PRIMARY SPONSORS LINKS
Smithfield Foods (31? races)(2017?)
Farmland (part of Smithfield)
Gwaltney Foods (part of Smithfield)
Eckrich (part of Smithfield)
Nathan's Famous (part of Smithfield)
Waffle House (part of Smithfield)
U.S. Air Force (2 races)(2017)
U.S. Air Force
STP (2 races)
Fresh From Florida (2 races)
Races  that STP is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2017:
Martinsville - 4/2
Darlington - 9/3, throwback
Races [?31] that Smithfield Foods was the primary sponsor in 2017:
1) Daytona - 2/26, Smithfield
2) Atlanta - 3/5, Smithfield / Waffle House
2) Las Vegas - 3/12, Smithfield
3) Phoenix - 3/19. Smithfield
4) Auto Club - 3/26, Smithfield
5) Texas - 4/9, Smithfield
Races  that the U.S. Air Force is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2017:
Charlotte - 5/28
Phoenix - 11/12
Races that Fresh From Florida is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2017:
Talladega - 5/7
Beer Decals ONLY the #43: Richard Petty has said many times that beer sponsors, such as Coor's Light, Budweiser, etc will not be on the #43 car [doesn't apply to the #44]. It has been a Petty tradition going back to Richard's mother not to have alcohol-related sponsors on 'his' cars. "My mother would come back and haunt us home," Petty said of what would happen if a beer sponsor showed on up the #43. Since there is no sticker to run to get in the Sprint Unlimited and the pole award is given by Coors Light, it will not effect the #43 from running the Unlimited. RPM does have the Coor's Light Pole sticker on the #44 car. And now that the Bud Shootout is now the Sprint Unlimited, pretty much a moot point.
Contract Status: Driver: 2017; Primary Sponsors: Smithfield - 2017, Air Force - 2017; STP - 2017; Manufacturer: 2017+
#43 Team / Driver News
Richard Petty to be honored by NASCAR leaders and legends at Petersen Museum: The Petersen Automotive Museum, along with Hostetler Companies and Ford Performance, will honor "The King" Richard Petty, on March 23, 2017. The event will feature an all-star panel including Jeff Gordon, Kyle Petty, Rusty Wallace and Mike Helton with NASCAR. Also Mike Joy, lead race announcer for FOX NASCAR, will MC the event. As part of the tribute, the Petersen will also honor Petty with the museum's Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award.[More](3-8-2017)
Blickensderfer fined for missing lug nut after Daytona 500 NASCAR released its weekly Post-Event Penalty Report, this week for Daytona International Speedway, only one penalty was announced: Drew Blickensderfer, the crew chief for #43-Aric Almirola of Richard Pettyt Motorsports, was fined $10,000 for Lug nut(s) not properly installed at Daytona 500 post-race inspection. Of note, ESPN's Bob Pockrass mentioned in a Tweet that two lug nuts not properly installed is a one race suspension, three lug nuts not properly installed is a 35 point driver/owner points penalty AND a three-race suspension.(NASCAR)(3-2-2017)
Richard Petty to Visit ESPN Headquarters: On Tuesday, February 21, "The King" Richard Petty will spend a day at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn. Petty, the seven-time Daytona 500 champion and current owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, will promote the upcoming running of the "Great American Race," the Daytona 500.[More]
Fresh from Florida sponsoring Almirola at Talladega: Richard Petty Motorsports announced that the "Fresh From Florida" campaign will return for their fourth season with Aric Almirola and RPM. Through the partnership, Almirola, who is Fresh From Florida himself, will drive the #43 Fresh From Florida Ford at Talladega Superspeedway (May 7) and the #98 Fresh From Florida Ford at Daytona International Speedway for both NASCAR XFINITY races, as well as Atlanta Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. The partnership will kick off during Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway, perfectly timed for peak season for strawberries, tomatoes, sweet corn and peppers. The partnership will include media buying and in-car camera purchases by RPM on behalf of the campaign. The "Fresh From Florida" campaign is focusing on retail activations at 40 Florida Walmart locations, which kicks off Tuesday, January 25 and leads into Speedweeks. Each activation will feature the #43 Fresh From Florida Ford, Fresh From Florida brand ambassadors, activities and giveaways of hats, t-shirts and gift cards in an effort to encourage consumers to buy Fresh From Florida products.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(1-25-2017)
