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)
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
RPMotorsports - Twitter
Richard Petty Motorsports - Facebook
Richard Petty Motorsports - Instagram
Aric Almirola - Twitter
Aric Almirola - Facebook
Regan Smith - Twitter
Regan Smith - Facebook
Bubba Wallace - Facebook
Darrell 'Bubba' Wallace - Twitter
Billy Johnson - Twitter
Billy Johnson - Facebook
Smithfield Foods - Facebook
Aric Almirola - ESPN
Aric Almirola - RacingReference.info
Regan Smith - ESPN.com
Regan Smith - RacingReference.info
Darrell Wallace - ESPN.com
Darrell Wallace - RacingReference.info
Billy Johnson - ESPN.com
Billy Johnson - Racing-refernce.info
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
6) Bristol - 4/23, Smithfield
7) Richmond - 4/30, Smithfield
8) Kansas - 5/13, Smithfield
9) Charlotte, All-Star Race - 5/20, Smithfield, Regan Smith
10) Dover - 6/4, Smithfield, Smith
11) Pocono - 6/11, Smithfield, Bubba Wallace
12) Michigan - 6/18, Smithfield, Wallace
13) Sonoma - 6/25, Smithfield, Billy Johnson
14) Daytona - 7/1, Smithfield, Wallace
15) Kentucky - 7/8, Smithfield, Wallace
16) New Hampshire - 7/16, Smithfield, Almirola back in car
17) Indianapolis - 7/23, Smithfield
18) Pocono - 7/30, Smithfield
19) Watkins Glen - 8/6, Smithfield
20) Michigan - 8/13, Smithfield
21) Bristol - 8/19, Smithfield
22) Richmond - 9/9, Smithfield
23) Chicago - 9/17, Smithfield
24) New Hampshire - 9/24, Smithfield
the rest are TBA
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 and leaves; Primary Sponsors: Smithfield - 2017 and leaves; Air Force - 2017; STP - 2017; Manufacturer: 2017+
#43 Team / Driver News
Friday Chicagoland Notebook
Chase Elliott's playoff game plan: improvement and consistency In his final 10 races in the #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, Chase Elliott doesn't feel he can afford to look beyond his own efforts and his own team during his second run in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff. After all, Elliott qualified for the postseason on points. In a season where other drivers collected their first career victories-Ryan Blaney, Austin Dillon and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.-Elliott, surprisingly, is still seeking his first trophy at NASCAR's highest level. In recent outings, Elliott and his #24 team haven't performed to expectations. As a consequence, improved performance is a priority as the 10-race playoff begins.
FEUD WITH PATRICK COULD COMPLICATE DILLON'S PLAYOFF RUN One of most widely-quoted clichés from mob movies is "Keep your friends close; but keep your enemies closer." In Austin Dillon's case, however, the driver of the #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet might want to stay as far away from Danica Patrick as possible. Repeated contact last Saturday at Richmond between Dillon's car and the Patrick's #10 Ford sparked a rivalry that has the potential to carry over into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff. Dillon and Patrick were battling for position at Richmond. Dillon was aggressive in his attempts to pass the #10 Fusion. Patrick defended her position just as aggressively, and the cars touched several times before Dillon gained the spot. Patrick answered with a hard shot to Dillon's rear bumper, knocking Dillon's #3 up the track. Dillon responded with a nudge to Patrick's left rear quarter and sent her spinning.
BUBBA WALLACE HOPES RPM RIDE MATERIALIZES FOR 2018 As far as Richard Petty Motorsports is concerned, there are two known quantities where the legendary race team is concerned.
