event All-Star weekend.
He hopes to better his third-place finish in 2005 and contend for the $1 million purse Sprint pays to the race winner Saturday night. This year the Showdown has moved to Friday night with the top two finishers and the fan vote winner advancing to Saturday’s All-Star Race. All-Star drivers will qualify at 7:10 p.m. Saturday before the 9:15 p.m. race.
ALL-STAR RACE: “I’m really looking forward to it. The last time I was supposed to be in the All-Star race I couldn’t be in the All-Star race because I was out sick unfortunately. It’s pretty exciting to be in the race this year — well, not there yet, made that mistake once. (laughing) Pretty exciting to plan to be in the race. I look forward to being a part of it.”
WHAT ALL-STAR RACE MEANS: “Obviously, this is a big deal. Sprint pays a lot of money to the winner, the folks at Charlotte Motor Speedway do it up right, our families and co-workers from the shop are in the stands and there will be a ton of people watching on Fox Sports 1. Some of the sport’s greatest moments came in this race.”
· CHASSIS: Primary: 803 finished fourth at Texas. Backup: 801 has not raced.
· MWR FAN FEST MAY 21: Michael Waltrip Racing will hold its Fan Fest at its Cornelius, N.C. race shop on Wed. May 21, 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
· AUTOGRAPHS: Vickers and other All-Star participants will sign autographs at the Sprint Experience in the Midway 4-5 p.m. Friday. Limited to 100 wristbands per driver.
· 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.
· MWR SPEED ROUND: Watch Brian Vickers and Crew Chief Billy Scott answer some off-beat questions during MWR’s Video Speed Round at www.michaelwaltrip.com. Click here to watch.
· 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