We truly are in the Year of the Cardinals. Louisville’s football team beat Florida for a Sugar Bowl title, it’s baseball team earned a spot in the College World Series and its basketball team took home the 2013 national championship.
The athletic department continues to get love outside of its sporting venues as well. For example, coach Rick Pitino’s likeness recently made its way onto a Maker’s Mark bottle, and now his team is going to be commemorated on Brian Vickers’ No. 55 Aaron’s NASCAR race car.
The car is set to hit the track on June 29, for the Quaker State 400 at — where else? — Kentucky Speedway, and Pitino is pretty excited.
“We’re thrilled Aaron’s and Brian Vickers have chosen to run the Louisville colors during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Kentucky Speedway,” Pitino said in a statement. “I know how many Louisville basketball fans are NASCAR fans, and like them I’m looking forward to seeing the car on the track. I think one of those die cast cars might eventually make it to my office. I’ve seen the paint scheme and it’s really sharp.”
As for the guy who will actually be driving the car, Vickers is looking forward to a little extra fan support.
“This will certainly help my popularity with local fans that weekend,” Vickers said. “I’m a big fan of sports in general, so to have the national champions on board is a huge honor. They are winners, and it’s always cool to surround yourself with success. Our goal is to make them proud.”
And making Cards Nation proud starts with the look. Not only will the car be a reminder of Louisville’s run to a national title, but Vickers himself will also be decked out in a special Cardinals-themed flame-retardant suit.
Pretty nifty, huh?
This actually is not the first time NASCAR has celebrated collegiate greatness. On May 5, AJ McCarron was welcomed to the Aaron’s 499 to enjoy the same No. 55 car decked out in Alabama’s back-to-back national championship designs. Michael Waltrip was the driver on that day, and he looked pretty fresh in some crimson, if we do say so ourselves.
[H/T: CBS Sports]