FOX Sports Exclusive
Darrell Waltrip Thanks Aaron's and His Brother for Making His Dream Come True at Martinsville
MARTINSVILLE, Va.Aaron's Sales and Lease Ownership enjoyed watching Darrell Waltrip pilot the No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine through the field in the NASCAR Busch Series Goody's 250 on Saturday afternoon. After a solid run in his first time racing a NASCAR Busch Series car at the .526-mile oval, Waltrip was forced to settle for a 28th-place finish.
"I was running just outside the top-15 with less than 25 laps to go and I got turned around," said Waltrip. "I had a guy back there banging on my bumper a little bit. He got underneath me and instead of turning me loose, he turned me around. We would've finished in the top-15, but instead we finished 28th."
Waltrip started the 250-lap event 41st and by Lap 72 was shown in the top-20 as he entered pit road for service. While the Michael Waltrip Racing team was making a routine stop, the car slipped off the jack costing the team valuable track position. On Lap 84, Waltrip restarted 33rd. After repeated stops throughout the event, the team debated whether or not to stop again for tires at Lap 166 under caution. Crew Chief Jerry Baxter made the call to bolt on four fresher tires and make adjustments to the No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine.
"We made a good call and the guys had a good stop," said Waltrip. "We were able to move up through the field. We had a decent car."
On a restart at 198, Waltrip was 20th and moving forward. About 20 laps later while Waltrip was running 19th, the No. 33 car of Ron Hornaday made contact with the Aaron's Dream Machine.
"Coming off of Turn 4, I gave him the inside and he tried to drive over my hood," said Waltrip. "I was trying to let him go, but I said if I keep trying to let him then he's going to wreck both of us. So, I just had to hold my ground and it hooked his right rear and spun him around."
With a top-15 finish attainable, Waltrip's chance for a solid finish was disrupted and the 13-time NASCAR Busch Series winner finished 28th in the No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine.
"He (Tim Sauter) got underneath me and he ended up turning me around," said Waltrip. "He went on to finish 19th and I finished 28th. I've never been able to get that aggressive for a 15th or 20th-place finish. I guess all those years of winning and running up front, you just don't think about what guys are willing to do to finish 18th, 19th or 20th. To me it is not worth it. I'm not knocking them, but I'm just surprised how aggressive guys are and how much they would do to gain one spot when they are that far back."
Even though the finish didn't equal the effort, Waltrip was pleased with the weekend overall.
"It's too bad we didn't get the finish we were hoping for, but I'm still happy with everyone's effort," said Waltrip. "We had a decent race car and I thought we were going to leave Martinsville with a top-15 finish. I'm still happy. I can't say enough about the boys. They worked hard all weekend and never complained one bit and it was hot. It felt like it's been over 100 degrees every day. They gave me a good car and I'm glad I did it. It was fun. After three years of aggravating Michael to drive the Aaron's Dream Machine, I think it paid off. I stayed on the lead lap and I was competitive. To be able to come wandering down out of a television booth and jump in a race car to compete with these boys makes me pretty happy."
About Aaron Rents, Inc.:
Aaron Rents, Inc. (NYSE: RNT), based in Atlanta, currently has more than 1,230 Company-operated and franchised stores in 47 states and Canada for the rental and sale of consumer electronics, computers, residential and office furniture, household appliances and accessories. The Company manufactures furniture, bedding and accessories at 12 facilities in five states.
Aaron's stores offer customers access to high quality furniture, appliances, electronics and computers for sale or on a lease-ownership arrangement. Customers have the option of buying their merchandise for an attractive cash price, or opting to lease their merchandise for even greater flexibility. With a lease option, customers make modest monthly payments and have the immediate use of the items they need without waiting for credit checks or other delays. Plus, Aaron's will take care of delivery, set-up, repairs and more for the duration of a customer's lease.