(NOTE: some older links may not work)
Races  that Smithfield Foods was the primary sponsor in 2016:
1) Daytona - 2/21, Smithfield
2) Las Vegas - 3/6, Smithfield
3) Phoenix - 3/13. Smithfield
4) Auto Club - 3/20, Smithfield
5) Texas - 4/9, , Smithfield
6) Bristol - 4/17, Smithfield
7) Richmond - 4/23, Smithfield
8) Kansas - 5/7, Smithfield
9) Dover - 5/15, Smithfield
10) Charlotte, Sprint All-Star Race - 5/21, Smithfield
11) Pocono - 6/5, Smithfield
12) Michigan - 6/12, Smithfield
13) Sonoma - 6/26, Smithfield
14) Daytona - 7/2, Smithfield
15) Kentucky - 7/9, Smithfield
16) New Hampshire - 7/17, Smithfield
17) Indianapolis - 7/24, Smithfield
18) Pocono - 7/31, Smithfield
19) Watkins Glen - 8/7, Smithfield
20) Bristol - 8/20, Smithfield / Waffle House
21) Michigan - 8/28, Smithfield
22) Richmond - 9/10, Smithfield
23) Chicago - 9/18, Smithfield
24) New Hampshire - 9/25, Smithfield
25) Dover - 10/2, Smithfield
26) Charlotte - 10/8, Smithfield
27) Kansas - 10/16, Smithfield
28) Talladega - 10/23, Smithfield
29) Martinsville - 10/30, Smithfield
30) Texas - 11/6, Smithfield
31) Homestead - 11/20, Smithfield
Races  that the U.S. Air Force is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016:
Charlotte - 5/29
Phoenix - 11/13
Races  that STP is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016:
Martinsville - 4/3
Darlington - 9/4, 1979 throwback
Races that Fresh From Florida is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016:
Talladega - 5/1
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)
Richard Petty hasn't talked to Johnson about potential 7th title: Richard Petty sat in his motorhome Saturday afternoon, admitting he had not talked to Jimmie Johnson about the potential of Johnson tying him and Dale Earnhardt for a seventh Sprint Cup title Sunday in the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Petty said he wasn't avoiding Johnson and doesn't have any animosity in seeing another driver tie his record. They just aren't all that close and haven't had time to connect. "I haven't talked to Jimmie," Petty said. "I've been too busy answering questions about Jimmie so I haven't got a chance to talk to him."(see full article at ESPN.com)(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)
Petty Family kicks off 10-Month celebration of "The King's" 80th birthday: The Petty family and its brand of companies announced a 10-month long campaign to celebrate NASCAR Hall of Fame driver and owner, "The King" Richard Petty turning 80. Petty may not be celebrating his 80th birthday until July 2, 2017, but the Petty brand of companies including, Richard Petty Motorsports, Petty's Garage, Petty Family Foundation, Petty Museum and Victory Junction, plan to celebrate for the next 10 months. The Petty family, who are well known for giving back to local communities and race fans, is now turning the table, allowing fans to give their thanks of 80 years with "The King". The Petty family introduced a celebration calendar this week, www.KINGs80th.com, where fans can follow the various activities planned leading to the Petty's birthday celebration in Daytona Beach, Fla.in 2017. To kick off the activities, Petty's children, Kyle, Lisa, Rebecca and Sharon, Petty's Garage and Ford Motor Company partnered to surprise the American Icon with the 43rd and last build of the 2017 Petty's Garage "King Edition" Ford Mustang GT. The car is colored silver and is one of now only 26 left available to the public through your local Ford dealer. In addition to the car giveaway, the Petty Museum announced its newest offering to fans. The Petty Museum is now offering shirts that replicate the first racing tee Petty wore. The shirt features the 1964 Plymouth that Petty raced. The shirt will be available at the Petty Museum and on their website until July 2017. All of the Petty brands will get in on the action. Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) will engage fans with special promotions, including special packages from its sponsors. Petty's Garage will continue their celebration during their mobile tour stops throughout the country. The Petty Museum will soon announce special apparel along with additional merchandise throughout the celebration. Petty Museum will culminate their celebration with the opening of the Petty-Toomes Homestead historical landmark in Level Cross, N.C., the birthplace for Petty. Petty Family Foundation, Victory Junction and the Kyle Petty Charity Ride will also join the celebration during various events throughout the year, including special donations to the charities throughout the year.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(9-4-2016)
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)
Smithfield Donates more than 25,000 lbs to Food Bank: Smithfield's Helping Hungry Homes truck pulled into Jackson (MI) Friday morning for the 24th stop on the 2016 nationwide hunger-relief tour to donate more than 25,000 pounds of protein to the Food Bank of South Central Michigan. The donation will provide more than 100,000 servings and help the Food Bank continue to provide meals to the South Central Michigan community, where one in six people suffers from hunger. Smithfield partnered with Meijer and Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) to present the donation during an event at the Jackson Meijer, 3333 E. Michigan Ave. Speakers discussed the importance of donations like these in South Central Michigan. "The King" of racing, Richard Petty, who has partnered with the Smithfield Helping Hungry Homes program to donate thousands of pounds of protein over recent years, was present to discuss the importance of these donations from Smithfield and to raise awareness about the necessity of providing assistance to our neighbors in need.(RPM)(8-27-2016)
Waffle House featured on the #43 at Bristol: #43-Aric Almirola will run with Waffle House Powered by Smithfield on the hood of the #43 Ford at Bristol. The last time Almirola had the black and yellow of Waffle House as his primary sponsor, he competed for a win at Richmond in the final race of the 2015 regular season. A win would've put Almirola into The Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, but he was able to drive it home for a solid fourth-place finish, which was his best of the season. The team is hoping the paint scheme will once again bring them good luck and a great finish. This will be the third race in which Smithfield, Waffle House and Richard Petty Motorsports have teamed up on track. Through the three-year partnership, the companies created Waffle House Race for Rewards, an app that allows patrons to earn points by eating at Waffle House and redeem those points for Waffle House merchandise and Smithfield racing gear. This season, fans could redeem 250 Race for Rewards points to have their name featured on the hood of the #43 Smithfield/Waffle House Ford. The Ford Fusion will race at Bristol Motor Speedway with the names of 436 Waffle House Race for Rewards fans on the hood (RPM), see an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page (8-18-2016)
Thad Moffitt, Grandson of Richard Petty, Wins First Stock Car Race: Thad Moffitt, the 15-year-old grandson of "The King" Richard Petty, won his first stock car event Saturday night at the Anderson Motor Speedway (Williamston, SC). Moffitt took the pole and then the checkered during Saturday night's Southeast Limited Late Model Daytona 1 Challenger Series race. In partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM), Empire Racing Group (ERG) is entering Moffitt in the Southeast Limited Late Model Challenger Series in 2016. It is the first year of the partnership and Moffitt is now leading the series championship after Saturday night's win. Moffitt is the son of Brian and Rebecca Petty-Moffitt. He has previous experience racing quarter midgets and in karting at Ace Speedway. Moffitt won the race 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 Jacob Construction, Design, and Technology, Transportation Impact and Hostetler Ranch.(RPM)(8-17-2016)
Smithfield Donates More Than 25,000 Pounds of Protein to the Food Bank: Smithfield's Helping Hungry Homes program made the 21st stop on its 2016 nationwide hunger-relief tour Friday morning to donate more than 25,000 pounds of protein to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. The donation will provide more than 100,000 servings and help the food bank continue to provide meals to the greater Watkins Glen area, where nearly 12% of individuals are food insecure. Smithfield partnered with Tops Friendly Markets and Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) to present the donation during an event on Friday, August 5 at Tops, located at 504 1/2 Franklin Street, Watkins Glen, NY. Speakers discussed the importance of donations like these in Watkins Glen and surrounding communities, where one in five children suffers from hunger.(RPM)(8-7-2016)
Almirola says Petty could benefit from stronger alliance: #43-Aric Almirola met with the media Saturday at Pocono Raceway:
The top four teams have an alliance. Do you think an alliance with another team would be beneficial for [Richard Petty Motorsports]?
"I think so. I think we've kind of seen that this year. We still have an alliance with Roush, but it's a little less this year than it's been in year's past. We've gotten a little more autonomous with building our own cars and hanging our own bodies and brought on some of our own engineering staff and things like that. To be honest with you, we knew that going into it it was going to be a work in progress. We weren't just gonna be able to build from ground zero and come out of the box and be super-successful and ultra-competitive, but we did have a lot higher hopes for success than what we've seen this year... So it makes it very challenging and very difficult to start a program like we have, especially when you're competing against teams that have been doing it for years and years and years and have a lot of resources, a lot of people and a lot of experience at doing it. That being said, I feel like there could be some positives from having a stronger alliance with some of the top teams, but, currently right now, we're devoted and right in the middle of trying to scratch and claw and work our guts out to figure out our program."(Ford Racing)(7-31-2016)
200th Sprint Cup start for Almirola: This weekend at Pocono Raceway is a monumental one for #43-Aric Almirola. After his first Sprint Cup start in 2007, he had several years of only part-time rides with various teams. It took time, patience and perseverance to reach the point of having a full-time ride in the sport's premier national touring series. This is Almirola's fifth full season with Richard Petty Motorsports, and 170 of his 200 starts have been with the team. During his time in the Sprint Cup Series, Almirola has scored one win at Daytona International Speedway in 2014. He'll head to the Poconos this weekend in the #43 Smithfield Ford looking to secure his second win in the series to top off the monumental weekend.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(7-28-2016)
Petty's Garage Announces 2017 King Edition Ford Mustang Builds: Petty's Garage announced their continued partnership with the Ford Motor Company to exclusively build 500 "King Edition" Ford Mustang GT models. Included in the 2017 lineup is a limited run of 43 builds that include a silver scheme to celebrate "The King" Richard Petty and his 80th birthday in July, 2017. This is the third year that Petty's Garage and Ford Motor Company have joined forces to build the King Edition Ford Mustangs. Since the popularity of the vehicles continues to grow each year, the 2017 builds will be the largest to date. Petty's Garage will be the exclusive builder of four, one-of-a-kind, Mustangs. The high-performance shop will build a naturally-aspirated, non-supercharged model with all the looks and feel of the Petty's Garage Mustang that customers and fans have become accustom to, but at a lower introduction price. Petty's Garage will also introduce a new King EcoBoost model in 2017. This model, with the addition of the race spoiler and signature center exhaust system, mirrors the look of all other Petty's Garage Mustangs, but doesn't sacrifice on power. It is the most radical EcoBoost available to purchase from your local Ford dealer. More info at richardpettymotorsports.com (6-23-2016)
Almirola to honor the King with Darlington Throwback scheme: The SONY Walkman hit the shelves at an astounding cost of $200. "Saturday Night Fever" by the Bee Gees was the album of the year. ESPN became the first all-sports television network. McDonald's introduced the Happy Meal. Richard Petty won the Daytona 500 in front of an estimated 16 million viewers watching NASCAR's first ever flag-to-flag televised race. STP and Richard Petty Motorsports with driver Aric Almirola are honoring The King's 1979 NASCAR season, the season that many claim catapulted NASCAR into a household sport, at the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, September 4 with the throwback paint scheme mirroring Petty's 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass. The aforementioned televised Daytona 500 is often viewed as the turning point in NASCAR's modern era as the broadcast had 16 million viewers and brought national attention to the sport. Although ½ lap down at the white flag, a now-famous accident between the leaders saw Petty take the lead down the backstretch and go on to win his sixth of seven Daytona 500 races and break a 45-race winless streak. Petty went on to win four more events that season at Martinsville Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Dover International Speedway and North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, N.C. Petty took the point lead for the first time that season with just two races to go. He fell to second going into the season finale, but finished fifth in the season finale at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway to win his seventh - and final - NASCAR Cup championship by 11 points over Darrell Waltrip. Rising star Dale Earnhardt was named the Rookie of the Year. The throwback paint scheme will feature one significant difference from the original in 1979. A dollar amount signifying the amount of money raised by STP customers for Victory Junction will be featured on the rear quarter panel of the #43 STP Ford. STP launched the "Giving Kids an Ultra Summer" program on June 1 and will donate $.43 for every bottle of STP Ultra 5-in-1 Fuel System Cleaner sold through August 31. STP has been a longtime partner Victory Junction which was built to honor Richard Petty's late grandson Adam Petty. Prior to the launch of this year's "Giving Kids an Ultra Summer" program, STP has donated more than sixty-five thousand dollars to the camp that provides life-changing camp experiences for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. STP honored its first season with Petty by running a 1972 throwback paint scheme in the inaugural throwback Bojangles' Southern 500 in 2015.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(6-7-2016)
Historical Landmark to be Unveiled at Upcoming PettyFest: The Petty Museum will once again host its annual PettyFest Saturday, May 28 at its historical grounds in Level Cross, N.C. This full day celebration of the past, present and future of the Petty Museum, Petty's Garage and the Petty Family Foundation will include many family-fun activities and also bring back history of the Petty family legacy. Richard Petty and the Petty Museum will unveil the restored reaper shed, a historical landmark where the original Petty Engineering and later Petty Enterprises was begun by Lee Petty. The A-frame building was built in the early 1940's and had a dirt floor and tin roof. It was the humble beginning in what turned out to be the most successful organization in NASCAR history. The shed has been restored to showcase its time in the 1940's and will feature the restored car that Lee Petty raced to begin the family dynasty. The Petty Museum and Petty Family Foundation will also bring back and sell the original merchandise of Adam Petty, the fourth-generation driver of the Petty family. All Adam Petty merchandise was pulled off the market after his accident in 2000. The family will now continue to honor Petty by selling his merchandise to help aid others, a characteristic that defined Petty. Original Adam Petty hats and shirts will be on sale with proceeds to benefit the Petty Family Foundation. The Foundation will then donate funds to support Victory Junction, the camp built in honor of Adam. For more info go to richardpettymotorsports.com (RPM)(5-27-2016)
Three teams penalized: The teams of #48-Jimmie Johnson, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. & #43-Aric Almirola will lose their place in order for pit-stall selection - typically they choose in order of qualifying results - for receiving their fourth warning of the season at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday. Teams get warnings for minor violations that cause them to fail opening-day, prequalifying or prerace measurements. Johnson would have picked seventh, Almirola would have picked 20th and Earnhardt would have picked 25th (ESPN), Pit Stall selections will be most likely be released and posted Saturday morning (5-26-2016)
RPM & U.S. Air Force Partner for 600 Miles of Remembrance: Richard Petty Motorsports and the U.S. Air Force are once again partnering for NASCAR's 600 Miles of Remembrance program on Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Air Force Ford, will race in memory of fallen U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Forrest B. Sibley with his name featured on the windshield header. Staff Sgt. Sibley entered active duty in November 2008 and upon completion of basic training, immediately entered the two-year combat controller training pipeline. As a Special Tactics combat controller, he solved ground problems with air power for special operations missions, including surveying and setting up airfields in hostile or remote areas, controlling air traffic from anywhere and directing precision air strikes. Deploying once to Africa and three times to Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Sibley was a ground special operator qualified in military static line, free fall, combat scuba dive and joint terminal attack control. He was killed during a deployment to Afghanistan after two individuals wearing Afghan National Defense and Security Forces uniforms opened fire at a vehicle checkpoint near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan, on August 26, 2015. Staff Sgt. Sibley received a Bronze Star Medal with Valor and a Purple Heart for his service. A long-time partner with the military branch, Richard Petty Motorsports will feature a U.S. Air Force primary paint scheme on the #43 Ford for the Coca-Cola 600. This will be the first of two race weekends of primary sponsorship for the U.S. Air Force in the 2016 season.
"It's incredibly important that we, as Americans, continue to honor the service and sacrifice of our fallen heroes," Col. Michael Flatten, 24th Special Operations Wing vice commander, said. "The Special Tactics Airmen we've lost were all exceptional warriors who not only volunteered to join our nation's Special Operations Forces, but earned their way to the tip of the spear in defense of our nation." Almirola, born on Eglin Air Force Base, is deeply connected to the U.S. Air Force and understands the sacrifices made by military members and their families. "It's truly an honor to be able to represent the U.S. Air Force and honor Staff Sgt. Sibley on Memorial Day weekend," said Almirola. "Our fallen men and women in the armed forces have paid the ultimate price so that we can race each weekend, and I'm glad that NASCAR has given us the opportunity to recognize their sacrifices. I'm excited to have Staff Sgt. Sibley's family join us for the race, and hopefully, at the end of the night, they will get to celebrate with our team and the U.S. Air Force in Victory Lane."
