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“But one thing I have learned is you have to live every day one day at a time. You have to make plans for the future but you also have to live in the moment, which is a difficult balance. I’ve learned that you have to appreciate what you have. That’s where I am right now.”

It’s rare in today’s NASCAR world when a driver gets a full-time sponsorship from a company, let alone a two-year deal like Vickers received.

But Aaron's Inc. feels like it made the right choice.

Freeman said she got to know Vickers _ and his inspirational story _ over the past few months and was convinced he was the right man to continue the company’s involvement in NASCAR.

“We’re really excited about the passion he brings to the sport and feel like he will be a great representative for our brand,” Freeman said.

If Aaron's had any questions about Vickers‘ ability to race _ and more importantly, win _ he and the No. 55 team answered those last month when he won at New Hampshire, snapping a 75-race winless streak on the Cup Series.

“I don’t know if made a difference in sealing the deal, but I’m sure it didn’t hurt,” Vickers said with a laugh.

Team owner Michael Waltrip called Vickers a perfect fit for his team.

“I love his tenacity,” Waltrip said at a press conference Tuesday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. “He just fights and he digs and he’s calm. He’s not one of those guys on the radio how loses his mind over things going wrong. He just tries to help his team. His ability to work with other drivers is big, too. He just totally gets it.”

With sponsorship security at hand, Vickers is turning his attention toward new goals on the track.

“I’m thankful for Aaron's and their sponsorship,” Vickers said. “Now we’re going to see if we can go out and win a championship or two.”