Waltrip helps Phoenix Project rise in Richmond

Aaron rents aids BLV Motorsports in Pentagon salute. Richmond, VA (Sept. 6, 2002) -- NASCAR Busch Series rookie Brian Vickers, was all set to salute "the resilience of America, Americans and the American military embodied by the Phoenix...

Aaron rents aids BLV Motorsports in Pentagon salute.

Richmond, VA (Sept. 6, 2002) -- NASCAR Busch Series rookie Brian Vickers, was all set to salute "the resilience of America, Americans and the American military embodied by the Phoenix Project," by running a special paint scheme at Richmond International Raceway on Friday night. 

The Phoenix Project is the accomplished mission of rebuilding the area of the Pentagon destroyed in the September 11th terrorist attack on the military icon.  The goal of the Phoenix Project was to restore the 400,000-square foot section of the Pentagon that was most severely damaged, before the one-year anniversary of the attack.

Ironically, on Thursday night it was Vickers that needed a helping hand.  A qualifying lap that narrowly missed the cut (.06 seconds) left the Phoenix Project tribute without a place on the starting grid -- Enter Michael Waltrip and Aaron's Sales & Lease Ownership.

Waltrip is coming off a Busch Series win at Michigan, and qualified 16th for the Richmond run.  "It only took a few seconds for us to make the decision to come to Brian's aid in saluting the Phoenix Project," Waltrip said.  "I mean, isn't that what this whole deal is all about -- people pitching in to help others when they need a hand?"

"Aaron's is honored to give up the hood of the #99 Chevrolet to the Phoenix Project in recognition of the sacrifice of the soldiers and civilians that perished on Sept. 11, and the perseverance of the Pentagon Restoration Project team," said Ken Butler, president of Aaron's Rents Sales & Lease Ownership.  "The NASCAR garage is the place where you see the American spirit at work every day.  These guys scrap and compete against each other every minute -- but when one of them needs a lift, that same group of competitors is there right away to lend a hand." 

Walker Lee Evey, who serves as the principal adviser to both the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense in his role as Manager for the Pentagon Renovation Office and Phoenix Project, will be atop the Aaron's Racing pit box as Honorary Crew Chief for the Richmond race.  Mr. Evey will join Waltrip and Vickers for a press conference in the media center at 6PM (EST).

The hood of the Phoenix Project entry will be autographed by Waltrip, Vickers and their fellow drivers in the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series circuits, and presented to Evey in recognition of the efforts of his team. 

"Naturally, I'm really disappointed that we missed qualifying for the race," Vickers said.  "Since my visit to the Pentagon following the attack, we wanted to do something to honor those folks and we had been looking forward to this day.  For Michael Waltrip and Aaron's to come to our aid tonight at Richmond is something I'll never forget."

To support the families of the Sept. 11th attack on the Pentagon, contact:

Survivor's Fund
1-866-994-4673 or 703-237-7334
c/o Northern Virginia Family Service
The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
1112 16th Street, N.W., Suite 340
Washington, D.C. 20036

-www.nvfs.org

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Brian Vickers , Lee Walker , Ken Butler