U.S Air Force Capt. Matthew D. Roland, a special tactics officer, was also killed in the same attack as Staff Sgt. Sibley. Seconds before the attack, he recognized the imminent threat and gave his convoy enough time to react to the insider attack with a radio call. Simultaneously, Roland knowingly put himself in the line of fire by moving the bus to protect the vehicle occupants, giving them precious time to react and neutralize both gunmen. Posthumously receiving a Silver Star for his heroic actions, Captain Roland will ride shotgun on NASCAR's pace car for the Coca-Cola 600.(RPM), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(5-25-2016)
Nathan's Famous Surprises Ultimate Fan at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Nathan's Famous is continuing its mission to surprise unsuspecting fans and perform random acts of kindness across the nation throughout 2016 as the brand celebrates its 100th anniversary. Last Friday, at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Joan Watts, of Bessemer City, N.C., was recognized as one of Nathan's Famous "Ultimate Fans." Watts recently shared her affinity for the brand on the Nathan's Famous website, detailing how she first experienced the flavor of a Nathan's Famous Hot Dog just down the street from Charlotte Motor Speedway and now it's the only brand of hot dogs that her family puts on the grill. Watts did not know that the simple act of posting her story would lead the legendary hot dog company to show her just how much her loyalty is appreciated. Nathan's Famous invited Watts and her family to Charlotte Motor Speedway to experience all of the festivities All-Star Race Weekend has to offer, as guests of the world-famous hot dog company. The surprises began when representatives from Richard Petty Motorsports greeted Watts and escorted her and her family to the garage area for a tour. Upon entering the garage, Aric Almirola, driver of Richard Petty Motorsports' #43 Ford Fusion, introduced himself, took photos with and signed autographs for the group. Almirola then took things one step further and presented Watts with a $1,000 Food Lion gift card, Nathan's Famous apparel and finally, free Nathan's Famous hot dogs for one year. Smithfield Foods is the licensee of Nathan's Famous pre-packaged hot dogs.(Breaking Limits for Nathan's Famous)(5-24-2016)
Documentary Goes Behind the Scenes of #43 Team to Chronicle Offseason Preparation: The cars are faster and the stakes are higher, but nearly 50 years since Richard Petty won a historic ten consecutive races, the spirit of NASCAR racing remains the same. Presented by Smithfield Foods, Building 43 guides viewers through the history of Richard Petty Motorsports, the 1967 season that crowned "The King," and the #43 team's current focus on capturing checkered flags. Building 43 airs Saturday, May 21st at 1:00 pm/et on NBC. Richard Petty Motorsports currently fields two Sprint Cup cars; the #43 driven by Almirola currently in his fifth full Sprint Cup season, and the #44 driven by Brian Scott, who competed full-time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for six seasons. The team also hosts the #43 XFINITY series car driven by Jeb Burton, son of Ward Burton and the nephew of NASCAR on NBC analyst Jeff Burton.(NBC)(5-21-2016)
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)
Smithfield, Waffle House will team up on the #43 at Bristol: Smithfield and Waffle House will team up with Richard Petty Motorsports for the iconic Bristol Night Race August 20. Aric Almirola will pilot the #43 Smithfield/Waffle House Ford in one of the most popular races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The Bristol Night Race will mark the third time Smithfield, Waffle House and Richard Petty Motorsports teamed up on track. Through the three-year partnership, the companies created Waffle House Race for Rewards, an app that allows patrons to earn points by eating at Waffle House and redeem those points for Waffle House merchandise and Smithfield racing gear. This season, fans on Race for Rewards can redeem 250 Race for Rewards points and be part of history in the making. The 250 Race for Rewards points will gain fans sponsorship of a portion of the car. Sponsorships limited to 1,500. Richard Petty Motorsports is in their fifth year of partnership with Smithfield Foods and the third year partnering with Waffle House. Last season, Almirola scored a fourth-place finish at Richmond International Raceway in the #43 Smithfield/Waffle House Ford.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(5-12-2016)
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)
Fire Saturday at Richard Petty Museum: Statement from Richard Petty Motorsports: There was a fire today [Saturday] at the historical site of Petty Enterprises and now the current site of Petty's Garage and Richard Petty Museum. The fire was contained to a portion of the building and was controlled quickly. There were no injuries and minimal damage to the structure. The Petty Family is grateful to the first responders.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(4-3-2016)
UPDATE: The Petty Family Foundation donated $1,000 to the Level Cross Fire Department as their way of thanking the local firefighters for their help with a recent minor fire. Station 43 firefighters responded quickly last week after a small fire was reported at the current site of Petty's Garage and the Richard Petty Museum, the historical site of Petty Enterprises. "Because of their efforts, damage to our facility was minimal," said Shannon Newman, Director of Development for the Petty Family Foundation. "This donation from the Petty family is their way to demonstrate their appreciation and support for our community firefighters. They are such an important part of the Level Cross community, and we sincerely thank Chief Russell and his staff." A fire was reported on Saturday, April 2, but was contained to a portion of the building and was controlled quickly by the local fire department. There were no injuries and minimal damage to the structure. Both The Richard Petty Museum and Petty's Garage continue to operate. The Museum is currently offering half-off admission prices as clean up continues. Clean up is expected to be complete by mid-May.(Petty Family Foundation/Richard Petty Museum)(4-14-2016)
Almirola's tire carrier injured over Easter break: Injuries have not been kind to the #43 of RPM. Two weeks before Daytona, Gas Man Justin Reisman tore his Achilles and now they have another injury. Over the Easter weekend, tire carrier Devon Armstrong tore his distal bicep tendon and will be out at least until the middle of the season. "I was at the gym that I work out at. I was hitting the punching bag when I heard it pop. I knew instantly that something wasn't right. Because it was Easter weekend there were no doctors that I could see so I had to wait until Monday to get it looked at." An MRI on Tuesday proved that Devon had tore his tendon and he went into surgery last Thursday. "The doctor says I'll be out at least 12 weeks but depending on how well rehab goes will ultimately determine how long I'm out." Taking Devon's place will be tire carrier Josh Galloway.(Pit Talks)(4-8-2016)
STP returns to the #43 at Martinsville: After an off-weekend spent with family and friends, Aric Almirola is ready to get his Ford Fusion back on the race track. Martinsville Speedway is a track that the #43 car has historically run well. "The King" Richard Petty won 15 races at the half-mile oval, and the last five of those races saw the iconic STP paint scheme in Victory Lane. Almirola is ready to bring those colors back to Martinsville Speedway when he races the #43 STP Ford this weekend in the STP 500. A sponsor of Petty and his race team since the 1970s, this will be the first of two races in 2016 in which STP will adorn the hood of the #43 Ford. Almirola is 13th in Championship Point Standings going into the weekend.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(3-31-2016)
Eckrich, Operation Homefront and Almirola Give Thanks Military Family: Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, partnered with Albertsons and Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families, to honor a Southern California military family in advance of the big race in Fontana on Sunday. Before the race, Richard Petty Motorsports driver and Eckrich partner, Aric Almirola, surprised the unsuspecting Desma family with $5,000 worth of free groceries at Albertsons, courtesy of Eckrich. Eckrich, Operation Homefront and Richard Petty Motorsports have partnered to honor military families since 2012. Almirola, who is a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner, was born on a military base and, as a father of two, is inspired by our military families. The surprise is part of the ongoing campaign by Eckrich to honor, thank and support military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront. The Desma family is supported by Operation Homefront's Hearts of Valor program, a network of people caring for wounded, ill or injured service members. Frank Desma served 18 years in the Army as a Sergeant and served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Eckrich, entering the fifth year of partnership with Operation Homefront, has surpassed $2 million in donations since 2012.(RPM Facebook)(3-21-2016)
Richard Petty featured on CBS This Morning Thursday: In preparation for Super Bowl 50, the popular morning news program "CBS This Morning" made a recent visit to the Queen City of Charlotte to highlight some of the city's key landmarks and traditions. The visit was not complete until CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller made a visit to the Charlotte Motor Speedway and participate in the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Doing so, Miller was given pointers by "The King" Richard Petty after her laps. The feature will air Thursday morning, February 4 between 8:00 - 9:00am/et.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(2-4-2016)
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)
Petty's Garage Launches Off-Road Division: Since 2008, Petty's Garage, a high-performance automobile speed shop located on the grounds of the former Petty Enterprises, has been the premier facility for car and truck enthusiasts to restore, modify or purchase their vehicles. Today, Petty's Garage announces its expansion of an Off-Road Division to maximize any and all off-road machines. With a history of over 65 years, Petty's Garage has an unmatched staff in the country. The company has restored, modified and built hundreds of cars, including exclusive specialty builds of 2015 and 2016 Ford GT Mustangs. Under the leadership of owner "The King" Richard Petty, they are expanding into Off-Road vehicles where customers looking for more capabilities and great looks can have a purpose built machine to fulfill their off road dreams. In addition to any customer builds, Petty's Garage is currently in discussion with manufacturers about modifying the latest models to develop unique and one-of-a-kind vehicles. Petty himself is eager to start seeing the off-road builds. "You can't drive too far without seeing modifications on Jeeps,Trucks and any other off-road vehicle you can imagine. We've always had our own ideas how to modify them, and after our success that we've had with our performance cars, we know that we can deliver the same quality and performance with off-road machines." says Richard Petty.(Petty's Garage)(1-11-2016)
2015 Races [29+1] that Smithfield Foods was the primary sponsor:
1) Daytona - 2/22, Smithfield / Cheney Brothers
2) Las Vegas - 3/8, Smithfield
3) Phoenix - 3/15. Eckrich / Operation Homefront
4) Auto Club - 3/22, Smithfield
5) Texas - 4/11, Eckrich / Operation Homefront
6) Bristol - 4/19, Smithfield / Eckrich
7) Richmond - 4/25, Smithfield
8) Kansas - 5/9, Farmland
9) Charlotte, Sprint All-Star Race - 5/16, Smithfield
10) Dover - 5/31, Smithfield
11) Pocono - 6/7, Nathan's Famous
12) Michigan - 6/14, Smithfield
13) Sonoma - 6/28, Nathan's Famous
14) Daytona - 7/5, Smithfield
15) Kentucky - 7/11, Smithfield
16) New Hampshire - 7/19, Smithfield
17) Indianapolis - 7/26, Eckrich / Operation Homefront
18) Watkins Glen - 8/9, Smithfield
19) Michigan - 8/16, Armour
20) Bristol - 8/22, Smithfield
21) Richmond - 9/12, Waffle House
22) Chicago - 9/20, Eckrich / Operation Homefront
23) New Hampshire - 9/27, Smithfield
24) Dover - 10/4, Nathan's Famous
25) Charlotte - 10/10, Smithfield
26) Kansas - 10/18, Eckrich / Operation Homefront
27) Talladega - 10/25, Smithfield
28) Martinsville - 11/1, Smithfield
29) Texas - 11/8, Smithfield
30) Homestead - 11/22, Smithfield
2015 Races  that the U.S. Air Force is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Charlotte - 5/24
Pocono - 8/2
Phoenix - 11/15
2015 Races  that STP is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Martinsville - 3/29
Darlington - 9/6, throwback
2015 Races  that Fresh From Florida is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Atlanta - 3/1
Talladega - 5/3
Richard Petty presents Jeff Gordon with special gifts: #24-Jeff Gordon still has the special memento from his first race in what is now NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. Gordon's debut in that 1992 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway also happened to be the final race for NASCAR's winningest driver, Richard Petty. To mark the occasion, during the drivers' meeting that day the King gave each of his fellow competitors a money clip inscribed with their name and starting position. With Gordon preparing for his final race in pursuit of his fifth season championship, he received a visit Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway from the seven-time champ bearing two gifts. To thank Gordon for his contributions to the sport, Petty presented one of his trademark cowboy hats with his signature on the brim. He also gave Gordon 93 dollar bills for the money clip, one for each of his career victories. The encounter took place in private, away from view of crowds and media gathered for Gordon's farewell race on Sunday. Richard Petty Motorsports tweeted photos of the exchange of gifts. Petty's son, Kyle, told the tale during the NBC broadcast, and added a final detail. Richard Petty has one more dollar that he hopes to present on Sunday. Gordon must earn that one, just as he did the other 93.(South Florida Sun Sentinel)(11-22-2015)
Smithfield Foods Partners with Cheney Brothers to Donate $25,000 to Big Dog Ranch Rescue: With the help of "The King" Richard Petty, Smithfield Foods and Cheney Brothers partnered to donate $25,000 to a local charity Friday afternoon at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. The donation comes as a result of a month long Smithfield Foods promotion. For every case of participating Smithfield Foods products that Cheney Brothers sold through October, Smithfield donated $1.00 to Big Dog Ranch Rescue, a charity that is very close to the Cheney Brothers family. The donation was made during a press conference at the Homestead-Miami Speedway where Richard Petty Motorsports and Cheney Brothers, a leading food distributor in the Southeast, are partnering to serve as the primary sponsor of the #9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford and driver Sam Hornish, Jr. during NASCAR's final race of the 2015 season. The donation was made by Petty on behalf of Smithfield Foods and Byron Russell, the Chief Executive Officer of Cheney Brothers to Lauree Simmons.(RPM)(11-21-2015)
U.S. Air Force returns to sponsor the #43 in 2016: Richard Petty Motorsports and the U.S. Air Force announced that they will once again team up for the 2016 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 eighth 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 remain an associate partner on the historic #43 for the entirety of the 2016 season. The U.S. Air Force will continue their experiential marketing at NASCAR races, bringing the #43 U.S. Air Force Ford show car and the "Air Force Race Day" interactive display to environments where recruiters can connect with young adults. It will also 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. "Having a dad that was in the Air Force really made me appreciate our partnership with the Air Force initially, but after working with them the last four seasons, it's the men and women of the Air Force that we meet every week that really resonate with me," said Almirola. "The sacrifice these military members make every day to make our country safe is the ultimate gift to Americans. It's an honor to represent the superior talent who are members of the Air Force. It's not something I take lightly. I know the Air Force has high expectations for their recruits, and I'm glad that they chose me to represent them. We have a similar mission to win, and I'm excited to continue that mission together next season."
This season marks the Air Force's 16th season in NASCAR and eighth consecutive season with Richard Petty Motorsports. "The Air Force is excited to partner with Richard Petty Motorsports again in 2016, for the eighth 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)(11-15-2015)
Richard Petty named Charlotte Thanksgiving parade grand marshal: In just five more weeks, the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade will step off Tryon Street in uptown led by the King of Racing. NASCAR legend Richard Petty will be grand marshal for this year's parade. Joining him will be local celebrities, 10 bands, balloons, floats, live performances and more. A holiday staple since 1947, Charlotte's Thanksgiving parade is billed as one of the oldest and the fourth-largest in the country. An estimated 100,000 spectators lined the streets last Thanksgiving, while another 1.5 million watched on television, parade organizers said. But organizers hope this year's parade may move Charlotte up a notch or two in the rankings. They're combining tradition and technology to try to make the Queen City's 69th Thanksgiving Day Parade the biggest and best yet.(Charlotte Observer)(10-25-2015)
Petty's Garage Announces Production of Limited Number 2016 GT Mustangs: Featuring up to 727 horsepower, the new Petty's Garage 2016 Mustang GT King edition means that Ford's pony will be hell for some cats. Petty's Garage - the in-house speed shop of NASCAR legend Richard "The King" Petty - returns with a limited number of highly modified Mustang GTs built to the specifications of The King himself. "I've always liked the look of the Mustang, and the 2016 model gives us a great base car to work with," said Richard Petty. "These new King edition Mustangs are pretty much the way I'd build my own. They are great fun to drive, and have a signature single exhaust. "With the new paint on the Premier edition," he added, "that's how you know we built it. They look pretty sharp." The modified Mustang GT will come in three editions with small production numbers - 243 King models, 43 King Premier and 14 King Premier convertibles. Customers can order the cars through their local Ford dealership. Starting suggested retail prices are $67,495 for the King edition and $90,495 for King Premier. More details and available options can be found at the Petty's Garage website.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(10-24-2015)
Military Family Honored by Eckrich, Publix and "The King" Richard Petty: Thanks to Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, a North Carolina military family was honored by Hall of Fame driver and American icon, "The King" Richard Petty Saturday afternoon before the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Staff Sergeant Retired Melinda "Doc" Hamilton and her family were greeted at the race track by the Richard Petty Motorsports team and escorted to meet the legendary driver. Petty then surprised the family with a Publix gift card for $1,000 towards the purchase of groceries, courtesy of Eckrich. Eckrich, a sponsor of the famed #43, has previously partnered with Petty for similar events to honor, thank and support military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront, a national non-profit whose mission is to build strong, stable and secure military families. Petty has been a supporter of military families for many years, but each time he meets a family it is always unique and special.
"Eckrich really knows how to give back to our military families," said Petty. "There are so many deserving military families and Eckrich continues to honor them with their own special way of saying 'thanks'. It's great to watch the reactions of the families. They are always humbled and appreciate that Eckrich takes time to pay tribute to their sacrifice." The gift of groceries is part of the commitment by Eckrich to honor, thank and support military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront. In its fourth year of partnership with Operation Homefront, Eckrich recently surpassed $1 million in donations since 2012. "Like Eckrich, Publix and Richard Petty are great supporters of our military families," said Chuck Gitkin, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Smithfield Foods. "We are proud to show our appreciation with a VIP racing experience and $1,000 in free groceries at Publix."(RPM)(10-11-2015)
Petty expected to continue running Fords UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports will continue its relationship with Ford Performance. An announcement is expected at the team's Mooresville, N.C. shop on Tuesday. The organization enjoys a storied past under the guidance of seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty. RPM currently fields two Sprint Cup teams and an Xfinity Series program. The foundation of RPM stems from Evernham Motorsports, which debuted in 2000. RPM evolved from the four-Dodge team from Gillett Evernham Motorsports and began making the transition to Ford at the end of the 2009 season. The organization is currently evaluating the status of the #9 Ford as Sam Hornish Jr. has struggled to remain in the top 25 despite a change of crew chiefs. The relationship with Ford Performance and the King dates back to 1969 when Petty piloted the #43 Ford Torino to nine wins and a second-place finish in the point standings to fellow Ford racer David Pearson.(Motorsport)(10-4-2015)
UPDATE: Key takeaways from the Ford extension annoucement with Richard Petty Motorsports:
- The extension is a multiyear agreement vs one year agreements in the past.