First, Aric Almirola will not be behind the wheel of the #43 RPM Ford next season. Second, sponsor Smithfield Foods has opted not to renew its support for RPM next year, choosing instead to shift its backing to Stewart-Haas Racing. What remains to be revealed is the identity of RPM's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver for 2018. Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr., who spent four races in the #43 Ford while Almirola was recovering from a crushed vertebra sustained during a wreck at Kansas in May, hopes he gets the nod. And Wallace acknowledged on Friday at Chicagoland Speedway that he and RPM are working toward that goal.(NASCAR Wire Service)[Read More Here](9-16-2017)
Grunt Style Signs with Richard Petty Motorsports in Multi-Year Deal Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) announced a multi-year associate partnership with Grunt Style. The Patriotic apparel line will debut on the #43 Ford this weekend in Chicago and will return to the car for Veteran's Day weekend in Phoenix. A company that provides apparel for customers who have pride in self, military and country makes Grunt Style a perfect fit with the Petty brand.(Richard Petty Motorsports)[Read More Here](9-16-2017)
Aric Almirola emerging as Danica Patrick's likely replacement Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne say they are not potential replacements for Danica Patrick, leaving Aric Almirola as the most likely driver to step into the Stewart-Haas Racing #10 car next season. With SHR needing sponsorship for Clint Bowyer (who is signed for 2018) and SHR's Busch still waiting to hear if Monster Energy will continue to back him, SHR has options as far as which driver to pair with Smithfield. The 33-year-old Almirola has spent the last six seasons at RPM, which announced Tuesday that he would not return to the organization next season.(ESPN)(9-13-2017)
Smithfield Foods Joining Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018 Smithfield Foods Inc., a global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer, announced earlier today it will join Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) as a primary team sponsor beginning in 2018. Details of the agreement, including the driver who will be added to SHR's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series lineup in 2018, will be provided at a later date.(Stewart-Haas Racing / True Speed Communication)
Statement by Richard Petty Regarding Loss of Sponsor "We have had numerous discussions with Smithfield Foods regarding the extension of our relationship dating as far back as February. Over the past few months, Smithfield had continually told me they wanted to be with us, and I recently shook hands on a deal to extend our relationship. I come from a time when we did major deals with sponsors like STP on a handshake. I'm sad to see this is where we are now. This decision is very unexpected, and we are extremely disappointed in this late and abrupt change of direction. Losing a sponsor of this magnitude in September is a significant set-back to Richard Petty Motorsports, but Andy (Murstein) and I are committed to moving forward with the #43 team. We have a lot of great partners who have expressed their continued support, and our fans will rally around the #43. We've been around since 1949, and we'll be around a lot longer."(Richard Petty Motorsports)
Smithfield Foods Statement; Kenneth M. Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Smithfield Foods, Inc. "We are extremely disappointed that Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) has chosen to disparage Smithfield - its lead sponsor - after five years and tens of millions of dollars of unwavering financial support, despite years of subpar performance on the track. RPM's claims of a 'handshake deal' to extend our sponsorship are unequivocally and patently false.".....[Read Much More Here](9-12-2017)
Smithfield expected to move to Stewart-Haas: After a handshake agreement between the sponsor and the King, RPM was informed that Smithfield will not return in 2018. Negotiations had been ongoing since February but talks cooled after the team proposed Darrell Wallace as the new driver for the #43 car.[More](9-10-2017)
Richard Petty Motorsports has no plans to merge with another team: Officials from Richard Petty Motorsports, whose shop went up for lease last week, said Tuesday they have no plans to merge with another team while seeking a new home.[More](9-5-2017)