STP to sponsor the #43 again in 2017: One of the longest partnerships in NASCAR belongs to STP and Richard Petty, owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. The 2017 season marks the 45th season the two will collaborate.Upon entering the sport in 1972, STP - one of the most trusted names in automotive care with products like oil additives, fuel additives and brake and power steering fluids - won four championships in NASCAR's premier series with Petty. Nowadays, Aric Almirola is the driver of the team's #43 Ford Fusion, having first driven an STP-sponsored car in 2012. He will pilot the car once during the upcoming season - Martinsville Speedway's STP 500 (Lionel Racing), supposedly STP will also sponsor the #42 in a throwback scheme at Darlington, just not the same scheme as Martinsville. See an image of the Martinsville scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page (1-15-2017)
Richard Petty to be inducted into NC Drag Racing Hall of Fame: Richard Petty, the "King of NASCAR" will be inducted into the North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame on Saturday February 18, at the 15th Annual Shriners Hot Rod & Drag Racing Expo at the Greensboro Coliseum. Richard Petty drag raced his "Outlaw 43 Jr." Plymouth Barracuda all across the country from 1964 until 1966 after NASCAR banned the 426 Chrysler Hemi engine from major league stock car racing. In 1966 Petty resumed his NASCAR career as the engine was once again made legal. During his two-year stint of drag racing, Petty raced all across the country match racing against the likes of Sox & Martin and others. The restored car and Petty himself will both be at the Expo. In addition to Richard Petty, other 2017 inductees are Frank Teague of Hickory, Jean Howard of Polkton, and Terry Adams of Millers Creek. The Jeff Byrd Award will go to Thomas Pope, the sports editor at the Fayetteville Observer.(WLOS)(12-27-2016)
Charters change hands; Petty down to one team? UPDATE: Interviewed on SiriusXM NASCAR radio Thursday afternoon, Go Fas owner Archie St. Hilare said the #32 team has leased the charter from Richard Petty Motorsports' #44 team for the 2017 season. Furthermore, Go Fas has leased the #32 team charter for next season to Wood Brothers Racing's #21 team.
The moves will guarantee #21-Ryan Blaney and Wood Brothers make every race next season.
Per ESPN.com's Bob Pockrass, "By leasing #32 charter to Wood Brothers, Go FAS likely makes sure charter isn't bottom 3 for 3 consecutive yrs (can be revoked if so)".
In addition, St. Hilare says Go Fas has obtained 6 cars from Richard Petty Motorsports for next year.
While nothing has been officially announced, the moves appear to show that Richard Petty Motorsports will contract back to a single car team next season with #43-Aric Almirola.(12-15-2016)
UPDATE: Statement from Brian Moffitt, CEO Richard Petty Motorsports: "At the conclusion of the 2016 season, we evaluated how to best improve our on-track product. We feel that it's in the best interest of our partners and for Richard Petty Motorsports to focus our resources on the No. 43 Ford Fusion and Aric (Almirola) in 2017. A concentrated effort on one team will position us for improvement while giving us adequate time to reestablish our two-car team in 2018. For the interim, we will lease one of our two charters."(Richard Petty Motorsports)(12-16-2016)
Richard Petty Comments on Jimmie Johnson's Seventh Championship: Comments from "The King" Richard Petty: "Records are a mark and they set something for everyone to shoot at. Jimmie and his team have done that tonight. They set a goal to get where they are and circumstances and fate made it a reality. They did what they needed to do and now they are at seven championships. Congratulations to him and his team. Jimmie is a great champion and this is really good for our sport."(RPM)(11-20-2016)
All in The Petty Family- Thad Moffitt Wins Stock Car Championship: Thad Moffitt, the 16-year-old grandson of "The King" Richard Petty, won his first stock car championship at the Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway this past weekend. Moffitt finished fifth during Friday night's Southeast Limited Late Model (SELLM) Daytona 1 Challenger Series race to secure the season-long championship. It's the first major championship for Moffitt who previously raced go-karts and quarter midgets. Moffitt won the championship in the famous family color, Petty Blue. Moffitt races the 46 to continue the Petty family tradition, started by his great grandfather Lee racing the #42. The team is supported by Transportation Impact, Jacob Companies and Hostetler Ranch. Moffitt is the oldest son of Brian and Rebecca Moffitt.(RPM)(11-17-2016)
U.S. Air Force and RPM Team Again in 2017: Richard Petty Motorsports and the U.S. Air Force announced that they will once again team up for the 2017 season. The U.S. Air Force will continue to use the #43 Ford as a vehicle to connect with America's best young adults for the ninth consecutive season. Aric Almirola will once again pilot the #43 Air Force Racing Ford for two of the most patriotic race weekends of the year: Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Veterans Day weekend race at Phoenix International Raceway.