- RPM will run Roush Yates Engines.
- RPM are continuing to work on a services agreement with Roush Fenway Racing.
"The goals and vision for Ford Performance are the same that we have here at Richard Petty Motorsports, win races and compete for championships and ultimately be champions. We both want to use technology and engineering to better our cars and teams to give our drivers the best chance to win races and championships." - Brian Moffit, CEO.(RPM Facebook)
AND Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) and Ford Performance announced today their commitment to winning races and championships together in an extension that will see the most storied organization in NASCAR continue to carry the iconic blue oval in years to come. The announcement ensures that Richard Petty Motorsports' two NASCAR Sprint Cup race teams and its XFINITY Series race team will continue to have the championship caliber engineering, technology and resources of Ford Performance. The partnership will also allow RPM to be leaders in race engineering, technology and to build for the future. Over the past year, officials from RPM and Ford Performance have worked diligently toward building a mutually beneficial relationship that has seen immediate results. Richard Petty Motorsports and Ford Performance have worked together in the wind tunnel, on aerodynamic packages and on collecting engineering data. The result has been increased consistency and performance for the organization proven by Aric Almirola and the #43 Ford Fusion having their most consistent season together and highest average finish to date.
"Our relationship with Ford Performance has a history, a present and now a future of winning races and competing for championships," said Richard Petty, co-owner, Richard Petty Motorsports. "As we took on additional internal responsibilities within our organization over the past 12 months, Dave Pericak and his team at Ford Performance have been with us supporting Richard Petty Motorsports each step of the way. And to know they will continue to be our partner is very important to our combined desire to make RPM a championship caliber organization.
Ford Performance has been the manufacture partner of RPM since 2010 and their roots with Richard Petty date back to 1969 when "The King" won nine times in a Ford Torino on his way to a runner-up finish in the championship. Ford Performance and RPM have three wins in the Sprint Cup Series and two wins in the XFINITY Series together, along with a total of 10 poles in both series. "Richard Petty Motorsports has made steady progress since joining our program, and we're looking forward to seeing them take that next step to being a consistent Chase participant," said Dave Pericak, director, Ford Performance. "We feel they have the people in place to achieve that goal, and we're going to do everything we can to provide them the resources to make that happen."(RPM)(10-6-2015)
Congrats: Marc Hendricksen, engineer on the #43 for RPM, and his wife Heather have a new baby daughter. Cynthia Rosalie Anne Hendricksen (Rosalie) was born at 11:53 pm on September 28, 2015. Weighing in at 7 lbs. 4 oz. and 20 1/4 inches long. She joins her 3 year old big brother, Caleb.(9-29-2015)
Richard Petty Motorsports Gets On Board with J.B. Hunt Transport: Whether it's racing 500 miles on a Sunday afternoon or hauling freight 2,800 miles across the country, there is a common goal: to get to the end as quickly and safely as possible. This is why Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) is proud to announce their newest partner, J.B. Hunt Transport, one of the largest transportation logistics companies in North America. J.B. Hunt Transport has a long history of providing safe and reliable transportation services to a diverse group of customers throughout the continental United States, Canada and Mexico. During the next year, this partnership with RPM will introduce thousands of professional J.B. Hunt truck drivers to NASCAR Hall of Fame champion and American icon Richard Petty and drivers #43-Aric Almirola and #9-Sam Hornish, Jr. The logo of J.B. Hunt will also brand the #9 car of RPM for select races in 2015 and 2016. More importantly, RPM will host drivers and customers of J.B. Hunt during race weekends and provide a first-hand look at the logistics required by RPM to transport race vehicles coast to coast and prepare to race throughout 38 weeks of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Petty will also play a significant role in J.B. Hunt's driver recruitment activities.
"A large driving force behind our country's commerce is America's loyal and trusted truck drivers who carry freight around the country and world, and all the people who work to ensure that they arrive safely," said Richard Petty, Co-Owner, RPM. "Nobody does it better than J.B. Hunt and their thousands of employees. We're proud to partner with them and I'm excited to be a part of their driver recruitment program. Our country's truck drivers are the backbone of our commerce system and I can't wait to interact with them."
J.B. Hunt services include transportation of full truckload freight, which they directly transport utilizing company-controlled revenue equipment and company drivers or independent contractors. They also have arrangements with most of the major North American rail carriers to transport intermodal freight in containers and trailers. They also offer other logistics solutions such as dedicated contract carriage, less than truckload and final mile. Their customer base is extremely diverse and includes a large number of Fortune 500 companies, making them a great fit with NASCAR and RPM.
"There is no bigger brand in NASCAR than Petty," said Craig Harper, Executive Vice President of Operations, J.B. Hunt Transport. "All of our drivers know that name and can relate to the race team, their goals and the work and dedication that is required to safely transport the team's equipment from race to race each week. Our drivers safely move freight across the country, and like Richard Petty Motorsports, safety and on-time delivery are paramount. This is a partnership where both of us can learn how to better ourselves in our business and also provide our workforce with great moments on and off the road." J.B. Hunt is the latest of new RPM partners in the past two years that include Monster Energy, R-M Automotive Finishes (a brand of BASF), Twisted Tea, BLUE-EMU, Nature Blast and more.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(9-24-2015)
Almirola comments about just missing the Chase: #43-Aric Almirola comments about missing the Chase for the Sprint Cup by 17 points:
Q) ARIC, YOU CAME UP JUST SHORT OF BOTH A RACE WIN AND MAKING THE CHASE. TALK ABOUT THE EMOTIONS OF THAT
Almirola: "It is tough. This is what we race for. We race to win races. We race to run for a championship. This race team, we got to do it last year and we had an engine failure at Chicago and feel like we had a lot more to show in the Chase last year. We wanted another shot at it really bad. We have a really, really good race team and am disappointed we didn't get Smithfield and Ford into the Chase again. I am disappointed for sure. We have a really great race team at Richard Petty Motorsports and great sponsors. We had Waffle House on the car tonight and I told all the guys if we won we would go get free waffles but we just came up short. I am really proud of all my guys. We worked our guts out all year long and tonight was no different. I feel we have overachieved this year and really maximized our results week in and week out. I am disappointed to come up a few spots short but we gave it all we had and that is all we can do. We will go race these last 10 races and try to get a victory. Winning is good no matter when it is, regardless of the Chase or not, we will try to go stink up the show and get some wins in the last 10 races."(Ford Racing)(9-12-2015)
Eckrich and Richard Petty Motorsports Honors Military Family: On a day of remembrance, Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, paid tribute to a local military family. The Brown family, stationed at the Ft. Lee (Va.) United States Army Post, were surprised by Eckrich and the Richard Petty Motorsports race [#9, #43] team, who presented them with free groceries for one year and the opportunity to be guests of the team and Eckrich at the race in Richmond on Saturday night. Army Specialist Daquana Brown and her two children were greeted at Ft. Lee by Eckrich and a Richard Petty Motorsports team representative who presented the family with official race crew shirts, hats and tickets to Saturday night's race. But, the surprise was not complete until a gift of one year of free groceries at the Ft. Lee Commissary was presented to Brown, all courtesy of Eckrich.(RPM)(9-12-2015)
One Last Shot for Almirola and #43 Team to make the Chase: With just one race left before the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Aric Almirola is 29 points outside of a transfer spot. Although the team has a shot at getting in on points, the #43 Smithfield/Waffle House team knows a win will lock them into the playoffs and are focused on having a good shot to compete for a win this weekend. Richmond is a good track for the team. Last fall, they scored a Top-10 finish, and Almirola scored their best finish of eighth in the spring race in 2013. A home track for sponsor Smithfield Foods, the team has extra incentive to perform well this weekend. Almirola and Richard Petty will join Smithfield, Martin's Food Markets and RIR to donate 25,000 pounds of protein to FeedMore Central Virginia Food Bank as part of Smithfield's Helping Hungry Homes initiative. Waffle House will be featured on the hood of the #43 at RIR.(RPM), see an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(9-9-2015)
Almirola's Darlington scheme a throwback to Petty in 1972 A throwback conversation wouldn't be complete without the iconic #43 STP Ford and neither would the throwback The Tradition Returns weekend at Darlington Raceway. Joining in on the retro paint schemes, Aric Almirola will pilot the 1972 "Petty Blue" and Day-Glo Red #43 STP paint scheme, originally driven by "The King" Richard Petty. STP will also have special guests at the track during its return to Labor Day weekend. Members of the 1972 crew will join STP and the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team for the Bojangles Southern 500. 1972 marked the first year for STP and Petty's longstanding relationship and the first year the No. 43 sported Day-Glo Red on the quarter panels. It's only fitting that the company throwback to their first year in NASCAR racing with "The King" during The Tradition Returns weekend. In a storied history, Petty raced with the STP logo on the hood of his #43 race car for 21 years before he retired as a driver and scored 60 of his 200 wins during that time. Along with crew chief Dale Inman, crew members Richie Barsz, fabricator, Tex Powell, mechanic and Jackman, Les Barsz, mechanic and transporter driver, Billy Biscoe, mechanic and gas man, Jimmy "Zoomer" Kovalchik, fabricator and tire carrier, and Barry Dodson, painter, will return to the track where they finished third in the 1972 Southern 500.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(8-27-2015)
Military Family Honored by Eckrich, Food City and Almirola: Thanks to Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, a local military family was honored by Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola Saturday before the event at Bristol Motor Speedway. Army Sergeant Gary Burkhart and his wife Chrissy were greeted at the race track by the Richard Petty Motorsports team and escorted to the garage area to meet the winning driver. Almirola then surprised the family with a gift card for $1,000 in free groceries at Food City, courtesy of Eckrich. The family will also have the opportunity to watch Almirola race on Saturday night. Eckrich, a sponsor of the famed #43, has previously partnered with Almirola to honor, thank and support military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront. Since it was founded shortly after September 11, 2001, Operation Homefront has provided emergency financial assistance to military families. In addition, they provide a wide array of family support programs, plus transitional housing for wounded-warrior families and permanent housing for veterans of all eras. Almirola, who was born on Eglin Air Force base in Florida, knows the importance of giving back to military families. "I'm proud to work with Eckrich to honor our military families," said Almirola. "I have two children of my own and I can't imagine how hard it is for our military families. This is a great way for Eckrich to assist them and I'm glad that I can do my part to help." Eckrich, in its fourth year of partnership with Operation Homefront, recently surpassed $1 million in donations since 2012.(Eckrich/Richard Petty Motorsports)(8-23-2015)
Crafton to practice the #43 for Almirola: Aric Almirola is under the weather today with what the team hopes is a 24-hour virus. In an effort to allow Almirola to rest and recover, two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion Matt Crafton has been tapped to practice the No. 43 Armour Ford today at Michigan International Speedway. The plan is for Almirola to make limited laps in practice in order to qualify the car today and retain his starting spot in Sunday's race. Updates will be distributed as more information is available. (Richard Petty Motorsports)(8-14-2015)
Armour sponsoring Almirola at MIS: As the regular season comes to a close with just four races left before the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the pressure is on to make the 16-team Chase field. Aric Almirola is currently 16th in the Championship Points Standings and just outside a Chase transfer spot. He is 50 points behind Clint Bowyer who holds the final transfer spot based on points. Almirola and team will continue to get the most out of their cars for the next four weeks and give their best shot at a win, starting this weekend at Michigan International Speedway in the #43 Armour Ford. One lucky person will win the trip of a lifetime, courtesy of Armour, the makers of LunchMakers children's portable meals, savory frozen meatballs and sliced pepperoni. As part of the brand's primary sponsorship of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Sprint Cup Series team and driver Aric Almirola, Armour has launched a sweepstakes for race fans nationwide. One grand prize winner and three guests will receive a trip to Miami just in time for the crowning of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion. Fans can enter the Armour sweepstakes by visiting www.armourmeats.com.(Richard Petty Motorsports, see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(8-12-2015)
Petty receives Cameron R. Argetsinger Award: Richard Petty, the winningest driver in NASCAR history, was honored Thursday night with the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for outstanding contributions to motorsports. The award, given by the International Motor Racing Research Center, was presented by NASCAR, International Speedway Corp. and Watkins Glen International during a ceremony at Corning Museum of Glass. "You can't say thank you enough," said Petty, who retired in 1992. "It's an honor to be involved. Thank you for honoring me. Very few people come along like me at the right time. I couldn't have been in a better place." The award memorializes Cameron R. Argetsinger, founder and organizer of the first races at Watkins Glen in the late 1940s. Team owner and former driver Chip Ganassi was the inaugural recipient of the award last year.(Associated Press)(8-7-2015)
The U.S. Air Force returns to sponsor the #43 at Pocono: The U.S. Air Force will return to the #43 Ford this weekend at Pocono Raceway for their second of three races this season. Almirola drove the patriotic paint scheme earlier this year at Charlotte for Memorial Day weekend (and will run again at Phoenix in November). "The King" Richard Petty will join Smithfield and their "Helping Hungry Homes" program this weekend to donate protein to Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley & Northeast Pennsylvania in partnership with Weis Markets. The donation will take place at Weis Markets on Route 611, Tannersville Plaza in Tannersville, Penn. Saturday, August 1 at 11am. In addition to the donation, the first 50 fans to arrive prior to the start of the donation will receive a wristband to participate in an on-site autograph session following the donation presentation, during which Petty will sign one item per fan.(RPM), see an image of the car on Jayski.com's #43 Team Schemes page.(7-30-2015)
Richard Petty drives 1970 Superbird at the Goodwood Festival of Speed: As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) crossed the country to the Sonoma Raceway this week, RPM Co-Owner Richard Petty crossed "The Pond" to participate in his third Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England. "The King" Richard Petty was invited back by Lord March to participate again at the annual Festival that attracts over 100,000 motorsports enthusiasts. When Petty arrived, he had awaiting one of his most iconic drives, his Petty Blue #43 1970 Plymouth Superbird. "This is a car that helped bring NASCAR into a new era of racing," said Petty. "This was the first 'race car' and not a 'stock car'. It looked like a rocket ship and had this big wing......that was my reaction when I first saw it from Plymouth. It introduced aerodynamics to the sport and just advanced the sport at that time. It was really ahead of its time back in the early 70's." Petty climbed behind the wheel of this famous #43 on Friday morning in England and drove the car during the Festival's Hill Climb. Petty then greeted legions of fans as he continues to prove to be one of the world's most popular figures in sports. "It was a lot of fun to get back behind the wheel, but I wasn't looking to win any race," commented Petty after the climb. "I wanted people to see the car and appreciate it. We had a lot of people waving and smiling, so I think they had as much fun as I did."
