Even as he traveled the world racing cars, Michael Waltrip always had a soft spot for his old Kentucky home.

On Thursday, the two-time Daytona 500 winner unveiled a car honoring his favorite college team.

Waltrip was at Kentucky Speedway, site of this week’s NASCAR races, to reveal a new paint motif on the Michael Waltrip Racing No. 55 Toyota that pays homage to the University of Kentucky national champion basketball team.

”When I was a kid growing up, I used to sit in my home in Owensboro, Ky., and watch the replays of the Kentucky games after the 10 o’clock news,” Waltrip said. ”Mom and Dad would let me stay up late on those nights so I could watch my team play. They’ve been my team my whole life; I’ve never cheered for another team. To be able to race this car and honor the program is a real blessing.”