- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sic-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
- CIA admits $3 billion intelligence operation was a flop
- ‘127 Hours’ author Aron Lee Ralston, who amputated arm in canyon, arrested in Denver
- Men posing as cops break into home of former deputy
- Berkshire County eschews greenback for own currency — BerkShares
- Hagel warns Pakistani leaders of U.S. aid losses over drone-strike protests
- Florida authorities ban autistic boy from owning therapeutic chickens
- Defendant in Lee Rigby machete murder trial: ‘I love al Qaeda’
Waltrip embraces his old Kentucky home team
SPARTA, KY. (AP) - Even as he traveled the world racing cars, Michael Waltrip always had a soft spot for his old Kentucky home.
On Thursday, the two-time Daytona 500 winner unveiled a car honoring his favorite college team.
Waltrip was at Kentucky Speedway, site of this week’s NASCAR races, to reveal a new paint motif on the Michael Waltrip Racing No. 55 Toyota that pays homage to the University of Kentucky national champion basketball team.
“When I was a kid growing up, I used to sit in my home in Owensboro, Ky., and watch the replays of the Kentucky games after the 10 o’clock news,” Waltrip said. “Mom and Dad would let me stay up late on those nights so I could watch my team play. They’ve been my team my whole life; I’ve never cheered for another team. To be able to race this car and honor the program is a real blessing.”
UK’s mascot and athletic director Mitch Barnhart were on hand as a black cover was pulled off the blue-and-white car to reveal several national championship logos. Like at a movie premiere, dozens of photographers snapped photos.
“To the victors go the spoils, and this is one of the spoils,” Barnhart said with a laugh.
No Big Blue players were around, largely because six were expected to be taken Thursday night in the NBA draft.
But because of Waltrip’s lifelong allegiance to the Wildcats, it was clear that he was thrilled to be behind the wheel of the Kentucky-themed car.
He was asked how big a deal it would be if he could somehow win.
“Dale Junior’s pretty big-time and when he won that race in Michigan it was a crazy event,” Waltrip said, referring to the popular Earnhardt’s win two weeks ago that ended a 143-race winless streak. “You drive this Kentucky car into Victory Lane in Kentucky _ it could possibly top that.”
Barnhart said it was enough to just have the Wildcats logo and colors on display.
“We know what this (championship) means to the people of our state. We felt that from the minute we came home and there was 35,000 people lining the streets,” he said. “Then you walk into Rupp Arena and there’s 20,000 people there. On top of that, we were just walking in here and I saw that championship logo on about a half a dozen shirts.”
He said he knew what fans would say as they saw the No. 55 car race around the 1.5-mile oval this weekend.
“There’s going to be people saying, `You know what? That’s ours,’” he said.
Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rustymillerap.
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Let’s talk about everything, especially the absurdity of it all
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Never apologetic. Never afraid. Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West joins Communities to bring tales from the biggest Foxhole of them all, the one inside the Beltway.
This column will cover anything that has anything remotely to do with the game of baseball, from the game itself to mid-summer trades to offseason moves.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow