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Photo Release -- Aaron's Talladega Dream Weekend Extended by Rain: President Ken Butler Secures Place in NASCAR History as He Makes 150,000 Fans Honorary Grand Marshals For The Aaron's 499


ATLANTA, May 2, 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 the successful conclusion of the Aaron's Dream Weekend in Talladega.

A photo accompanying this release is available at

The weekend was full of surprises, not the least of which was the inclement weather on Sunday that caused speedway officials to reschedule the Aaron's 499 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race for Monday. The Aaron's 312 Busch Series race ran under clear skies as scheduled on Saturday.

Aaron's made the most of the rain delay situation, keeping several dozen associates in Talladega an extra day to man the race on Monday. Aaron's Sales and Lease Ownership President Ken Butler took over Grand Marshal duty from actor Will Ferrell, who started Sunday's Aaron's 499 race before the rain moved in. However, Butler added a bold new twist on Monday.

Rather than start the race himself, Butler took the opportunity to make very tangible the Aaron's brand promise of making "Dreams Come True". He took the microphone and told the 150,000 fans in attendance that he would start by saying "Gentlemen..." and he wanted them to finish the rest. Within seconds, 150,000 fans screamed "...Start Your Engines!" and the echo that reverberated throughout the 2.66 mile tri-oval complex surprised even Butler himself.

"It was a spontaneous, electric moment that was absolutely amazing. Those 150,000 fans can all go home and tell their friends and family that they were the Grand Marshal for the Aaron's 499. We may have started a new tradition at Talladega."

Talladega Superspeedway is NASCAR's fastest and steepest track, and has a reputation for being the site of huge multi-car wrecks. Monday was no exception as the "big one" happened early on lap 10 and knocked out more than a dozen cars, including the No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine driven by Hermie Sadler.

In the end, Jimmie Johnson would take the title in his second consecutive restrictor-plate win. But it was a close race to the checkered flag as seventeen cars finished within one second of Johnson's winning time.

At the conclusion of the Aaron's 499, Aaron's Vice President of Marketing Mark Rudnick presented the trophy to Jimmie Johnson in Victory Lane with the help of four Aaron's Dream Girls.

According to Rudnick, "Being in Victory Lane to present the Aaron's 499 trophy was the perfect way to top off our most successful Talladega Dream Weekend yet. It'll be hard to top this next year, but we're already working on Talladega 2007!"

Several well-known guests participated in Aaron's Dream Weekend, but the most special were "Miracle Miner" Randal McCloy Jr. and seven members of his family who traveled from West Virginia to attend their first-ever NASCAR event. The McCloy family were guests of Ken Butler and received VIP treatment throughout the speedway. All eight family members participated in the driver/crew chief meeting and several drivers spoke with Randy one-on-one after the meeting to express how inspiring his story was to them and their families.

Randy and his wife Anna were on stage during driver introductions before both the Aaron's 312 and the Aaron's 499. They were able to shake the hands of each driver and spend some time visiting with Will Ferrell, one of Randy's favorite actors.

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 12 facilities in four 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.

CONTACT: Aaron's Sales and Lease Ownership
Michele Vance

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