As part of the partnership, the U.S. Air Force will also be continuing its Summer Engineering Internship with U.S. Air Force Academy Cadets at Richard Petty Motorsports applying their knowledge of aerodynamics, fuels and engineering systems to optimize the #43 car. The U.S. Air Force will remain an associate partner on the historic #43 for the entirety of the 2017 season and will continue to hold swear-in ceremonies of Airmen in the Delayed Entry Program at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, giving fans an up-close, in-person look at the moment when groups of young Americans commit themselves to serving their country.
Proving a great fit for the U.S. Air Force, Almirola was born on Eglin Air Force base in Florida while his dad served in the Air Force and appreciates the partnership and what it means for the Air Force. In 2014, Almirola drove the #43 Air Force Ford to victory at his home track Daytona International Speedway on the 30th anniversary of "The King" Richard Petty's historic 200th win. "I've been lucky enough to experience a lot of things and meet a lot of people through our partnership with the Air Force," said Almirola. "I've had rides in fighter planes, experienced refueling missions and toured many bases, but the thing I love most about the partnership is being able meet and thank the men and women of the Air Force. The things they do to keep our country safe is nothing short of amazing. It's remarkable to see that the Air Force and all of its members are working at the forefront of technology and truly making a difference. I'm honored to be able to represent them and share the message of the Air Force will all of our race fans."
This season marks the Air Force's 17th season in NASCAR and ninth consecutive season with Richard Petty Motorsports. "The Air Force is excited to partner with Richard Petty Motorsports again in 2017, for the ninth consecutive season," said Maj Jacob Chisolm, Air Force Recruiting Service National Events Branch Chief. "NASCAR is a great venue to inspire young adults, communicate the service's mission and build awareness about career opportunities within the Air Force. It's also a great way to highlight the connection between our Air Force mission and the science, technology, engineering and math principles that play a major role in NASCAR."(RPM), see an image of the 2017 scheme on the #43 Team 2017 Schemes page.(11-12-2016)
Blickensderfer replaces Owens as Almirola's crew chief: Richard Petty Motorsports announced more competition changes in a continued effort to improve their on-track performance. Effectively immediately, Drew Blickensderfer will take over the Crew Chief responsibilities for the #43 Ford Fusion previously held by Trent Owens. Owens will be reassigned a position within the company. Late last month, RPM leadership started an aggressive strategy to improve speed, performance and future growth of RPM. The goal is to improve on-track results from 2016 and to capitalize on the progress made in previous seasons. Blickensderfer, who most recently served as Director of Research and Development with RPM, has a proven history of winning and been a valued employee at RPM for the last four years. Blickensderfer, who brings nine years of Crew Chief experience in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, made his Crew Chief debut in 2009 at Roush Fenway Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Since that time, he worked with 13 different drivers in both series and tallied 15 wins, including a Daytona 500 win in 2009, 16 Top-Five finishes and 104 Top-10 finishes.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(9-13-2016)
Richard Petty Motorsports make changes to competition department: Richard Petty Motorsports announced competition changes to improve their on-track performance. Effectively immediately, Philippe Lopez and Scott McDougall will temporarily oversee all competition duties and roles previously held by Sammy Johns both at the track and at the race shop. The change comes as part of an immediate, aggressive strategy by RPM leadership to improve speed, performance and future growth of RPM. The goal is to improve on-track results from 2016 and to capitalize on the progress made in previous seasons.
"The past several years, we have made significant investments in our organization with the goal of winning races and to compete at a high level on a weekly basis," said Brian Moffitt, Chief Executive Officer, Richard Petty Motorsports. "We now have direction over our own chassis and bodies and work closely with Ford Performance on technology and engineering. With these investments, unfortunately, we have not seen the on-track results that we expected this season. As we look ahead to 2017, we are taking steps forward to improve our on-track product to better serve our partners and fans. This means analyzing every part of our organization and making adjustments where needed. Sammy Johns has been a big part of our organization; he helped us succeed in many different ways and helped us become a winning race team. We wish him nothing but the best going forward."
