Michael Waltrip Racing will keep the same trio of drivers in its No. 55 NASCAR Sprint Cup entry in 2013. Mark Martin, Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip will continue to share the driving duties in the car.
Martin will drive in the 24 points races, plus both the Daytona Shootout and the Sprint All-Star Race. Waltrip will drive in three races - the July race at Daytona International Speedway and both races at Talladega Superspeedway. Vickers will drive in nine races, including both races at Bristol Motor Speedway, both at Martinsville Speedway, both at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the road courses at Sonoma and Watkins Glen International and the Kentucky Speedway race.
"I love my schedule and I love our lineup," said Martin, whose four poles in 2012 equal the most of any driver. "Brian has a tremendous amount of experience and talent for such a young driver and you saw at Talladega that Michael Waltrip is as good as anyone in a restrictor plate race."
Team owner Waltrip credits his co-drivers with playing a role in the Chase for the Sprint Cup berths of Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer. This marks the first year the organization has placed a driver in the title-determining field.
Bowyer has three victories this season, the most in a single season in his career.
"It is amazing that we have a driver of Brian's talent available to drive our No. 55 Toyota again in 2013," Waltrip said. "He is a race-winning, Chase-caliber driver and we are so happy to have him back. We gave Brian a difficult assignment in 2012 and not only has he thrived in the role, but he has made the entire team better.
"Believe me; I know how hard it is to run a part-time schedule with races spread throughout the schedule. I have been most impressed with his attitude towards the crew and his approach to his job and really feel confident that he can win with our team."
Rodney Childers will return as the crew chief for the team. Martin has nine top-10 finishes, four of them top fives. Vickers has four top-10 finishes, three of them top fives and Waltrip has a top-10 finish at Talladega this season.
The team is 14th in owners points. Vickers is making his eighth and final appearance of the season this weekend at Martinsville Speedway; Martin will drive the No. 55 in the remaining 2012 races.
Martin and Waltrip will continue have sponsorship from Aaron's in 2013 while Vickers needs sponsorship for six of the nine races in which he is scheduled to drive.