View all news

Darrell 'D.W.' Waltrip's Dream Comes True: Wife's Surprise Announcement at Fundraiser Stuns Veteran NASCAR Driver as She Hands Him Helmet to the Aaron's Dream Machine


NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 15, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Aaron Rents, Inc., the nation's leader in the rental, sales and lease ownership, specialty retailing and rental of residential and office furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, today announced that for the first time ever, Darrell Waltrip will take the wheel from younger brother Michael Waltrip to race the No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine at the upcoming NASCAR Busch Series race at Martinsville Speedway on the evening of July 22, 2006.

NASCAR fans familiar with the Waltrip brothers and their long-standing relationship with Aaron's Sales & Lease Ownership know that for years, Michael Waltrip has famously and repeatedly turned down older brother Darrell's requests to drive the Aaron's Dream Machine. However, in a surprise announcement made during the final moments of a Darrell Waltrip Roast benefiting the Boys' and Girls' Club of Tennessee, Darrell's wife Stevie dramatically handed the three-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion one of Michael's racing helmets along with her permission to drive the No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine during the Martinsville race.

Despite the fact that Darrell Waltrip completed what he called his "One and Done" race this past October in the No. 12 Toyota Tundra at Martinsville, the driver jumped to his feet to accept the helmet and express his thanks at the opportunity that had eluded him until this point.

"I can't believe it," said Darrell Waltrip. "The Aaron's ad campaign has been a lot of fun for me over the years, but I seriously thought I would never get to race that car. I really appreciate Michael and Aaron's and, of course, my wonderful and supportive wife Stevie, for giving me this opportunity. Like they say, Dreams Come True at Aaron's!"

President of Aaron's Sales & Lease Ownership Ken Butler stated, "When we let the fans vote on whether or not to let D.W. race the No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine, the response was definitely in favor of letting him drive it. Now we can bring this very successful campaign and very important partnership with the Waltrip family full circle for Aaron's. I have a great respect for Darrell Waltrip and what he has accomplished in his career, including his 13 previous Busch series wins. We are honored to have him represent Aaron's behind the wheel in Martinsville."

The race scheduled for July 22 will mark the first time since 1994 that the NASCAR Busch Series has run at the .526-mile oval Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. In another first, the race will be held at night, under special lights brought in just for the event.

Darrell Waltrip wasn't the only attendee who had a dream fulfilled at last evening's roast. The Boys' and Girls' Club of Tennessee anticipates exceeding its fundraising goal of $150,000 from the event.

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.

Aaron Rents, Inc. (NYSE:RNT) is a leader in the sale and lease ownership of residential furniture, consumer electronics and home appliances, now with over 1,200 Company-operated and franchised stores in 46 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. The Company also manufactures an exclusive line of furniture, bedding and accessories at 10 facilities in four states.

The Aaron Rents, Inc. logo is available at:

CONTACT: Aaron's Sales & Lease Ownership
Rich Lamprey, Sports Marketing Director
Mark A. Rudnick, Vice President, Marketing

Multimedia Files:

Categories: Press Releases
View all news