"You know, they asked us to bring this car over," continued Petty when asked why the Superbird. "We came last year and had the '67 Belvedere, the car we won a bunch of races with. In 2000, our first year we came, we had the '72 Dodge Charger, but the Superbird was what they wanted. It's just 'iconic' and probably what a lot of people recognize. The younger generation come up to me and say, 'Hey, that's the car that was in the movie, Cars.' So, it's a pretty popular car for us and it's neat to see all the excitement around it." Petty will stay in England throughout the weekend, but is unsure if he will be back behind the wheel. "I really want to give the chance for some of these other guys here to drive it if they want," said Petty. "We will see, but we're going to have fun and take it all in. I really enjoy it." Petty will return home early next week before heading to Daytona for his 78th birthday on July 2 and to attend the race where the #43 team and Aric Almirola will defend their win from last year.(RPM)(6-27-2015)
Nathan's Famous returns to the #43 at Sonoma: After a much appreciated off-weekend, Aric Almirola and the #43 Nathan's Famous Ford team are ready to tackle the first road course race of the season. The team will head to the 10-turn Sonoma Raceway and compete to stay on the Chase Grid and work their way back into the Top-10 in Championship Points. Last month, Nathan's Famous launched its Original Selfie Sweepstakes. Fans can enter to win by uploading selfies featuring Nathan's Famous products by uploading at www.NathansSelfie.com. Almirola will stop by the Sonoma Raceway Victory Lane to kick off Nathan's Famous activities on Sunday at 9:15am. He will participate in a question and answer session before contestants compete in a Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Qualifier.(RPM), see images of the car/scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(6-25-2015)
Richard Petty to be honored at IMRRC Award Dinner: Richard Petty, the most decorated driver in the history of NASCAR, will start the August race weekend in Watkins Glen by receiving the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Motorsports, sponsored by the International Motor Racing Research Center. Petty, who earned a record 200 career races and seven NASCAR Cup championships during his 30-year driving career, will be recognized on Aug. 6 at the IMRRC Award Dinner presented by NASCAR, International Speedway Corp. and Watkins Glen International. The dinner will be at the Corning Museum of Glass on the Thursday prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Watkins Glen International, the famed upstate New York road race course. The award memorializes Cameron R. Argetsinger, founder and organizer of the first races at Watkins Glen. Team owner and former driver Chip Ganassi was the first recipient of the Argetsinger Award in 2014. "It always makes you feel good to be honored or recognized for your contributions, especially for something you have dedicated so much of your life towards," Petty said. "You can tell that Cameron also had a passion for road racing and dedicated his time and efforts to making it better for everyone." The inaugural race through the streets of Watkins Glen was in 1948. In 1961, Argetsinger organized the first U.S. Grand Prix, and Formula One racing began its successful 20-year run at The Glen. NASCAR competed at The Glen in 1957, 1964 and 1965 and annually since 1986. "You have to figure that racing wasn't as popular back when I started," said Petty, who piloted his first race car in July 1958 at the age of 21. "It didn't matter if it was on an oval, road course or a street course, it was still coming along in America. Today, it's all popular, and it took a lot of folks working together to make that happen. I appreciate this award and what it means to our sport." Petty competed in eight NASCAR races at Watkins Glen, including July 19, 1964, when both he and his father, the legendary Lee Petty, were on the track. It was Lee Petty's final career race. The IMRRC Award Dinner is open to the public, but tickets are limited. The ticket price is $250 per person. Tickets may be purchased online at racingarchives.org or by calling the Racing Research Center at (607) 535-9044.(IMRRC)(6-23-2015)
Petty to be honored by International Motor Racing Research Center: NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty will be honored by the International Motor Racing Research Center with the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award. The award is for outstanding contributions to motor sports and will be given Aug. 6 at the Corning Museum of Glass. The inaugural award was given last year to NASCAR and IndyCar team owner Chip Ganassi. Long removed from his era as one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history, the 77-year-old Petty still serves as an ambassador, corporate pitchman and team owner in NASCAR. Argetsinger started the road-racing tradition at nearby Watkins Glen in 1948. A native of Youngstown, Ohio, he brought full international races to the Finger Lakes village a decade later and in 1961 helped lure Formula One to race at Watkins Glen International, a run that lasted two decades.(Associated Press)(6-4-2015)
Four teams penalized with loss of practice time at Talladega: #4-Kevin Harvick's team is one of four NASCAR Sprint Cup teams that will lose 15 minutes of practice time this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR announced. Harvick's team, along with #83-Matt DiBenedetto's team will be docked 15 minutes of practice time at Talladega after being late for pre-race inspection last weekend at Richmond. #43-Aric Almirola's team also will lose 15 minutes of practice at Talladega after being late for qualifying inspection at Richmond. #7-Alex Bowman's team failed qualifying inspection more than three times at Richmond. The Tommy Baldwin Racing team received a written warning and will be docked 15 minutes of practice time at Talladega. NASCAR's rule book states that if a team receives two warnings during two consecutive events, it may result in one or more of the following P1 penalties - last choice in selecting pits, reduced practice time, reduced time for qualifying, delay in order of inspection and/or be selected for post-race inspection, among other things. NASCAR also announced that the teams of #98-Josh Wise and #32-Joey Gase (Bobby Labonte will drive the #32 at Talladega) each failed qualifying inspection twice at Richmond and received written warnings.(NBC Sports)(5-1-2015)
Fresh From Florida Returns to #43 Ford at Talladega: After falling just outside the Top-10 in points, Aric Almirola and the #43 Ford team hope to dodge trouble and score a good finish at Talladega Superspeedway to propel them back into the Top-10. The Florida Department of Agriculture's Fresh From Florida campaign will return to the #43 car this weekend. The campaign adorned the hood of the #43 earlier this year at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(RPM), see image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(5-1-2015)
Ford selling Richard Petty limited-edition Mustang: When Ford launches a new Mustang, expect it to take over the SEMA show. Last year's edition of the aftermarket bacchanal in Vegas was rife with varying takes on Ford's latest iteration of its venerable pony car, not the least of which was a certain GT built by Petty's Garage. Buoyed by popular opinion, Ford teamed up with the King's operation and decided to churn out a limited series of the cars, available for order at your local Ford dealer on a first-come, first-serve basis. Limited to a total of 143 cars for 2015-100 Stage 1 examples and 43 Stage 2 cars-the Petty's Garage Mustang GTs churn out 627 horsepower courtesy of a Ford Racing/Roush blower bolted to the Coyote V-8. That, if you're counting, is within loogie-hocking distance of the recent 662-horse Shelby GT500. A center-exit exhaust system from Magnaflow takes care of noxious evacuation, while up front, a custom fascia suggests to the world that you roll with NASCAR royalty. Inside, you get Richard Petty's John Hancock on the dash, custom floor mats, and embroidered headrests. Twenty-inch HRE wheels shod with Continental tires round out the package. The run of 100 is available in any Mustang color. The Stage 2 builds on the Stage 1 cars with big Wilwood stoppers under three-piece HRE wheels. Stage 2s are also finished with a custom two-tone paint job; it features pearlized Ford Tuxedo Black over Petty Blue blended with crushed and tumbled glass. King Richard's omnipresent #43 is ghosted onto the hood and C-pillar. Example number one was purchased by a singing Englishman who joined a little Australian rock 'n' roll band 35 years ago and cut a few records. Yep, noted hat-wearer and car nut Brian Johnson of AC/DC has already splashed out for the first Stage 2 car, leaving a mere 42 up for grabs. The price? $62,210 for the Stage 1, roughly in line with the old GT500. If, however, you can't live without the three-piece wheels and fancy paint, be prepared to lay down $30,000 more.(Car and Driver)(4-15-2015)
Military family receives year of groceries from Eckrich: On the set of "Good Morning Texas," Army Sergeant Robert Morgan and his wife Ashley were honored by Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and delimeats, after being surprised with a special invitation to be VIP guests of theirs and the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports race team during this Saturday's race in Ft. Worth. The offer from Eckrich to join the team came with official team crew shirts and hats for the Morgan family. But, there was more. Eckrich then presented the family with a gift of free groceries for one year at Kroger. The groceries will help the Morgans who are parents of two young children. Eckrich, a brand of Smithfield Foods, will host Sergeant Morgan and his wife Saturday at the race track with an insider look at the No. 43 Eckrich race team. The family will join the team on the starting grid before the race and split their time during the race between the team's pit box and a luxury suite. Sergeant Morgan is currently active duty and serving in Dallas. He has been enlisted in the Army since 2007 and has been deployed to Iraq to serve our country. The race experience and gift of free groceries is part of Eckrich's ongoing partnership with Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors.(Breaking Limits)(4-11-2015)
Governor McCrory Proclaims March 31 "Richard Petty Day": Governor Pat McCrory celebrated a living legend today at the Executive Mansion, proclaiming March 31, 2015 "Richard Petty Day" in North Carolina. "It's an honor to have 'The King' of NASCAR here today to celebrate what Richard has accomplished for motorsports in our state," said Governor McCrory. "Richard retired in 1992 with the impressive record as the most decorated driver in NASCAR history. Not only that, but off the track he and his family have made great contributions to our state. One such contribution is Victory Junction, a camp which has brought joy to thousands of families of children with serious illnesses and medical conditions."
Petty was born July 2, 1937, in the Level Cross community of Randolph County. After watching his father on the race track, he joined NASCAR and in 1959 was named NASCAR Rookie of the Year. Upon retirement, he had earned a record 200 career victories and 7 NASCAR Cup championships. Governor McCrory visited Victory Junction in July of 2013 in Randleman. The camp is in memory of Adam Petty who died in a crash at the New Hampshire International Speedway while practicing for a race in May 2000. The North Carolina General Assembly also celebrated Petty today with a resolution in his honor.
"It's an honor to be recognized by the State where we've always called home," said Petty. "It makes you feel good to be honored by the people who serve your city, county and state. Our entire family has grown up and lived here all our lives and we always tried to give back to our community. I'm proud and humbled by today." Petty was joined by his daughters Rebecca and Sharon and son Kyle in Raleigh today. Both the State Senate and House of Representatives also paid salute to the late Lynda and Adam Petty for their contributions to North Carolina.(Breaking Limits for Richard Petty Motorsports)(3-31-2015)
Military Family Honored by Eckrich, Smith's and Aric Almirola: Thanks to Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, Retired Army Specialist Blaine Sullivan and his family were honored by NASCAR driver Aric Almirola Saturday before the race at Las Vegas. Sullivan and his family were greeted at the race track by the Richard Petty Motorsports team and escorted to the garage area to meet the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner. Almirola then surprised the family with a Smith's gift card for $1,000 towards the purchase of groceries, courtesy of Eckrich. The family will also have the opportunity to watch as Almirola races on Sunday afternoon. Eckrich, a sponsor of the famed #43, has previously partnered with Almirola for similar events to honor, thank and support military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Sullivan and his wife have received support through Operation Homefront's Hearts of Valor program, which provides support for our Nation's post 9/11 wounded, ill and injured warriors. Almirola, who was born on Eglin Air Force base in Florida, knows the importance of giving back to military families.
"I'm proud to work with Eckrich to honor our military families," said Almirola. "I have two children of my own and I can't imagine how hard it is for our military families. This is a great way for Eckrich to assist them and I'm glad that I can do my part to help." Eckrich, in its fourth year of partnership with Operation Homefront, has already donated more than $750,000 to the charity since 2012. Eckrich is again donating up to $250,000 this year through the contribution of five cents from each purchase of specially marked products from May 1 through July 4. "Like Eckrich, Smith's and Aric Almirola are great supporters of our military families," said Chuck Gitkin, vice president, marketing, innovation and R&D for John Morrell Food Group. "We are proud and honored to be able to show our appreciation with a once in a lifetime NASCAR experience and $1,000 in free groceries at Smith's."(Breaking Limits for Richard Petty Motorsports)(3-8-2015)
AC/DC's lead singer buys Mustang from Petty's Garage: AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson has bought his first Mustang GT from Richard Petty's Garage, based in Randleman, NC "This Mustang has just taken my breath away," said Johnson, according to Ford. "It really is one of the best cars I've ever driven. I didn't have an American car, but I do now!" Ford is teaming with Petty's Garage to create a new 627-hp Mustang GT, according to Auto World News. Two versions will reportedly be built this year. The car that Johnson bought comes in at $92,210. Orders for the limited edition Mustang can be placed at any Ford dealership.(MyFox8)(2-26-2015)
Fresh From Florida debuts at Atlanta on the #43: In the off-season, Richard Petty Motorsports took on the responsibility to hang their own bodies. This weekend, the #43 Fresh From Florida team will bring a brand new body to their first intermediate race of the season. The team is eager to use this race as a benchmark for their new body program. Aric Almirola and team will have the opportunity to test out the car on Thursday during a test session at Atlanta Motor Speedway before the regular race weekend begins on Friday. This weekend, the Fresh From Florida campaign will makes its 2015 debut on the famed #43. The campaign, led by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, is focused on building awareness and sales of fresh seafood, produce and other Florida products.(RPM), see an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(2-24-2015)
RPM makes changes to strengthen pit crews: In racing if you're not moving forward you might be moving backwards. That's not the case for Richard Petty Motorsports. During the off season RPM has made multiple changes to their #9 and #43 pit crews and also added a new coach. All the changes are definitely in a positive direction. The first major move of the off season was getting long time pit coach Gary Smith in place. Smith comes over from BK Racing last year and has decades of experience on pit road. Coach Andrew Carter of RPM left mid season last year to pursue a career outside of racing.
#9 Team - Aaron Powell and Joel Coronel will be anchoring down the front as changer and carrier. Those two guys were on the team last year. Jacking the car this year will be Gabe Martin. Gabe was on the #10 last year and will be taking over in place of Kevin Wing who left to become a Gas Man at RFR. In the rear will be Changer Colin Fambrough and Carrier Donnie Marvel. Donnie is hurt at the moment so carrier Josh Chaney will be filling in until Marvel is back healthy. Fambrough was at Penske for the last 3 years before ending up at RPM. Gassing the car will be a new addition as well. Gas Man Ben Runge will be taking over for Ryan Dextraze. Runge is coming over from #13 team where he gassed last year.
#43 Team - Holding down the fronts on the #43 is long time RPM Changer Greg Donlin and Front Carrier Lance Hanna. Jacking this year will be T.J. Ford. Ford takes over the position from Mike Brown. Ford was previously on the #48 for a couple years before coming over to RPM. On the rear will be long time super star Kyle Power and carrier James Houk. Both guys were at RPM last year as well. Gassing will be Justin Riesman. Riesman is coming over from the RFR and will be taking over for Joe "Hoss" Karazinski.(Pit Talks)(2-9-2015)
U.S. Air Force Returns to Iconic #43 for the 2015 Season: Following a breakout year by the #43 team, including a historic win in the Coke Zero 400, the U.S. Air Force will once again join Richard Petty Motorsports and the iconic #43 Ford team as a primary partner. Using the sponsorship as a vehicle to connect with America's best young adults, this will be the seventh consecutive season the Air Force logo will be on the #43. Aric Almirola will once again pilot the #43 Air Force Racing Ford for the two most patriotic race weekends of the year: Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Fourth of July weekend race at Daytona International Speedway. In addition, Almirola will continue to support at-track swear-ins for the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) and entertain active duty military guests.
Also, the U.S. Air Force will remain an associate partner on the historic #43 for the entirety of the 2015 season. The U.S. Air Force will continue their experiential marketing at NASCAR races, bringing the #43 U.S. Air Force Ford show car and "Hangar 43" interactive display to environments where recruiters can connect with young adults. It will also 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 No. 43 Air Force Ford to victory at his home track, Daytona International Speedway, on the 30th anniversary of "The King" Richard Petty's 200th win.
"Working with the Air Force for the past three years has been really rewarding," said Almirola. "With my dad serving in the Air Force, I understand the sacrifice the men and women make to keep our country safe. It was great to be able to celebrate my first Sprint Cup win with the Air Force, and I'm so glad they will be back as we defend our win in the Coke Zero 400. To be a part of the DEP swear-ins on race weekends is such an honor. To look into those faces and know how important the promise the young men and women are making and see their bright future never gets old. Walking around 'Hangar 43' reinforces the parallels of technology in NASCAR and in the Air Force. It's cool to see fans walk through and make that connection."
This season marks the Air Force's 15th season in NASCAR and seventh consecutive with Richard Petty Motorsports. "The Air Force is excited to partner with Richard Petty Motorsports again in 2015, for the seventh consecutive season," said Col. Robert Trayers, Air Force Recruiting Service Operations Division chief. "NASCAR is a great venue for inspiring and building awareness about who we are as a service and what we believe. Additionally, 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."(Breaking Limits for Richard Petty Motorsports)(1-28-2015)
R-M Named Official Automotive Refinish Paint of Richard Petty Motorsports: There is only one color that has defined the Petty brand over the past 65 years, Petty Blue, And, for the last 25 years the Petty family has relied on R-M Automotive Finishes, a brand of BASF to bring that color to life. In 2015, R-M will continue that tradition on the #43 and also provide the colorful finishes to the #9 Ford and the #43 XFINITY team for Richard Petty Motorsports. R-M Onyx HD will also be the automotive finish for all custom cars prepared at Petty's Garage. R-M is known as the paint brand in the automotive finish industry that is customer driven and committed to providing excellent results that promote high productivity and enhanced environmental awareness. Richard Petty Motorsports recently moved into a new race shop that houses two paint booths while Petty's Garage also has an additional two booths. The need for a superior automotive finish at both locations is always an extremely high priority.(Breaking Limits for RPM)(1-28-2015)
Lynda Petty Named Spirit Award Winner: Lynda Petty, the wife of seven-time NASCAR premier series champion Richard Petty, has been named the recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association's annual Spirit Award for 2014. Petty, who passed away March 30, 2014, was one of the founding members of the Racing Wives Auxiliary, a charitable organization that provided assistance to those in need within the racing community. Today the group, now known as the Women's Auxiliary of Motorsports, seeks to enrich the lives of women, children and families through various education and wellness programs. In addition to raising and caring for a family of four, Petty also was active in numerous community and civic endeavors. The NMPA Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, the NMPA membership selects four quarterly recipients, with an overall winner chosen from among the four candidates at season's end. Petty was the first quarter recipient of the award for 2014. Other recognized for their efforts were driver Martin Truex Jr. (second quarter), long-time car owner W.C. "Junie" Donlavey (third quarter) and brothers Darrell and Michael Waltrip (fourth quarter).(Motor Racing Network)(1-26-2015)
NASCAR spotters at the Rolex 24: NASCAR is NASCAR and sports cars are sports cars - and never the two shall meet, right? But at the upcoming Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway [January 24-25], that demarcation line is getting more blurry than ever. Two of the best spotters in NASCAR will be lending their eyes and (hopefully) calming voices on the team radio in this year's Rolex 24. Tim Fedewa, himself a former NASCAR driver and primary spotter for reigning 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion #4-Kevin Harvick, will give this sports car thing a whirl for a second time, having also done so in last year's Rolex. Also, Tyler Green, who has served as #43-Aric Almirola's spotter the last five years - including for Almirola's first career Cup win last summer in the Coke Zero 400 at DIS - will also be for a second straight year at the Rolex. Both Fedewa and Green will be part of a team for Mazda drivers, that also includes Mazda primary spotter Chris Long (who works full-time with Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team), as well as Daniel Tremblay, son of Mazda SpeedSource team owner and driver, Sylvain Tremblay.
Spotters work four-hour shifts during the race. "We will do four hours on, and four off," Green said. "We're used to long days on the spotter stand at NASCAR races, but this is like doing three 500-mile Cup races in one day."
