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.

"He's like everybody else, he's just a worker,'' Petty told NBC Sports on Wednesday after unveiling the throwback paint scheme Aric Almirola will drive in the Southern 500. "We work with the top guys. It's just another movement within the company and they've revamped their company in the last year anyway. We're not worried about that part of it. We're still looking forward to having Smithfield again back next year.''

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.

The organization cut back to one car for this season but has two charters. It leased a charter to the Go Fas Racing for the #32 car. Charters can only be leased once every five years.

--- NBC Sports ---