Smithfield Foods looks to return to Petty team; Bubba in the #43? Chevy? RCR? Smithfield Foods is working toward a return to Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team Richard Petty Motorsports, according to sources. The Virginia-based company is in a contract year with RPM, and the company has been pursued by several competing teams. While a deal with RPM is not finalized, Smithfield is said to be in talks to return there. Smithfield has been linked with moves away from RPM, most notably with Stewart-Haas Racing's #10 Ford that is currently driven by Danica Patrick. The #43 Ford sponsored by Smithfield is driven by Aric Almirola, and the Cuban-American driver's contract is up after this year. RPM has said that it is working to find additional sponsorship for a full-season effort in the #44 car for Bubba Wallace, who drove the #43 four times earlier this season while Almirola was recovering from injury. Sources said that it is possible that Wallace could end up replacing Almirola in the #43.(Sport Business Daily)[Read More Here](8-23/27-2017)
Richard Petty named Grand Marshal for VIR SportsCar Championship VIRginia International Raceway is welcoming NASCAR Hall of Famer and team owner, Richard Petty, to serve as Grand Marshal for the Michelin GT Challenge, the track's largest race of the year taking place Sunday, Aug. 27 during the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship weekend. Petty is the most decorated driver in the history of NASCAR, with a record number 200 career wins and seven Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championships. Read more (pdf) (VIRginia International Raceway)(8-24-2017)
Almirola comments on 2018 rumors: Frontstretch spoke with #43-Aric Almirola at Pocono Raceway, discussing his return to NASCAR competition, expectations moving over and the future with Richard Petty Motorsports.[More](8-9-2017)
Bubba Wallace could run Chicagoland Cup race: Nickelodeon's Anthony DiCosmo told SBJ that if stars aligned, Nick could be interested in sponsoring Bubba Wallace for September Cup race.[More](8-3-2017)
NASCAR Racing Experience, Richard Petty Driving Experience to merge: NASCAR's leading fan driving experience partners - NASCAR Racing Experience and Richard Petty Driving Experience - announced today they will consolidate the two organizations and their operations to deliver the ultimate on-track fan experience at more than 20 racetracks around the country.[More](7-22-2017)
Richard Petty Motorsports searching for sponsorship for Wallace UPDATE: The team is also still working on renewal with Smithfield for the #43 team.(7-18-2017)
UPDATE: If RPM could secure sponsorship for a second squad, team owner Richard Petty would like to see the 23-year-old racer return the fold.[More](7-22-2017)
Petty confident that Smithfield will return as sponsor Car owner Richard Petty told NBC Sports that he's confident that sponsor Smithfield will return to the team after this season and would like to have Darrell Wallace Jr. back if they have a place for him. Smithfield is in the final season of a three-year extension announced in January 2014. The executive who oversees the motorsports program recently left the company, but Petty said that won't impact the team's discussions with Smithfield. If Smithfield remains at the same level - the company has sponsored the #43 car in 15 of the first 18 points races this season - then the focus will be on RPM's second car.(NBC Sports)[Read More Here](7-13-2017)
Almirola and STP Throwback to 1984 and Richard Petty's Historical 200th Win Richard Petty was already "The King" in 1984. Beyond being the sport's most approachable and popular driver, Petty's 198 wins was the most of any driver, by 93 over David Pearson. He was already "The King", but he wanted more. In July of 1984, Petty scored his 200th, most historic, and final, NASCAR victory at Daytona International Speedway. This September, STP and Aric Almirola will be honoring Petty's record-setting 200th win at the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, September 3 with the throwback paint scheme mirroring Petty's 1984 STP Pontiac. Beyond the paint scheme, Almirola, his crew chief, Drew Blickensderfer, and the Richard Petty Motorsports #43 team will also wear throwback firesuits and uniforms throughout the Bojangles' Southern 500 race weekend. STP's tribute to Petty's 200th win will extend past the throwback paint scheme. As a combination with Petty's 80th birthday, STP's Director of Marketing Katina Wall, announced at the unveiling that STP will donate engraved benches to each active track where Petty has recorded one of his record-setting wins. The benches will be engraved with Petty's career-wins at each specific track.(Richard Petty Motorsports)[Read More Here](7-12-2017)
Aric Almirola to Return to #43 Smithfield Ford at NHMS: Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) driver Aric Almirola, who suffered an acute compression fracture to his T5 Vertebra after a multi-car accident at Kansas Speedway in May, will return to Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The injury, which has a standard healing time of eight to 12 weeks, took eight weeks for Almirola to recover. Throughout the recovery process, Almirola did physical therapy, swam and tested in a simulation and on track environment. A test yesterday at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the final step in a multi-step process to return to the #43 Smithfield Ford. Almirola will return to the seat of the "Petty Blue" #43 Smithfield Ford Fusion at the one-mile track where he has scored one Top-Five and two Top-10 finishes.(Richard Petty Motorsports)[Read More Here](7-12-2017)