Spotters must be like postal carriers in the 24, in a sense. Neither gloom, nor dark, nor storms, nor chills will keep them from their appointed rounds in keeping their respective drivers safe and out of trouble. "It's pretty straightforward in the daytime," Fedewa said. "But, it's not lit up like a NASCAR race when it's dark. So, you have to focus that much more."(NBC Sports)(1-19-2015)
Richard Petty Motorsports forms partnership with northAmerican Van Lines: northAmerican Van Lines has been named the "Official Moving Partner for Richard Petty Motorsports" for the 2015 and 2016 race seasons. northAmerican has been helping people move since 1933 and they'll add "The King" Richard Petty to their list of clientele. Richard Petty Motorsports has partnered with the moving company to assist with their relocation to their new racing facility in Mooresville, N.C. from a facility in Concord, N.C. As part of the partnership, northAmerican will be an associate sponsor on the team's Xfinity Series program. The sponsorship platform allows the company to showcase their commercial and residential moving services throughout key markets on the NASCAR circuit. The moving services company will also provide behind-the-scenes exclusives centered on moving The King and his race shop.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(1-8-2015)
Jack Men changes so far in 2015 season: There are a lot of teams making moves in the off season and the Jack Man position seems to be one that is getting a lot of attention. Below is a list of changes for 2015 with more to come.
#5 of HMS replaces Jack Man Trey Burklin with long time HMS Jack Man Eric Ludwig
#9 of RPM replaces Kevin Wing with Gabe Martin from the #10 team
#10 of SHR-We are not sure about this but we heard Tony Cardamone will be replacing Gabe Martin who is now at the #9
#18 of JGR replacing retired Jeff Fender with David Odell from the #78
#19 of JGR has hired Trey Burklin from the #5
#27 of RCR replacing Carey Wimbish with Sam Abney
#42 of GR is replacing long time Jack Man Mark Jacobs with Mark Janssen
#43 of RPM is replacing Mike Brown with T.J. Ford from the #48
#78 of Furniture Row is replacing David Odell-who left for the #18- with Carey Wimbish from the #27.(Pit Talks)(1-6-2015)
2014 Races  that Smithfield Foods is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Daytona - 2/23, Smithfield
Phoenix - 3/2, Farmland
Las Vegas - 3/9, Farmland
Bristol - 3/16, Farmland
Auto Club - 3/23, Farmland
Texas - 4/6, Eckrich
Talladega - 5/4, Gwaltney Foods / Logan's Roadhouse
Kansas - 5/10, Farmland
Charlotte, Sprint Showdown - 5/17, Smithfield
Dover - 6/1, Smithfield
Pocono - 6/8, Nathan Famous
Michigan - 6/15, Smithfield
Sonoma - 6/22, Nathan Famous
Kentucky - 6/28, Eckrich
Indianapolis - 7/27, Eckrich
Watkins Glen - 8/10, Smithfield
Michigan - 8/17, Eckrich - Operation Homefront
Atlanta - 8/31, Eckrich / NoKidHungry.org
Richmond - 9/6, Gwaltney
Chicago - 9/14, Eckrich
New Hampshire - 9/21, Smithfield
Dover - 9/28, Nathan's Famouns
Kansas - 10/5, Farmland
Charlotte - 10/11, Smithfield / Waffle House
Talladega - 10/19, Smithfield
Martinsville - 10/26, Smithfield
Texas - 11/2, Farmland
Phoenix - 11/9, Farmland - fan chosen scheme, Folds of Honor Foundation
Homestead - 11/16, Smithfield
2014 Races  that STP is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Martinsville - 3/30
Bristol - 8/23
2014 Races  that the U.S. Air Force is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Charlotte - 5/25
Daytona - 7/5
2014 Races  that GoBowling.com is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Pocono - 8/3
2014 Races  that Fresh From Florida is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Darlington - 4/12
2014 Races  that Charter is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
New Hampshire - 7/13
Richard Petty Honored at Autosport Awards in London: Richard "The King" Petty has an impressive new jewel in his crown. Sunday, Petty, NASCAR's most decorated driver with 200 wins and seven championships, received Autosport Magazine's Gregor Grant Award, a lifetime achievement presentation named after the publication's founding editor. The honor was bestowed on the 77-year-old racing legend in London during the annual Autosport Awards. Petty was in attendance at the ceremony to accept the award, which has previously been given to racing icons such as Mario Andretti, Dale Earnhardt Sr., Sir Jackie Stewart and Sir Stirling Moss. The Gregor Grant Award has been presented as part of the annual awards since 1989. Grant founded Autosport in 1950 and served as the weekly motorsport magazine's editor until 1968. Each year, Autosport chooses a member of the motorsport community to be honored in Grant's name for his or her lifetime contributions to the sport of auto racing. "This is a pretty big deal," Petty said after receiving the award. "This puts me in the company of some the best drivers in the world, and I'm proud to be included with them. I'm thankful to Autosport for recognizing us and inviting me to London for their Awards show."(Autosport Magazine PR)(12-9-2014)
Richard and Kyle Petty named Persons Of The Year: Weave your way through Randleman, North Carolina, past its verdant pastures and timeworn gas stations, and you'll happen upon a magical place. About four miles outside town, a stone's throw from Richard Petty's residence, you'll find Victory Junction. But it might as well be at the intersection of healing and hope. The 80-acre camp, situated on land that Petty roamed as a child before donating it a dozen years ago, celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. Since it opened in 2004, Victory Junction has enriched the lives of children with serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences at no cost to them or their families. It has also honored the memory of Adam Petty in a most fitting way. Due to that incredible achievement, NASCAR Illustrated is naming Richard and Kyle Petty the 2014 Persons Of The Year. Although they would surely prefer the award go to the thousands of people who have helped turn Adam's idea into reality, we honor these two for their tireless efforts and singular contribution to children. Victory Junction has welcomed more than 20,000 children and family members from all 50 states and several foreign countries in its first decade of operation. It has succeeded in its mission to create a place that fosters independence, confidence and continuous growth after camp to better the quality of life for children. Adam's legacy is palpable on these healing grounds. The patriarch of the Petty family noted that he'd been blessed with four children, 12 grandchildren and three great grandchildren. His singular success in stock car racing afforded fame, fortune and worldwide acclaim. And yet, at 77, you get the suspicion that what's been built in the rolling hills of Randleman will mean more to him in the end. "This is the place that I come and I look around and say, 'Thank you, good Lord, for letting me be in this position to try to help all these other kids,' " he said. "To me, that's basically what it's all about." For Kyle Petty, the loss of his son served as prelude to healing on a grander scale than any of the family members could have imagined. He was asked what Adam would think, how he might feel, about the number of lives that have been so positively impacted by Victory Junction since it opened. "It's been like dropping not a pebble in still water, it's been like dropping a boulder in still water with the ripple effect and how it continues to just overwhelm you," he said. "I think from that perspective, he would be like us. He would just be humbled by the fact that the boulder that was dropped in the water was him, but when you look at it, the ripple effect still continues this much later."(NASCAR.com), see more about the camp on the Victory Junction Gang Camp page..(12-1-2014)
"Fresh From Florida" extends sponsorship of Almirola: The marketing arm of Richard Petty Motorsports announced the extension of their relationship with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. RPM will continue to develop and execute a fully-integrated motorsports marketing campaign in 2015 for "Fresh From Florida," a marketing, advertising and promotional campaign focused on building awareness and sales of fresh seafood, produce and other Florida products. The "Fresh From Florida" campaign includes various marketing elements centered around motorsports including race promotion, team sponsorship, track sponsorship, marketing services, public relations, experiential marketing and retail partnerships along with traditional and digital media. The platform will be executed across the state of Florida and throughout the Southeast at motorsports events including NASCAR, IMSA and events at iconic motorsports venues. In 2015, "Fresh From Florida" will again partner with RPM and Tampa area native Aric Almirola as the primary brand ambassador via events in two NASCAR series. "Fresh From Florida" will be featured on the famed #43 Sprint Cup car at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March and Talladega Superspeedway in May and have associate placement at Martinsville Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Darlington Raceway. They will also support Almirola in both NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Daytona International Speedway. RPM will place media assets and procure at-track relationships at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Sebring International Raceway with the presenting sponsorship of the Mobil1 12 Hours of Sebring. In addition, RPM will build strategic activation programs throughout the Southeastern United States in partnership with key Fresh From Florida retail partners.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(11-24-2014)
Almirola nominated for Premios Univision Deportes Award: Univision Deportes, the sport division of Univision Communications Inc., the leading media company serving Hispanic America, announced that Cuban American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver #43-Aric Almirola is nominated for the Best Car Racing Performance Award in the inaugural Premios Univision Deportes awards. The two-hour show is the ultimate sports award show for U.S. Hispanics honoring top athletes and teams from the leagues and sports that Hispanics care about most. Nomination is based on athletic performance and accomplishments in 2014. Almirola became the first Cuban American driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race when he captured his first win in the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway in July. The win secured him a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR's official playoffs, another first for a Cuban American driver in the sport. Premios Univision Deportes will air on UniMás on Thursday, December 18th at 9:00pm/et with a simulcast on UDN (Univision Deportes Network).(RPM)(11-22-2014)
Special fans scheme to run on the #43 at Phoenix: Aric Almirola and the #43 Farmland Ford team hope to rebound from Texas with a Top-10 finish at Phoenix International Raceway this Sunday. The team raced in the Top-15 for the majority of the race this spring and hope that their strong short track performances this season will translate to a good finish this weekend. Almirola has seven Sprint Cup Series starts at the one-mile track and scored four Top-16 finishes including his best finish of 12th. He tallied one pole, two Top-Fives and four Top-10 finishes in nine starts in Nationwide and Truck Series races. Farmland Foods has partnered with the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides support to families of fallen or disabled armed forces members, throughout the 2014 NASCAR season to support our county's armed forces. As a result of the partnership, Farmland Foods is now donating $100,000 to Folds of Honor, which will provide scholarships to families of fallen or disabled armed forces members. Farmland Foods will highlight the partnership with Folds of Honor as part of a customized paint scheme on the #43 car at this Sunday's race. The paint scheme was chosen by fans through a vote on Farmland Food's Facebook page (RPM), see an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(11-5-2014)
Richard Petty Motorsports needs to find new location UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports is in the process of finding a new home for next season after the facility it currently uses in Concord, N.C., has been sold, a team spokesman confirmed. RPM, which fields two fulltime Sprint Cup Series teams [#s 9 & 43], is currently housed on Zephyr Place NW near the Concord Regional Airport. The organization moved to its current location from Statesville, N.C., in 2010. The organization is in the process of looking at several different facilities, team officials confirmed.(Charlotte Observer)(10-18-2014)
UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports announced their race operations will move from their current location in Concord, N.C. to Mooresville, N.C. at the end of the 2014 NASCAR race season. RPM's new address will be 112 Byers Creek Road located inside Talbert Pointe in Mooresville. This location was the home for Richard Petty's race teams from 2007 to 2008. The return to the former location is an expansion of space from the current race shop, allowing for growth in the race operation and further opportunities to increase performance capabilities. One immediate performance capability, the new shop will allow for RPM to hang bodies onto the chassis. The team will also have additional space for engineering and simulation. The new site will be the home of RPM's two NASCAR Sprint Cup race teams and Nationwide Series team.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(10-19-2014)
Broken exhaust valve put Almirola out at Chicago: In three seasons with Richard Petty Motorsports, Aric Almirola had never exited a race because of an engine failure-until last week at Chicagoland. The blown engine couldn't have come at a worse time. Almirola was running sixth, 30 laps away from making a statement in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Instead, he finished 41st and plummeted from potential Chase surprise to the longest of long shots to survive to first elimination round. The culprit? A broken exhaust valve. "It was the same thing that happened to the #22 (Joey Logano) at Kentucky and the same thing that happened to the 9 car (Marcos Ambrose) at Atlanta," Almirola told the NASCAR Wire Service. "They've had a couple issues already this year, and they thought they had it fixed. They changed the way the valves were designed and thought that it wasn't going be an issue any more, and I guess it was again."(NASCAR Wire Service)(9-20-2014)
Petty committed to two cars in 2015 At the start of 2014, Richard Petty Motorsports announced a three-year extension and investment increase by Smithfield Foods on the #43 Ford team. The previous year RPM welcomed new partners Strike 10 Entertainment and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to join Smithfield Foods, U.S. Air Force and longtime partner STP. The result was the RPM #43 team winning for the first time since 1999 and sending Aric Almirola into The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Today, the organization with a championship history, winning present and proven marketing programs, announced it will use the same aggressive business and growth model to support the #9 Ford team in 2015 and beyond in a series of announcements. RPM will continue to be a two-car NASCAR Sprint Cup organization and will compete weekly with the #9 and #43 teams. The organization will also return current manufacturer partner Ford Racing and subsequently will continue its services contract with Roush Fenway Racing and Roush Yates Engines to supply new Ford Fusion chassis and Ford horsepower for both teams. Twisted Tea Brewing Company will continue their primary sponsorship of the #9 team in 2015 as the RPM marketing and new business team continues various discussions with several companies.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(9-17-2014)
Almirola comments on blown engine:
CAN YOU PUT INTO WORDS YOUR FEELINGS RIGHT NOW? "No, I can't. Heartbroken I think is the easiest way to describe it. I am really proud of my guys. We have nothing to hang our heads about. They brought me an awesome race car. We drove from 23rd up to the top-10, running sixth with just over 30 to go and it just wasn't meant to be. We will regroup and go to Loudon and Dover and try to be spectacular.'
WHAT HAPPENED? "I think the motor just let go. My hat goes off to Trent Owens and all the guys on the Eckrich team. Our Fusion was really fast and it just wasn't meant to be today. The motor let go. Doug Yates builds awesome horsepower for us every week and we rarely have any engine issues at all. It happened but we had a lot of horsepower while it lasted."
YOU WERE RUNNING REALLY WELL. "We were and I knew this team was capable of that. We were coming off top-10s at Richmond and Atlanta and had momentum on our side. We know what we are capable of. We know we are capable of running in the top-10. Everyone else might not think so, the rest of the world thinks we are underdogs and we will gladly accept that tag but what we've shown today and the last two weeks is exactly what we are capable of. We don't have anything to hang our heads about. We will go to Loudon with our heads held high and try to rebound from this."
HOW DOES YOUR APPROACH CHANGE NOW? "We have to win. That is it. There is no other option. We have to go and figure out how we can win one of the next two races."(Ford Racing)(9-15-2014)
Eckrich to honor military families at Chicago: Founded in 1894, Eckrich will celebrate its 120th anniversary this weekend in line with the promise on which the brand was built; quality and service. Over the past 120 years, Eckrich has grown as a leader in its industry on the promise of providing quality meat products and giving back to its communities. Eckrich will honor that promise this weekend as it honors and gives back to 120 of America's military families. Eckrich will showcase the names of the 120 military families on the #43 Eckrich car which will compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race this weekend at the Chicagoland Speedway. Eckrich will also host the families at the event and provide each family with a $120 gift card at Jewel-Osco. The car design, race day experience and gift cards align with the deep history of the company to give back to consumers and pay tribute to those who trust the brand. This gratitude towards our military families is part of the continued Eckrich "Operation Inspiration" campaign, which supports and honors military families. Eckrich is in its third year of partnership with Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit which provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors.Eckrich has already raised more than $750,000 in donations for the nonprofit organization.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(9-11-2014)
Almirola gets new pit crew members: Richard Petty Motorsports altered its pit crew line up for the #43 team and Aric Almirola prior to the Chase for the Sprint Cup kickoff this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. Kyle Power replaces Josh Francos as the new rear tire changer. Kevin Wing, who was the jackman for the #9 Ford and Marcos Ambrose, moves to the #43 Ford. Wing takes over for Kevin Kramzer, who was backing up Mike Brown after he injured his foot at Mid-Ohio last month. Francos and Kramzer have been assigned to the #9 team. This marks Almirola's first entry into the Chase. He qualified for one of the 16 seeds with his victory at Daytona in July - his first career Sprint Cup win. Almirola enters the Chase 12th in the standings.(Motorsport)(9-10-2014)
No Kid Hungry featured on #43 RPM Ford at Atlanta: The John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, and Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc. are teaming up to support Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign, a national initiative to end childhood hunger in America. JMFG and Arby's commitment to the cause will be highlighted on the national stage this Labor Day weekend. The two companies will feature the No Kid Hungry logo on the famed #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford driven by Aric Almirola in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The partnership combines the passions and efforts of both companies to end childhood hunger. Arby's is the largest restaurant chain to partner with No Kid Hungry and supports the partnership through the Arby's Foundation by: raising awareness; funding long-term programs and sustainable solutions that impact childhood hunger; providing wholesome kids meal options in its restaurants; and creating volunteer opportunities for its employees and franchisees. Since 2011, the Arby's Foundation has raised $11 million for No Kid Hungry, helping to bring an additional 107 million meals to kids who need them.
