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Michael Waltrip to sport UK's colors at the Quaker State 400

Michael Waltrip will pay tribute to UK's national title team.
Michael Waltrip will pay tribute to UK's national title team.

Owensboro native Michael Waltrip, one of the most popular drivers in NASCAR, will represent the Kentucky Wildcats 2011-2012 national title team by sporting a "special UK-themed paint scheme" next week as he does battle at Kentucky Speedway in the Quaker State 400 in his No. 55 Toyota. Waltrip's driver's uniform will also be UK-themed.

The younger brother of racing legend Darrell Waltrip, and two-time winner of the Daytona 500 (2001, 2003), Michael co-owns The Michael Waltrip Racing team, and will be making only his second Sprint Cup start of the season.

"This might be my all-time favorite paint theme," Waltrip told the Lexington Herald-Leader. "I'm so proud of all the people in Kentucky, not only for their world-class racetrack, but we have the best college basketball team in the country again. To race in Kentucky and wear the UK uniform will be a heck of an honor for me."

Kentucky's national championship trophy will also be on display all weekend at the track, which is located in Sparta, Ky., with UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart making an appearance on Thursday to "help Waltrip show off the car."

Waltrip currently lives in Sherrill's Ford, North Carolina, but for that, we forgive him.