Almirola cleared to test in the next two weeks UPDATE: The driver of the #43 Petty Enterprises Ford, who crushed his T5 vertebra in a wreck at Kansas Speedway on May 13, received a positive report from his doctors following a CT scan on Wednesday. "Good news from the docs," Almirola said in a text. "My CT scan shows really good bone growth in the damaged vertebrae. Doctors were pleased and have cleared me to test in the next two weeks. "As long as that goes well and I have no pain, I will be cleared to resume competition." Almirola, 33, hopes to return to competition in time for the Monster Energy Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16.(full post at Motorsport)(6-29-2017)
UPDATE: Aric Almirola will take the next step in his return to racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series by participating in a test at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Almirola, who suffered a compression fracture to his T5 Vertebra in a multi-car crash at Kansas Speedway on May 13, will test on Tuesday at the 1.5-mile track.[More](7-7-2017)
Aric Almirola hopes to return to racing in three to five week Aric Almirola will have a scan on his broken back Wednesday and hopes to test a NASCAR Cup car in the next two weeks in anticipation of his return to racing in three to five weeks. The Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Ford driver, in attendance Sunday at Sonoma Raceway, has rehabbed by running and swimming and is at the mercy of how fast the partially crushed vertebra in his middle back heals. The scan Wednesday will let him know whether it is feasible for him to return for the July 16 race at New Hampshire or whether he would have to wait for the following weeks at Indianapolis or Poco#(ESPN)(6-25-2017)
Billy Johnson driving the #43 at Sonoma: Richard Petty Motorsports announced today that IMSA Ford driver Billy Johnson will pilot the #43 Smithfield Ford at Sonoma Raceway and fill in for the injured Aric Almirola. Fresh from competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Johnson will make his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start this weekend, but this isn't the first time he worked in NASCAR. Johnson made five starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and scored a career-best eighth-place finish in Montreal in 2012.[More](6-19-2017)
Almirola could return earlier than expected: A scan Friday showed Aric Almirola should return next month after suffering a partially crushed vertebra in a May 13 crash. Richard Petty Motorsports said Almirola, who has missed the last four events, has a slight chance of missing only three more races and returning for the July 8 race at Kentucky, but it is more likely he returns at either the following weeks at New Hampshire or Indianapolis. Almirola told Motorsport.com he is hopeful for New Hampshire.[More](6-13-2017)
Bubba Wallace Press Conference Transcript An interview with: DARRELL WALLACE JR.; THE MODERATOR: Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us for today's NASCAR teleconference with Darrell 'Bubba' Wallace Jr. Bubba, a graduate of the NASCAR Drive For Diversity program, a member of the inaugural NASCAR Next Class, will make his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start this Sunday in the Axalta Presents the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway. He will pilot the No. 43 Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports for the duration of Aric Almirola's absence. Bubba, can you walk us through your thoughts as you head into your first Monster Energy Series start in the iconic 43.[See FULL transcript here](6-6-2017)
Richard Petty Motorsports announced that NASCAR XFINITY Series regular Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. will pilot the #43 Ford while Aric Almirola recovers from his injuries. Wallace brings five years of NASCAR experience in both the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series and has been a member of the Ford Performance team since 2015. Wallace, a graduate of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program and inaugural member of NASCAR Next, will make his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at Pocono Raceway this weekend. Richard Petty Motorsports has partnered with Ford Performance and Roush Fenway Racing since 2010, and now are teaming up once again during Almirola's absence. Almirola, who suffered an acute compression fracture to his T5 Vertebra after a multi-car accident at Kansas Speedway, is currently recovering from the injury which has a standard healing time of eight to 12 weeks.(Richard Petty Motorsports / Breaking Limits)