Lopez and McDougall will begin their duties at the track in Darlington this weekend.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(8-31-2016)
Richard Petty Motorsports and U.S. Air Force Partner for NASCAR Research: For the first time ever, Richard Petty Motorsports will partner with two U.S. Air Force Academy engineering students to conduct research and develop innovative new strategies during the summer portion of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The students will use their background and Air Force training to take a fresh approach to NASCAR competition with a goal to improve performance on track for the #43 Ford, driven by Aric Almirola.
Cadet Sean McQuesten, a Mechanical Engineering student, will focus on the structural elements of the #43 Ford. He will have the chance to apply some of the same innovative modeling and software used on Air Force aircraft to optimize the #43 Ford.
Cadet William Ferrer brings both his Aeronautical Engineering and B-1 Bomber Crew Chief experience to the partnership. He's had the chance to work with the Air Force's high tech, supersonic capable, B-1 Bomber and understand how multiple engineering systems work together. He will be gathering data and conducting performance tests on the #43 car in a full-scale wind tunnel.
Richard Petty Motorsports and Almirola continue their commitment to winning and work diligently to continue the winning tradition of the Petty legacy. Richard Petty Motorsports features a world-class roster of Fortune 500 partners and their family demeanor, patriotism and commitment is a great fit for the Air Force. McQuesten will join the team for a one-month internship starting May 23, while Ferrer joins the team for a one-month internship starting June 5th. Both will join the team at-track throughout their experience.(RPM)(5-21-2016)
Robb Rogers hired as Pit Crew Coach at Richard Petty Motorsports: Richard Petty Motorsports secured 36-year-veteran coach Robb Rogers to lead the pit crews for both Sprint Cup Series teams and the XFINITY Series team. Rogers brings a varied resume with experience training emerging athletes to first round picks, Olympians to soccer moms, walk on free agents to perennial All-Pro athletes. His diverse experience will bring a new perspective to pit crew coaching for Richard Petty Motorsports. Rogers will coach 18 athletes who's focus is to train throughout the week to perform solid pit stops in 11 seconds or less on race day. A pivotal aspect of the race, both the Sprint Cup #43 and #44 teams rely on their crews to keep and ideally enhance their position each pit stop during the race. "We are thrilled to add Robb (Rogers) to our team," said Sammy Johns, Vice President of Operations. "We feel like Robb will bring a different approach with his very diverse background. We have a very robust and seasoned pit crew that I feel can benefit from a coach with a strong background in strength and conditioning and coaching in other fields." A professional coach since 1980, Rogers is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), USA Weightlifting and is a Master Strength and Conditioning Coach (MSCC) as certified by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association. Rogers has been a national/international lecturer since 1985, teaching and consulting with coaches around the world from the United States to China, Australia and Europe.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(4-27-2016)
Smithfield to sponsor Almirola for 31 races in 2016: In a sport where business relationships are pivotal to being competitive, Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) has shown great success, and with that, continue to improve on track. After a successful off-season on the business front, RPM heads into 2016 with a solid foundation while pursuing additional opportunities. The Mooresville, N.C.-based team renewed or expanded all of their current partnerships while adding new partners to their team.
Late last season, RPM and Ford Performance announced their commitment to winning races and championships together in an extension that will see RPM carrying the iconic blue oval in years to come. RPM will continue to have the championship caliber engineering, technology and resources of Ford Performance. Officials from RPM and Ford Performance have worked diligently toward building a mutually beneficial relationship that saw immediate results. They have worked together in the wind tunnel, on aerodynamic packages and on collecting engineering data. The result was increased consistency and performance for the organization.
The #43 team and Aric Almirola showed consistency and success on the race track in 2015. All the primary partners on the car have renewed or expanded their relationships with the team, lining them up for a solid footing as they continue to improve on track. Smithfield Foods, a partner since 2013, has once again expanded their partnership with the #43 team. They will be the primary partner for 31 races, up from last year's 29 races, this season and continue to find innovative ways to activate their partnership. Primary partners United States Air Force, STP and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' "Fresh From Florida" campaign all renewed their partnerships with the #43 team and Almirola.
"We continued to make solid progress during the 2015 season on and off the track and really set our sights on building a solid foundation to kick off the 2016 season," said Brian Moffitt, Chief Executive Officer. "We've seen organic growth with all of our partners and continue to add new companies to our team. It makes me proud that companies continue to see a return on their investment with us and are growing right alongside of us. We are definitely making big strides to see that winning tradition of the Petty family return today, and I think that can happen this season."(Richard Petty Motorsports)(1-20-2016)