From August 18 - September 28, 2014, Arby's is launching its annual in-store fundraiser to support the Arby's Foundation at its participating stores nationwide. The "Give a $1 today, get $2 back" promotion encourages guests at participating Arby's restaurants to donate a dollar towards ending childhood hunger in America in partnership with No Kid Hungry. Guests immediately receive a coupon for two dollars off any future regular-sized combo meal or full-priced sandwich. It will be supported with window clings, counter card signage at registers and table tents. For more information on No Kid Hungry, or to make a donation, please visit your local Arby's restaurant or NoKidHungry.org.(RPM/JMFG)(8-31-2014)
Eckrich and Richard Petty Surprise Navy Petty Officer and Family: With help from Eckrich, an American icon recognized an American hero today in Atlanta. NASCAR Hall of Famer "The King" Richard Petty surprised Navy Counselor 2nd Class (AW) Peter Theodoracopoulos and his family with the opportunity to be honorary crew members of his No. 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup race team this weekend at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Petty gave the Theodoracopoulos family authentic Eckrich crew shirts and even asked Peter to practice his skills changing a tire. Although Theodoracopoulos may not actually change the tires during the race, he will have the opportunity to help the pit crew as they prepare the car for Sunday's race. Along with waving the green flag to start the final round of Sprint Cup qualifying Friday night, Theodoracopoulos will get a ride in the pace car around one of the fastest tracks in NASCAR and then spend the afternoon with the team before watching the race from the pits of the No. 43 team. Petty also presented the family with a gift card for one-year of FREE groceries at Kroger, on behalf of Eckrich. The surprise and weekend crew member experience is courtesy of Eckrich, sponsor of Richard Petty Motorsports and supporter of Operation Homefront, through its "Operation Inspiration" campaign, which supports and honors military families. Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc., has given back to military families all summer with the help of Richard Petty and Richard Petty Motorsports.(RPM)(8-30-2014)
Eckrich returns to sponsor #43 at AMS: Eckrich will return to the hood of the "Petty Blue" #43 Ford this weekend for the fourth time this season. At each primary race, Eckrich teams up with Richard Petty Motorsports to give back to Operation Homefront through "Operation Inspiration." Eckrich is in its third year of partnership with Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit which provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors.Eckrich has already raised more than $750,000 in donations for the charity. They will also team up with Arby's to bring awareness for Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign.(RPM), see images of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(8-28-2014)
Petty Receives Legion 'Good Guy' Award: Praised for his patriotism and his service to the community, NASCAR Hall of Famer "The King" Richard Petty was presented The American Legion's James V. Day "Good Guy" Award during the organization's 96th annual national convention on August 25th. "Richard Petty is so much more than just a former race driver and now current team owner," American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger said during an award luncheon held in Petty's honor at theWestin Charlotte by The American Legion Past Department (state) Commander's Club. "He is a great American, who is always giving back to the community. By donating his land, and more importantly, his time, to Victory Junction, Richard has helped chronically ill children receive life-changing camping experiences. He and his son Kyle have helped educate young people about the safe use of automobile lifts, and he has donated time to Civitan International. Richard Petty Motorsports has also supported paralyzed veterans. The NASCAR culture is often praised for its patriotism. Well, it's no coincidence that Richard Petty is The King of NASCAR."
"It's an honor to be recognized by the American Legion,"Petty said. "I've also felt it was important to do my best to give back to the community and to those in need. It's just something small we do to help out and hopefully make people's lives better or make them feel good. It's humbling to be rewarded for it." The James V. Day Good Guy Award is named after a World War II veteran and prominent Legionnaire. Recent recipients include former boxing great George Foreman, performer Dolly Parton, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and former NBA star David Robinson.(Petty Family Foundation)(8-27-2014)
STP returns to the #43 at Bristol: STP returns to the #43 Ford of Aric Almirola this weekend with the iconic paint scheme made famous by "The King" Richard Petty. In addition, STP will join the #43 in celebrating that the team is #ChaseBound. The team locked into The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and will bring STP to The Chase for the first time. Almirola has 10 Sprint Cup Series starts at the half-mile, concrete track and 18 NASCAR starts. He tallied three Top-Fives and seven Top-10s in all 18 starts (RPM), see images of the STP scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(8-20-2014)
Military Veteran designs Almirola's #43: Marine Staff Sergeant Daniel Wright was willing to do something for others and never expected any recognition in return. After being told that he was designing a scheme for a diecast model car to be given to fellow military families aided by Operation Homefront, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Aric Almirola pulled up in a full-size replica #43 Eckrich Ford with the exact colors and logos that Wright created. Almirola jumped out of the car and surprised the Purple Heart recipient by letting him know that he and his family were being honored. He explained that he and his Richard Petty Motorsports team will race his paint scheme this weekend at the Michigan International Speedway. The surprise was courtesy of Eckrich, partner of both Operation Homefront and RPM. Almirola also presented Wright and his family with a VIP weekend at the race track including garage passes, authentic Eckrich crew shirts, hats and the opportunity to meet "The King" Richard Petty. Eckrich, Operation Homefront and Almirola surprised the family at a local Kroger grocery store in Ypsilanti, Mich. Thursday night prior to race weekend. Believing only he would see his scheme on a small diecast model car for the first time, Wright not only saw his design come to life, but was also rewarded with one year of free Eckrich Smoked Sausage. The surprise and gift are all part of the Eckrich "Operation Inspiration" campaign, which supports and honors military families.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(8-15-2014)
GoBowling.com sponsoring Almirola: Heading into the 40th anniversary of the weekend "The King" Richard Petty scored a win in the inaugural NASCAR race at Pocono Raceway, Aric Almirola and the #43 GoBowling.com team look to make history once again. Thirty years to the weekend of Petty's 200th win, Almirola and team scored a big win at Daytona International Speedway earlier this year and nearly locked in a spot in The Chase to the Sprint Cup. And this weekend, they hope to keep up that trend. On August 4, 1974, Petty was the first NASCAR driver to take the checkered flag at the Long Pond, Pa., track and started a long history of racing in the Pocono Mountains. The team also eyes a top finish for sponsor GoBowling.com, the title sponsor of the 400-mile event. For the second consecutive year, GoBowling.com will adorn the hood of the iconic #43 "Petty Blue" Ford, promoting bowling across the country.(RPM), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint scheme page.(7-30-2014)
Allmendinger, RPM to test at Watkins Glen UPDATE: "We tested at Watkins Glen International last year and it really helped and we are looking forward to testing again on Monday and Tuesday (July 28-29)," Allmendinger said. "We tested at Sonoma Raceway and it showed it helped. So, we're doing the same for Watkins Glen. We will run through a plan and have a good baseline. We know the track will not be the same when we go back, but we are looking to find a good balance to make sure when we get there, we have some good ideas to work through practice. It's pretty basic. Testing Watkins Glen is all about getting a good balance and good ideas for the car when we go back in a few weeks."(JTG Daugherty Racing), Richard Petty Motorsports will also be testing at the same time.(7-23-2014)
UPDATE: Six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are scheduled to test at Watkins Glen International on Monday and Tuesday in preparation for the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen. Scheduled to test are #9-Marcos Ambrose, #43-Aric Almirola, #47-AJ Allmendinger, #78-Martin Truex Jr., #3-Austin Dillon and Ty Dillon. Fans can watch for free at the Argetsinger Grandstand, located outside of Turn 2 on the road course. The grandstand is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm.(Elmiria Star Gazette)(7-27-2014)
Richard Petty comments on the Race Team Alliance: Richard Petty doesn't agree with Brian France's comments that the new Race Team Alliance (RTA) is a bad idea. "It's really kind of a bad idea from the standpoint that NASCAR should be doing what we're doing," said Petty, who is part of the nine-owner association. "We belong to an organization...and NASCAR should be making the best deals they can for their organization. We see them do a lot of that, but they're not doing it as much as maybe the new crowd wants." The RTA was formed earlier this month in order to help the teams speak with one voice and possibly find cost savings in areas like travel and insurance. Petty compared Friday it to a farmers' co-op. But France, NASCAR's chairman and CEO, told Sirius XM radio earlier this week he "didn't think (the RTA) was necessary" and said NASCAR preferred to listen to many voices instead of one consensus voice.(USA Today), see past news about the RTA on the Race Team Alliance News page.(7-26-2014)
Almirola wrecks in first Saturday practice: #43-Aric Almirola was involved in single car accident during opening practice session Saturday morning at New Hampshire when the left rear tire went down. Richard Petty Motorsports pulled out the backup car. Almirola was scheduled to start 19th but will go to the rear of the field before the start of the race on Sunday. Ford Racing posted some notes and quotes:
Q) ARE YOU OKAY? THAT WAS A BIG LICK.
Almirola: "Yeah, I am okay. It was a hard hit for sure, but I am good."
Q) WHAT HAPPENED?
Almirola: It was a left rear tire going into the turn."
Q) SAME AS JOEY [#22-Logano] HAD YESTERDAY?
Almirola: "Yeah, I honestly have no idea what is going on. I just don't know. That was our third or fourth run on that same set of tires so I honestly cannot give you and answer. That was probably my fourth lap on the track. It is just weird."
IS IT ANY LESS DISAPPOINTING KNOWING YOU HAVE THAT WIN NOW?
Almirola: "No, it is still disappointing. It is always disappointing when you wreck a race car."(Ford Racing)(7-13-2014)
Almirola finally gets checkered flag: from a Ford Racing transcript: #43-Aric Almirola, who won the Coke Zero 400 race at Daytona international Speedway last Sunday after the race was called due to rain:
Q) SO YOU HAD THE FLAG DELIVERED TO YOU? WHAT IS THE STORY? Almirola: "So obviously I didn't win under green-flag conditions so usually if you do you swing back by and grab the flag from the flag man at the end of the race and so I didn't get to do that and so this morning the flag man, Rodney, brought down to my team guys the checkered flag. When I got in the race car this morning the checkered flag was sitting inside my race car. That was really cool."(Ford Racing)(7-12-2014)
Victory Junction to be celebrated by Sprint Cup Teams at NHMS: In celebration of their 10th year and more than 20,000 campers through their gates, NASCAR teams will display Victory Junction 10 year decals on Sprint Cup Series cars at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire the weekend of July 11, 2014. The North Carolina camp provides life-changing experiences that are exciting, fun and empowering in a safe and medically sound environment. It was the dream of Adam Petty, grandson of Richard Petty and son of Kyle Petty, who passed away in a racing accident at the Loudon track in 2000. Founded in 2004 by the Petty family in honor of Adam Petty, Victory Junction is a year-round camping environment for children ages six to 16 with serious illnesses. The camp operates solely though the support of generous individuals, foundations and corporations to provide every experience at no charge to the children and their families. Victory Junction is a 501(c)(3) organization.(Victory Junction), Jayski.com is proud to have help support the camp and the Jayski Computer Lab at the camp.(7-9-2014)
Richard Petty Motorsports to remain with Ford UPDATE: Andy Murstein, of Medallion Financial Corporation, the primary investor in RPM said, "This organization is clearly on the upswing and they compete and win with class. Now on to the Chase for Aric, and after Marcos wins at Watkins Glen, we will have two cars in the Chase." Murstein confirmed that RPM will remain with Ford beyond this year.(Motorsport)(7-7-2014)
UPDATE: If you have a winning formula, why change it? That was the key reason for Richard Petty Motorsports to remain with Ford beyond 2015. "I think that's a good decision for us right now," said Trent Owens, the winning crew chief from Sunday's Coke Zero 400 on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "Changing manufacturers - from the workload side of things - would be a challenge to say the least. I've enjoyed being with Ford. I've enjoyed working on these race cars and we just really need to perfect what we've got and that will allow us to do that."(Motorsport)(7-8-2014)
Sprint Cup teams form Race Team Alliance UPDATE: A group of nine multi-car teams participating in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) announced today they have formed a collaborative business association called the Race Team Alliance (RTA). The purpose of the organization is to create an open forum for the teams to explore areas of common interest and to work collaboratively on initiatives to help preserve, promote, and grow the sport of stock car racing. The organization intends to open up its membership to all full time NSCS teams in the very near future. In providing a vehicle for the teams to work together, the organization creates for the first time a single entity to engage with stakeholders on creative ways to market and experience the power of the sport's teams and drivers. As part of its focus, the RTA also plans to explore innovative ways to harness the combined purchasing power and scale of the teams' operations to drive efficiencies in costs. Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, has been elected the first chair of the RTA.
"With the encouragement of NASCAR and the manufacturers, the teams have met in various forms and forums over the years to explore areas of common interest. This simply formalizes what was an informal group." said Kauffman. "The key word is 'Collaboration'. We all have vested interests in the success and popularity of stock car racing. By working together and speaking with a single voice, it should be a simpler and smoother process to work with current and potential groups involved with the sport. Whether it be looking for industry-wide travel partners or collaborating on technical issues - the idea is to work together to increase revenue, spend more efficiently, and deliver more value to our partners."
The following teams are the executive members of the RTA: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Hendrick Motor Sports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motor Sports, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske.(RTA)(7-7-2014)
UPDATE: Statement from NASCAR: "We are aware of the alliance concept the team owners have announced, but have very few specifics on its structure or purpose. It is apparently still in development and we're still learning about the details so it would be inappropriate to comment right now. NASCAR's mission, as it has always been, is to create a fair playing field where anyone can come and compete. Our job is to support and strengthen all of the teams, large and small, across all of our series and we'll continue to do that. NASCAR is a unique community with hundreds of stakeholders. They all have a voice and always will."(NASCAR)(7-7-2014)
Career best finishes for drivers at Daytona Four drivers scored a career-best finish in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday:
#43-Aric Almirola's win bested his 3rd place finish at Bristol in April;
#3-Austin Dillon finished 5th. His previous best was 9th at Daytona in February;
#95-Michael McDowell's 7th place finish topped his 9th place finish last year in the Daytona 500;
#23-Alex Bowman finished 13th. His top finish had been 22nd at California in February.
See more stats on active driver wins and drivers without a win on the Active Winners page.(7-7-2014)
Almirola wins rain-shortened race at Daytona: #43-Aric Almirola won the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway. It is his 1st career win and he puts him in position for a Chase spot this season. The race was called after 112 laps after persistent showers prevented NASCAR from drying the track.
It is the 199th win for car #43 and the first since April 1999 when John Andretti won at Martinsville. It is also 30 years since Richard Petty's 200th career win.
#55-Vickers finished 2nd followed by #41-Busch, #13-Mears, #3-Dillon, #11-Hamlin, #95-McDowell, #10-Patrick, #15-Bowyer, and #9-Ambrose.
The race was postponed to Sunday due to rain Saturday evening.
There was a 25 minute red flag on lap 10 for rain.
The first "big one" happened on lap 20 when #17-Stenhouse, Jr. got lose near the front of the field, Gordon checked up and got into Stewart, who then hit Stenhouse, Jr. and spun him into traffic, collecting 16 cars.
The "bigger one" was on lap 98. #16-Biffle appeared to get into the back of #5-Kahne, who hooked #22-Logano. They spun into traffic. A total of 26 cars were involved in the accident. Only 13 cars running on the lead lap were not involved. There was a 5 minute red flag while the track was cleared.
Pole winnerr #38-Gilliland was caught in the wreck on lap 98. He finished 35th.
#24-Gordon (1 win) keeps the points lead after finishing 12th and extends his points lead over to 27 points. #88-Earnhardt, Jr is now in 2nd.
#48-Johnson leads the Chase Grid with three wins, 3rd in points. #88-Earnhardt Jr. is second with 2 wins, 2nd in points then #2-Keselowski 2 & 4th, #22-Logano 2 & 6th, #99-Edwards 2 & 7th, and #4-Harvick 2 and 11th.
There were 21 lead changes among 14 drivers. There were 6 cautions for 29 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 130.014mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Daytona Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Daytona Penalty Report (pdf).(7-6-2014)
U.S. Air Force returns to Almirola's Ford: This weekend brings opportunity, patriotism and family for Aric Almirola as the Sprint Cup Series heads to Daytona International Speedway. Almirola knows this weekend is a great opportunity to score a win and earn a spot in the "Chase for the Sprint Cup." A win at Daytona, Almirola's home track, would be a perfect way to capture his first Sprint Cup Series win in front of family and friends. The #43 team will proudly carry red, white and blue colors with the U.S. Air Force on the hood of the iconic car for this holiday weekend in support of all the men and women that keep our country safe. Almirola will participate in a Delayed Entry Program (DEP) Swear-In at 4:30pm in the Fan Midway, where he will help welcome these young men and women into the U.S. Air Force as part of the swear-in ceremony.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(7-3-2014)
Murphy-Goode Grill Sergeant Cooks for "The King" Richard Petty and Team: Eckrich and Murphy-Goode, which both support Operation Homefront, have collaborated to develop a special recipe created by Murphy-Goode's "Grill Sergeant" Dirk Yeaton in support of our military families. To celebrate the partnership and highlight the recipe, Eckrich invited Murphy-Goode and Yeaton to the Sonoma Raceway to cook for "The King" Richard Petty and his #43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race team sponsored by Eckrich. Yeaton created the recipe with specialty Grilled Eckrich Smoked Sausage and Murphy-Goode Homefront Red wine. The recipe combines two quality products that support Operation Homefront through consumer purchases.(RPM)(6-23-2014)
Nathan's Famous returns to the #43 at Sonoma: Aric Almirola and the #43 Nathan's Famous team head west this week to Race Sonoma. Despite not being a road course specialist, Race Sonoma is a track Almirola enjoys. He and the team dialed in the #43 Nathan's Famous Ford recently at Carolina MotorSports Park with a day test at the road course. Almirola has three starts at Race Sonoma and six total road course starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Last season, he posted his best Race Sonoma finish of 20th gaining eight spots from the following years. He and the #43 Nathan's Famous team look to best the 20th-place finish this weekend. Nathan's Famous will again hold a hot dog eating qualifier for the World Championship on July 4. Seven-time champion Joey Chestnut will be on hand at the qualifier and spend some time with the #43 race team and seven-time NASCAR Champion Richard Petty.(RPM), see an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(6-19-2014)
Lynda Petty named first-quarter recipient of the NMPA's Spirit Award.: Lynda Petty, one of the founding members of the Racing Wives Auxiliary, was named first-quarter recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association's Spirit Award. Petty, who passed away on March 25 at the age of 72, started the charitable organization, providing assistance to those in need in the racing community. Now know as the Women's Auxiliary of Motorsports, the group seeks to enrich the lives of women, children and families through education and wellness initiatives. The wife of seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty raised a family of four and was active in numerous community and civic endeavors. Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and fellow premier series driver Denny Hamlin also received votes for the first-quarter award. The NMPA Spirit Award recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are chosen, and an overall winner is selected by a vote of the NMPA membership.(NASCAR.com)(6-11-2014)
No decision on RPM's manufacturer: Sammy Johns, vice president of competition at Richard Petty Motorsports, said the team hasn't made a decision on which manufacturer it will align with next year.(Motor Racing Network)(6-8-2014)
Military Veteran Gets Once in a Lifetime Opportunity to Be 'King For a Day': Staff Sergeant Randy Gray and his family will be treated like royalty this weekend at the Pocono Raceway thanks to Eckrich, Weis Markets and Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM). Gray, a member of the National Guard will be a guest of Eckrich and "The King" Richard Petty. Eckrich, through its partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports and Operation Homefront, surprised Gray, his wife and two sons inside Weis Markets Tannersville store. While shopping for Eckrich smoked sausage, the family was greeted by members of the #43 team who surprised them with free groceries for one year at any Weis Markets location. The team then invited Staff Sergeant Gray and his family outside where the #43 Eckrich Ford drove up to the store front. A member of the RPM team invited the Gray family to not only join them at the track this weekend, but informed them they would be guests of "The King" Richard Petty. Staff Sergeant Gray, who lives in Hunlock Creek, PA, recently returned from a nine month deployment in Kuwait and is currently in the Wounded Transition Unit after sustaining an injury. Gray was enlisted as active duty in the Air Force from 1991 to 1993 before joining the National Guard and deploying to Kuwait.