With Wallace's focus on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Roush Fenway Racing will suspend efforts on the No. 6 NXS team after this weekend's event in Pocono. Roush Fenway and Wallace will continue to evaluate additional potential opportunities for Wallace to run in NXS races. Wallace has driven for Roush Fenway in the NXS for the past two and a half seasons, scoring a career-high finish of second at Dover last spring.(Roush Fenway Racing)[Read More Here](6-5-2017)
Regan Smith is week-to-week with RPM Regan Smith told Frontstretch the deal with RPM [subbing for injured Aric Almirola in the #43 Ford) is week-to-week at this point and is not a done deal that he will be with the #43 for all the races.(Frontstretch)[Read More Here](6-5-2017)
Regan Smith continues to fill in for Almirola, this weekend at Dover Regan Smith, who filled in for the injured Aric Almirola at Charlotte Motor Speedway, will once again pilot the #43 Smithfield Ford this weekend at Dover International Speedway. Smith drove to a fourth-place finish in the Monster Energy Open and raced as high as 12th before finishing 22nd in the Coca-Cola 600. Smith will work to tame the Monster Mile this weekend in his 12th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start.(Richard Petty Motorsports)[Read More Here](5-31-2017)
Petty's Garage and Military AutoSource announce new Warrior Mustang: Petty's Garage, in partnership with Military AutoSource, a subsidiary of Overseas Military Sales Corporation, today announced a new Warrior edition Ford Mustang during an unveiling at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, hosted by "The King" Richard Petty. The one-of-a-kind, high performance Mustangs will be sold exclusively to the military community stationed on U.S. bases outside the United States.[More](5-26-2017)
Regan Smith returns to the #43: Richard Petty Motorsports announced that Regan Smith will once again fill in for the injured Aric Almirola in this weekend's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. A replacement for future races has not been announced.(5-24-2017)
Almirola to miss 8-12 weeks: Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) driver Aric Almirola, who suffered an acute compression fracture to his T5 Vertebra after a multi-car accident at Kansas Speedway last Saturday night, will be forced to miss races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series during his recovery. The standard healing time for the injury is eight to 12 weeks. Regan Smith will drive the #43 Ford this weekend in the Monster Energy Open.[More](5-19-2017)
NASCAR will investigate Almirola's accident UPDATE: NASCAR officials will do a thorough inspection of the #43 Ford of driver Aric Almirola following the Richard Petty Motorsports driver's fiery crash during Saturday's Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway. "It's currently at the (NASCAR) R&D Center, and our safety experts will ... look for anything that might give us clues or some indication of exactly what the challenge was there with Aric and his back," Scott Miller, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition, said Monday morning.(5-15-2017)
UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he's confident that NASCAR will understand what caused Aric Almirola's injury last weekend at Kansas Speedway and said he talked to Almirola about the crash Wednesday night.[More](5-18-2017)
Richard Petty Motorsports statement on Aric Almirola UPDATE: Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, was involved in a multi-car accident on Lap 199 during Saturday night's race. Almirola was alert after the accident as safety professionals removed him from the car. He was transported by helicopter to a local medical facility for evaluation. He is in stable condition and will be held overnight for further observation.
UPDATE: Almirola suffered a compression fracture to his T5 Vertebra after a multi-car accident at Kansas Speedway Saturday night. Almirola is mobile and will follow-up with his doctors in Charlotte.[More](5-14-2017)
Aric Almirola hospitalized after crash involving Joey Logano, Danica Patrick: Danica Patrick's frustrating season continued Saturday night at Kansas Speedway when a broken brake rotor on Joey Logano's car sent them both into the wall and left Aric Almirola nowhere to go. Almirola plowed into Logano's car as it skidded along the wall, and the force of their impact sent the rear of Almirola's #43 car into the air. Almirola's car came to rest near the outside fence. He immediately dropped the window net by the driver's side door to indicate he was conscious, but safety crews had to cut off the roof to safely get him out.[More](5-14-2017)
Talladega penalties announced NASCAR has announced the following penalties have been announced following the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 7, 2017: #43 team of Aric Almirola assessed L1 penalty for violation of Sections 18.104.22.168.2: Post-Race General Inspection Measurements.[More](5-10-2017)
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)