To ensure that that the Gray family will have an authentic Richard Petty experience, they received an RPM shirt, similar those worn by Richard Petty, and additional items that make up the signature Richard Petty look including, sunglasses, a belt buckle and a Richard Petty Charlie One Horse Cowboy Hat. The Gray family will join Petty and the team atop of the famed #43 race transporter to watch practice and qualifying sessions of driver Aric Almirola before viewing the race from the pit box during Sunday's event. The surprise was part of the Eckrich "Operation Inspiration" campaign which supports and honors military families. The free groceries for a year at Weis Markets and the opportunity to join Richard Petty this weekend is something that the Gray's are grateful for.
Now in its third year of partnership with Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit which provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors,Eckrich has already donated more than half a million dollars to the charity. This year, Eckrich is again planning to donate up to $250,000 through the contribution of five cents from each purchase of specially marked products from May 1 through July 4.(RPM)(6-8-2014)
Nathan's Famous featured on the #43 at Pocono: Aric Almirola and the #43 Nathan's Famous team scored their fourth consecutive Top-15 finish last weekend at Dover. The team looks to keep up the consistency and hopes to improve with a Top-10 finish this weekend at Pocono Raceway. A Top-10 will be an uphill battle for the team. Almirola has just four starts at the "Tricky Triangle" in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and a best finish of 18th. In addition, Crew Chief Trent Owens will be making his debut as a crew chief at the 2.5-mile track. Owens is not the only one making a debut at Pocono. Nathan's Famous will adorn the hood of the iconic #43 Ford. In addition, Nathan's Famous will hold a qualifier event for the annual Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest at the race track on Saturday. The top male and top female finishers from the 10-minute, all-you-can-eat contest will earn a spot to compete in the ESPN-televised finals at the original Nathan's Famous in Brooklyn, NY, a holiday tradition since 1916.(RPM), see an image of the car on the #43 Team Schemes page.(6-3-2014)
Fans to vote on #43 paint scheme for Phoenix race: Farmland is teaming up with the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides support to families of fallen or disabled armed forces members, to pay tribute to military heroes. Under this partnership, Farmland will salute the Foundation by including its logo on the #43 Farmland Ford during the Kansas and Texas races; donating $5,000 to the Foundation's scholarship program each time the #43 Ford leads a race lap, or has a top-10 finish in the Sprint Cup series; and featuring Folds of Honor as part of the #43 paint scheme that will be chosen by fan votes for the November Veterans Day Weekend race in Phoenix. Representatives from Farmland and Folds of Honor alongside Almirola will unveil two paint scheme options - on which fans will be able to vote - during a press conference at the Charlotte Motor Speedway media center on Sunday, May 25th, at 1:30pm. In addition to the announcement, two beneficiaries of Folds of Honor will share their stories of how the Foundation has provided vital assistance to their families during significant times of need. Following the press conference, race fans and Foundation supporters can go to www.Facebook.com/FarmlandFoods from May 25th through September 1st to vote for their preferred paint scheme and track which option is leading the vote. In addition to voting, racing fans are encouraged to help "Take The Lead" by posting a salute on Farmland's Facebook wall in support of Folds of Honor and Almirola.(RPM)(5-25-2014)
Stars, Stripes and Air Planes Adorn the #43 in for Coca-Cola 600: Aric Almirola and the #43 team will sport stars, stripes and air planes this weekend as they run the first of two U.S. Air Force paint schemes (the other at Daytona in July). Headed into the team's home track, Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Richard Petty Motorsports team is hopeful that they can endure 600 miles and come out victorious to mark Almirola first Sprint Cup Series win and the #43's first win since 1999.(RPM), see an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(5-22-2014)
Lynda Petty honored at N.C. legislature: NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty joined lawmakers at the North Carolina General Assembly in honoring his late wife. Petty sat in the gallery Tuesday as Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, read a statement recognizing the contributions of Lynda Petty, who died in March. She was recognized by the General Assembly for her service to her community and NASCAR. Tillman said Lynda Petty was known as the "First Lady of NASCAR." She served on the Randolph County Board of Education for 16 years, helped found several philanthropic organizations and served on several charitable boards throughout Randolph County.(Associated Press)(5-21-2014)
More about RPM possibly switching manufacturers: During a visit to Goodlettsville (TN) on Monday, Richard Petty says he is considering move his racing team [Richard Petty Motorsports] from Ford. "We talk to everybody all the time; I've been talking to Volkswagen," said Petty, who visited Dollar General's annual Race Day at the company's headquarters. After getting a few chuckles from a group of reporters Petty's tone became more serious as he talked more about his team's future. Richard Petty Racing currently has two Fords driven by Aric Almirola and Marcos Ambrose in the Sprint Cup Series. News outlets have reported that Petty met with representatives from Toyota in April to talk about a possible alliance. "We've got to look at our team and look at our circumstances," Petty said. "We've got to look and say, 'Okay, what's going to be the best for us right now, what's going to the best for us two years down the road, what's going to be the best for us five years down the road?'" Petty moved his team from Dodge to Ford at the end of the 2009 season. Petty indicated he is indeed looking at other possibilities. "We're out looking and seeing what all the factories have got laid out for their future to see if we can fit into any of that," Petty said.(The Tennessean)(5-20-2014)
Richard Petty Motorsports considering move to Toyota? UPDATE: Was that the King meeting with representatives from [Toyota] at Richmond? According to multiple sources, Richard Petty Motorsports [#9-Ambrose & #43-Almirola] is contemplating leaving Ford when its contract expires at the end of this year. One sticking point, however, could be engines. TRD currently has the capability to provide eight teams with engines. Although there are only three teams from Joe Gibbs Racing and three from Michael Waltrip Racing exercising that option, who's to say that either of those operations isn't considering expansion in the future. Without TRD engines, a partnership with Toyota isn't nearly as attractive. After having your cars powered by Roush Yates engines, Triad would certainly be a step down.(Motorsport)(5-9-2014)
UPDATE: Will Richard Petty Motorsports remain in the Ford Racing camp beyond 2014? According to Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing, RPM's contract does not expire at the end of this season. "We don't want to get into the nuances of agreements, but at the end of the day, we have a relationship with RPM that's available to them that goes beyond 2014," Allison said. Petty met with Toyota at Richmond last month. However, sources says a Toyota deal would not include the coveted Toyota Racing Development engine deal. There's been talk that RPM would make a nice fit with Richard Childress Racing similar to the alliance that Stewart-Haas Racing enjoys with Hendrick Motorsports. Two former RPM principals Eric Warren and Mark McArdle have already made strong contributions in Welcome. "Obviously, these manufacturer/team contracts are not for public negotiations," Allison said. "We're at a good place with the King. As a matter of fact, he was with us, literally, yesterday in Dearborn (Mich.). We are going through and understanding could be available and what they're interests are.(Motorsport)(5-17-2014)
Petty and Almirola to appear on CMT Hot 20 Countdown: Recently, Aric Almirola and Richard Petty joined CMT and Eckrich filmed in their first special "Operation Inspiration" CMT Hot 20 Countdown show with hosts Cody Allen and Alecia Davis. The show was filmed with over 100 military members and their families from Ft. Campbell in Tenn. as guests of Eckrich and featured one family, The Nuckoles family from nearby Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Sergeant Ray Nuckoles III and his wife Amanda got a special surprise from Eckrich spokespeople, Aric and Richard. The surprise will be unveiled during the show debut on Saturday, May 17th at 11am/10c with an encore on Sunday, May 18th at 11am/10c.(PR)(5-16-2014)
Richard Petty expected back at Richmond UPDATE: #43-Aric Almirola talked Thursday about Richard Petty's planned return to the track this weekend following the death of his wife, Lynda:
WHAT WILL IT MEAN TO HAVE RICHARD BACK AT THE TRACK THIS WEEKEND?
Almirola - "I think he's doing well. I think being back at the race track is gonna be good for our race team and good for him. I think it'll be good medicine. When something like that happens you kind of want to hide a little bit and just get your feelings straight, but he's been by the shop and been in good spirits and I think he's doing very well considering. We're looking forward to getting him back at the race track and getting him back into race mode. I've spent quite a bit of time with him over the last few weeks since Miss Lynda passed, and it's gonna be great to have our leader back at the race track. He's the name and the face of our company and all the guys on the race team, any myself included, look up to him and enjoy having him around at the race track and having him inside the hauler and talking to us after practice and getting his perspective on what he sees with other race cars and with our race cars throughout practice, so I'm excited about having him back at the race track and, like Trent said, I think it's gonna be good medicine for him. He comes to about 95 percent of the races every year, so for him to take the two or three weeks off that he's taken, I know he's itching to get back to the race track. He's been watching the practices and watching qualifying and watching the races and Dale Inman goes home on Sunday night and gives him the full report on what went down that weekend and how things went. He's still heavily involved and he's still been paying attention for sure, he just hasn't been at the race track. He knows everything that's been going on."(Ford Racing PR)(4-24-2014)
UPDATE: Richard Petty met with the media Friday morning at Richmond:
WHAT IS IT LIKE FOR YOU TO BE BACK? "I just felt like I needed to sort of had a little time on our own so I have been gone for two or three weeks but I am back in the saddle again now. I am just learning to live all over again."
DO YOU THINK BEING AT THE TRACK WILL BE A GOOD DISTRACTION? "Yeah, doing the things we were supposed to do the last few weeks have been put off so starting Monday we were in Georgia and Tuesday we were in Tennessee and Wednesday in Wyoming and now here on Thursday. The busier they keep me the better off I will be."
HOW ARE YOU DOING? "I am surviving. It is going to be different I guess. After 55 years I have to start all over again. I was fortunate that all the kids came home for Easter. We had all the kids and grand kids home and that really made things work good."
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT THE OUTPOURING YOU WILL RECEIVE AT THE TRACK TO BE LIKE? "It is great that so many people knew Lynda so well. Of course she had been around a long time too. She never met a stranger. Every once in awhile I would come in the house and see people I didn't even know. She would invite them in the house to spend the night or whatever. Again, it is just going to be different."(Ford Racing PR)(4-25-2014)
Kyle Petty says The King adjusting to life alone: Richard Petty is spending his weekends at home mourning the death of his wife instead of his familiar spot at the racetrack. Lynda Petty died last month after battling cancer for several years. She was 72. "He's doing pretty good, he's used to going to the racetracks and being at the racetracks alone, but he's not used to being at home and being alone," said his son, NASCAR announcer Kyle Petty. "So I've stayed with him some, and my sisters have stayed some. It's just going to take time. They were together 57 years and even though he spent 50 of those 57 years on the road, according to him, at race tracks, it's been a lot harder and a lot tougher (than he thought)." Kyle Petty said his mother's death has been tough on the family. "My mother had been really sick for 4½, almost five years, so she fought pretty hard," he said Friday at the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race "He's doing pretty good." Kyle Petty won the pole for the celebrity race in Long Beach. He will start about 40 seconds behind the rest of the field in Saturday's race because he's a professional, even though he has been retired since 2008.(Associated Press)(4-12-2014)
Fresh From Florida debuts on the #43 at Darlington: The #43 team wants to win every week, but this week, they have an additional incentive. Crew Chief Trent Owens grew up just a few miles from Darlington Raceway and says a win at the track "Too Tough To Tame" would rank up with a Daytona 500 win. Aric Almirola will look to continue Owens' success at the track. With consecutive top-10 finishes in the last five seasons as crew chief, Almirola would like to add a Sprint Cup Series top-10 to the list. This weekend, the Fresh From Florida campaign will makes its debut on the famed #43. The campaign, led by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, is focused on building awareness and sales of fresh seafood, produce and other Florida products (RPM), see an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(4-10-2014)
RPM to Display Decals for Autism Awareness in Support of Gray Owens: Richard Petty Motorsports Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams will adorn a decal for Autism Awareness for the month of April to support Gray, son of #43 Crew Chief Trent Owens. With April being Autism Awareness month and April 2 Global Autism Awareness Day, the team, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty, will join the campaign to raise awareness for autism. Gray, who is now six years old, was diagnosed early and now goes through therapies to cope with the disease. His dad, Owens, knows the importance of bringing awareness to autism to help find prevention and a cure. "It's a very important month personally with having a son with autism," Owens explained. "My son was diagnosed when he was a year and a half, and he's six years old now. There's not a cure for it. It's a disease that's hard to understand, and it's very difficult from the side of getting therapies and getting help. Every autistic child is completely different, so just to have that awareness to the general public in the past few years for the month of April has been good. Through campaigns like Autism Awareness month, there is more awareness than there was ten years ago. My hope is they find a way of prevention. I would love for them to find a cure - that would be awesome, but I think the more we make people aware just how present the autistic kids are in society now, the better. A new report just came out that one in 68 kids are diagnosed with some form of autism, which is pretty staggering when you think about it." Showing that RPM is truly a family-run operation, Owens is humbled by the support from his team and acknowledges everything the NASCAR Industry has done over the years to raise awareness. "It's very cool that the whole organization will run the decal in support. That means a tremendous amount to me, personally. Just see all the things that not only this race team is doing but also the things NASCAR has done over the years with Autism Speaks. I won a race in the trucks in Rockingham last year running an Autism Speaks paint scheme. That was a real highlight to my career to this date. I enjoy speaking about my son's autism. We don't try to hide it. We enjoy trying to let the world know, so everybody can kind of get behind it and be supportive and try to find a cure."(RPM)(4-3-2014)
Eckrich "Operation Inspiration" campaign returns at Texas: Aric Almirola and the #43 Eckrich Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) Ford team head to the mile-and-a-half Texas Motor Speedway this weekend for Sunday's 500-mile event at the Texas Motor Speedway fresh off a top-10 finish at Martinsville. This weekend will be the first of six primary sponsorship races for Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods. It also marks the return of the Eckrich "Operation Inspiration" campaign that supports and honors military families. RPM and Almirola have worked with Eckrich over the past three race seasons to surprise military families and reward them with once-in-a-lifetime experiences. With hundreds of military families already honored, Eckrich and its award-winning "Operation Inspiration" campaign will now reach millions of people from coast-to-coast in 2014 thanks to a new partnership with leading country music network CMT. In efforts to bring awareness to the heroes behind our heroes, Eckrich will partner with the CMT Hot 20 Countdown to highlight and show appreciation for our military families during three special Operation Inspiration-themed episodes that will air throughout the summer in advance of Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day. The CMT Hot 20 Countdown is a weekly, two-and-a-half-hour series hosted by CMT favorites Cody Alan, Alecia Davis and Katie Cook, who count down the 20 biggest country music videos of the week with the hottest news stories, in-studio live performances and candid interviews from country music's biggest superstars and up-and-coming artists. Eckrich will add to the excitement of each sponsored episode with special guest appearances and stories of military families and their sacrifices. "Operation Inspiration" will continue to give back to military families this year not only on CMT, but also in conjunction with NASCAR, country music and college football events. Eckrich will highlight military families in conjunction with its nine sponsored NASCAR races across the country. Herbstreit will also continue his support of Operation Homefront as a spokesperson and guest during special events throughout the year. You never know when a military family will be recognized and how, which is what has made this campaign one of the most exciting in the company's history. From May 1st through July 4th, Eckrich will donate five cents for every purchase of specially marked products up to $250,000. Consumers can also donate directly to Operation Homefront by texting* "INSPIRE" to 27722 to donate five dollars. For more information on Operation Inspiration please visit www.eckrich.com/operationinspriation.(RPM), see an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(4-2-2014)
Teams honor Lynda Petty at Martinsville: As the Petty family remembers the life of Lynda Petty on Friday, the NASCAR community is paying respect to the long-time wife of Richard Petty, who lost her life on Tuesday. For this weekend's race at Martinsville Speedway, Richard Petty Motorsports handed out commemorative stickers honoring Lynda to all the teams in the garage to place on their cars if they choose. Along with the commemorative stickers, the team has developed the hashtag #WinForMissLynda and hope to get it trending on Twitter. RPM also has Petty blue ribbons available in the garage for those that would like to remember the 'First Lady of NASCAR.' While Richard Petty will not be at the track this weekend, Martinsville Speedway is will honor the Petty family with NASCAR Hall of Fame member Dale Inman serving as grand marshal for Sunday's race. 'The King' was scheduled to fill that role before Lynda's passing earlier this week. Aric Almirola's crew chief Trent Owens, nephew of Richard and Lynda Petty, will not be at the track on Friday, but is scheduled to return for Sunday's race. In an almost fitting course of events, Sunday's race at Martinsville is the STP 500, and the #43 team is running a throwback paint scheme similar to the one run by Richard Petty in his final years in the sport.(FoxSports)(3-28-2014)
Richard Petty Museum completes move back to Level Cross: Richard Petty is going back home to Level Cross, N.C. - the Richard Petty Museum, that is. Ribbon cutting ceremonies and an open house will take place Wednesday evening at the Petty compound in Level Cross. The relocated museum holds much of what NASCAR's winningest driver has ever won or achieved in his legendary career. It will now be housed in the site of the original Petty Enterprises and Petty Engineering facilities, the same facility where The King developed many of the cars that led him to a record seven Grand National and Winston Cup championships and 200 career wins. The Petty museum has been housed in nearby Randleman, N.C. since 2003. But a few years ago, it was decided to bring it back within the Petty family compound in Level Cross, where it began in 1988 by Richard's wife Lynda. The team's performance headquarters, Richard Petty Motorsports, will remain in Concord, N.C.(NBC Sports)(3-10-2014)
Stewart: Richard Petty should race Danica: During the first of two PRN Fast Talk Shows at Outback Steakhouse in Daytona with Doug Rice and Mark Garrow, Tony Stewart made it very clear how he feels about the negative remarks Richard Petty made recently about Danica Patrick. "I told her she should challenge Richard to a heads up race," said Stewart. "I think that would pretty much settle it once and for all, maybe get him to shut up a little bit too. He drove in an era when he had cars that were superior to what everybody else was running a lot. I think he forgets that, that NASCAR has changed a lot since he was a driver and how hard it really is now." Stewart added, "I will supply the cars, I don't care. If he wants to race her I'll make sure they have exactly the same set-up in the car and give him a chance. He can drive one of my 14 cars I don't care." It was then suggested if Danica ever won a race that she should ask Petty to autograph the checkered flag. Stewart, however, had another suggestion. "If I were her I'd take it over and cram it up his (bleep)...If it were me, that's just me." The second and final PRN Fast Talk show from the Daytona Outback Steakhouse will take place Thursday from 12-1 with Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick the special guests. Both shows can be heard at goprn.com.(PRN)(2-20-2014)
Petty stands by Danica remarks: Richard Petty said he is no sexist and defended his right to express his opinions a week after comments about Sprint Cup driver #10-Danica Patrick unleashed a backlash against the Hall of Fame driver and current team owner. At a trade show in Canada, Petty said Patrick, a second-year driver at NASCAR's highest level, could only win "if everybody else stayed home." Before the Sprint Unlimited on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, Petty expressed his opinion on the firestorm. "What I said is what I said, and that's what I believe, OK?" he said. "What's unfair is the sexist part. If her name had been Danny, OK, nobody would have said anything about it. So y'all are bringing up the sexist part of it, not me." Petty added, "It was definitely not sexist, OK? Hey look, I've been married 55 years to the same woman. So I am not a sexist by any ways. I love women." Petty said Saturday he wouldn't hesitate to express his opinions in the future. He noted that his comments generated a national NASCAR news cycle in the lull before SpeedWeeks, oddly verifying Patrick's ability to generate publicity even while being critiqued. "There was nothing going on NASCAR racing. Nobody was talking about Daytona," he said. "Nobody was talking about nothing. Look at all the publicity NASCAR got and she got just for one little comment."(ESPN)(2-16-2014)
Richard Petty: Danica won't win UPDATE Danica responds: The only way #10-Danica Patrick will win a NASCAR Sprint Cup race is if she's the only driver on the track, says the legendary "King" of stock car racing, Richard Petty. Petty, who visited Toronto Sunday for an appearance at the Canadian Motorsports Expo (for the live blog, please click here), answered quickly and decisively when asked if the former IndyCar star who's now a second-year driver for Stewart-Haas Racing would ever visit Victory Lane in the Cup series. "(Only) if everybody else stayed home," said Petty, who startedhis NASCAR career in 1958 in a race at the long-gone Canadian National Exhibition Speedway in downtown Toronto. Petty spent much of the time in a media scrum discussing how NASCAR has evolved over the years from "race time" to "show time" and he acknowledged that Patrick has been good for the sport in that respect.(full story at Toronto Star Wheels)(2-10-2014)
UPDATE #10-Danica Patrick, met with members of the media at NASCAR Daytona Media Day and discussed: Richard Petty comments and other topics, the transcript in part:
Q. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF RICHARD PETTY'S COMMENTS?
DANICA PATRICK: He asked it for you. You were hesitating. I saw it (laughter). Oh, Bob. You know, people have said things in the past, and they're going to say things in the future. I still say the same thing: that everyone's entitled to their own opinion. People are going to judge what he said, whether they judge it well or not, and I'm just not going to.
Q. DO THOSE THINGS MOTIVATE YOU AT ALL?
DANICA PATRICK: You can't try any harder in the car. I think that's something that probably every driver would tell you when someone questions our effort level. You can't try any harder. You're doing everything you can. And maybe subconsciously there's some motivation, but I can't tell. I'm giving it my all every single time I'm getting in the car, whether I'm making a simple qualifying run or I'm in the race. It is what it is and, again, people are entitled to their opinions, and that's fine.
Q. REGARDING RICHARD PETTY
DANICA PATRICK: I mean, really it's more about my belief that everyone can have their own opinion. It has nothing to do with where it comes from. The people that matter the most to me are my team, my sponsors, you know, those little three-year-old kids that run up to you and want a great big hug and say they want to grow up to be like you. That's the stuff that I really focus on. Q. REGARDING OPINIONS NOT SHAKING HER
DANICA PATRICK: I really don't. I like that people have opinions. That is fine with me. I think that it creates such conversation. As I said the last time that somebody said something that was not so positive for me, it spawned so many positive articles. So, you know, there's a positive side to it, too. But more than anything, I love the conversation that it creates in sport. Across the board it makes sports interesting. It makes life interesting when people have different perspectives, and that's fine with me.
Q. HAVE YOU EVER TALKED TO THE KING, TO RICHARD PETTY?
DANICA PATRICK: I know I met him. I have this great shot of I think it was before last year's race, maybe it was the Nationwide race, of him standing in front of my car on the pole and giving me two thumbs up. It's a back shot of his butt sticking out. Apparently I didn't notice him there for a while. I must have been getting strapped in.
Q. DID YOU TALK TO KYLE AFTER KYLE MADE THE REMARKS LAST SUMMER?
DANICA PATRICK: I didn't talk to him but he eventually wanted to come talk to me.
Q. HOW DID THAT GO?
DANICA PATRICK: I spoke to him eventually, but it wasn't me seeking him out is what I'm saying. I wouldn't seek Richard out either.
Q. HOW DID THAT CONVERSATION GO?
DANICA PATRICK: My conversation with Kyle, it was all right. It was fine. It was lengthy. You know, I think what I came to the conclusion was that really everybody does have their opinion, and that is totally fine. Even if some of the things that came across weren't completely accurate, there were things that I didn't quite understand from the comments either that I learned. So, I mean, it really just doesn't matter. It's interesting conversation and I'm fortunate I'm in it.(Team Chevy)(2-13-2014)
Wiley X Sponsoring 14 NASCAR Drivers: Wiley X, Inc. has announced its team of sponsored NASCAR drivers. Among the Wiley X Pro Racing Team this year are proven champions, racing legends, perennial fan favorites and up-and-coming stars. Among Wiley X's stable of sponsored NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are #20-Matt Kenseth, #99-Carl Edwards, #4-Kevin Harvick, #22-Joey Logano and #16-Greg Biffle. These drivers have been selected not only for their racing skills, but for their ability to serve as ambassadors for the Wiley X sunglasses brand. Wiley X will also be sponsoring drivers Aric Almirola, Ron Hornaday Jr., Michael McDowell, Joe Nemechek, John Hunter Nemechek, David Ragan, Joey Coulter and Chad Hackenbracht. Fifteen-year-old racing protégé Gray Gaulding, who signed with Wiley X last year, is also an important part of the team. Wiley X is also the official sunglass of Roush Fenway Racing.(NSSN)(2-12-2014)
STP returns to the #43 for two races: STP will be the primary sponsor of Aric Almirola's #43 Ford at Martinsville in March and Bristol in August. See an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(2-4-2014)
U.S. Air Force Refuels Partnership with RPM's #43: The U.S. Air Force will once again join Richard Petty Motorsports and the iconic #43 Ford as a vehicle to connect with America's best young adults for the sixth consecutive season. Aric Almirola will pilot the Air Force Racing Ford for the two most patriotic race weekends of the year: Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Fourth of July weekend race at Daytona International Speedway. In addition, Almirola will continue to support at-track swear-ins for the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) and entertain active duty military guests. As part of the partnership, the U.S. Air Force will remain an associate partner on the historic #43 for the entirety of the 2014 season. The Air Force will continue their experiential marketing at NASCAR races, bringing the #43 U.S. Air Force Ford show car and "Hangar 43" interactive display to environments where recruiters can connect with young adults. It will also 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. "I am so proud to be able to work with the Air Force," Almirola said. "Growing up with a dad that served helps me to appreciate what the men and women in the Air Force do for us. They are the reason we are able to race each weekend." This season marks the Air Force's 14th season in NASCAR and sixth consecutive with Richard Petty Motorsports.
"The Air Force is excited to partner with Richard Petty Motorsports again in 2014, for the sixth consecutive season," said Col. Marcus Johnson, Air Force Recruiting Service Strategic Marketing Division chief. "The combination of Aric Almirola and the #43 provides a sponsorship opportunity that reflects Air Force core values and has a positive impact on generating public awareness about the Air Force, its people and mission. 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."(Breaking Limits for Richard Petty Motorsports)(1-29-2014)
NASCAR Reinstates Former Crew Member Todd Parrott: NASCAR has reinstated former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew member Todd Parrott upon his successful completion of NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy Road to Recovery Program. Parrott had been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR on Oct. 17, 2013 for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy (NASCAR). Before his suspension, Parrott was the crew chief for the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford and driver Aric Almirola.(1-7-2014)
RPM to make 'significant sponsor extension' announcement: The primary sponsor for Aric Almirola's #43 entry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has scheduled a Jan. 15 media luncheon in Manhattan to announce a "significant sponsor extension in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series." According to a media release, the event at the Hudson Theater will feature Smithfield Foods CEO Larry Pope. Smithfield and its products were featured as the primary sponsor for a majority of Almirola's Sprint Cup races in 2013 after beginning its sponsorship in 2012. RPM primary owner Andrew Murstein -- president of Medallion Financial Group, a company that provides loans to finance the purchase of New York City taxi medallions -- as well as co-owner Petty and Almirola will be in attendance.(NewsDay)(1-7-2014)
2013 Races [27 + 2] that Smithfield Foods was the primary sponsor:
Daytona, Sprint Unlimited - 2/16, Smithfield
Daytona - 2/24, Smithfield
Phoenix - 3/3, Eckrich
Las Vegas - 3/10, Farmland
Bristol - 3/17, Smithfield
Auto Club - 3/24, Farmland
Texas - 4/13, Eckrich
Talladega - 5/5, Gwaltney Foods
Darlington - 5/11, Smithfield
Charlotte, Sprint Showdown - 5/18, Smithfield
Dover - 6/2, Smithfield
Pocono - 6/9, Smithfield
Michigan - 6/16, Eckrich
Sonoma - 6/23, Farmland
Kentucky - 6/29, Eckrich
New Hampshire - 7/14, Smithfield
2013 Races  that STP is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Martinsville - 4/7, with Jani-King as the co-sponsor
Kansas - 4/21
2013 Races  that the U.S. Air Force is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Charlotte - 5/26
Daytona - 7/6
2013 Races  that the GoBowling.com is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Pocono - 8/4
2013 Races  that the RainEater Wiper Blades is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Bristol - 8/24
2013 Races  that the Charter is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Talladega - 10/20
2014 Races  that the Fresh From Florida is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Darlington - 5/10
Congrats to the Petty's: Congrats to Austin and Sarah Petty on the birth of their son, Adam. It's Richard Petty's newest great grandson and first "Petty" newborn in 30 years! (RPM Facebook) and see a picture of the King and Adam at FoxSports. Adam is named after the late Adam Petty (Austin's brother), who was killed in a 2000 crash at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.(12-16-2013)
Owens reportedly taking over as Almirola's crew chief UPDATE: Trent Owens is the latest Nationwide Series crew chief to get a full-time shot at the NASCAR Sprint Cup level. Sources tell FOXSports.com that Owens will lead the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team with driver Aric Almirola. Owens, a former race car driver turned crew chief, most recently guided the #32 Turner Scott Motorsports team with rookie Kyle Larson. The team finished eighth in the NNS standings. Although the 37-year-old Davidson, N.C.-native is Richard Petty's nephew, Owens proved himself as a crew chief over the last decade by guiding five different drivers to Victory Lane, including Dave Blaney to his only NASCAR win (2006). He also earned victories with Mark Martin, James Buescher, Reed Sorenson and Nelson Piquet Jr. over the last two seasons.(Fox Sports)(12-2-2013)
UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports announced the hiring of one of the sports most talented crew chiefs in the NASCAR garage. Trent Owens has been assigned as the leader of Aric Almirola and the #43 Ford team beginning immediately. Owens has made his name known in the NASCAR Nationwide Series over the past seven years as a crew chief at both Braun Racing and Turner Scott Motorsports. The 38-year-old is a five-time winner on the Nationwide circuit with five different drivers. This will be Owens first full-time opportunity to be a crew chief at the Sprint Cup level.(RPM)(12-2-2013)
Congrats: to #43-Aric Almirola and wife Janice on the birth of their daughter Abby Lynn Almirola, who was born Thursday. Abby joins big brother Alex. Mother and baby are doing well.(11-29-2013)
Eckrich Wins PromaxBDA Award for Operation Inspiration Campaign: Eckrich, sponsor of the #43 Ford of Aric Almirola, was awarded top honors for its "Operation Inspiration" campaign at this year's PromaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Awards contest. The campaign won Gold in the "Just Cause" category, which recognizes best community outreach initiative. Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, launched in 2013 "Operation Inspiration", a campaign designed to honor, thank and support the military families who inspire us. Through the "Operation Inspiration" campaign, Eckrich donated a portion of product sales to Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization which supports military families and wounded warriors. Through the campaign, Eckrich also surprised several military families with well-deserved items and experiences, including a new car, mortgage-free home and special trips, many of which included surprise visits from Al Roker and NASCAR legend Richard Petty among others. The PromaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Awards contest is a celebration of the campaigns that best demonstrate excellence, creativity and strategic promotion, marketing and design, and the winners exemplify the best the industry has to offer.(Eckrich PR)(11-28-2013)
The King to be a guest of President Obama: This Wednesday, Richard Petty will be a guest of President and Mrs. Obama at a dinner at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The dinner is in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Petty was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 1992 by President George Bush. He was the first motorsports athlete to be given the award. Petty will attend the black-tie dinner with his daughter, Lisa, and be joined by other recipients of the highest civilian Award in the United States. Petty keeps his Medal on display at the Richard Petty Museum which will open back in its original location, Level Cross, N.C. in early 2014 on the site of the former Petty Enterprises. Petty views receiving the Medal of one his proudest accomplishments, "It's an Award that I really cherish, maybe the most of all," says Petty. "I'm honored to be a recipient and look forward to attending this dinner with the President and other recipients this Wednesday." This month, the #43 STP Pontiac that Petty raced to his 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup Victory in front of President Reagan at the Daytona International Speedway, was featured by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the 101 Objects That Made America.(RPM/Breaking Limits)(11-20-2013)
"Fresh From Florida" Motorsports Campaign to be Led by RPM: The marketing arm of Richard Petty Motorsports announced they will lead a fully integrated motorsports marketing campaign for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services beginning this weekend at the Homestead-Miami Speedway and extend through 2014. "Fresh From Florida" is a marketing, advertising and promotional campaign focused on building awareness and sales of fresh seafood, produce and other Florida products. In 2014, the "Fresh From Florida" campaign will include various marketing elements centered around motorsports including race promotion, team sponsorship, track sponsorship, marketing services, public relations, experiential marketing and retail partnerships along with traditional and digital media. The campaign will be executed across the state of Florida and throughout the Southeast at motorsports events including NASCAR, IMSA, and NHRA events at iconic motorsports venues.
Richard Petty Motorsports will brand the message with primary sponsorship beginning this weekend on its #43 Nationwide Series entry and continuing into 2014 with primary sponsorships at Bristol in March, Charlotte in May and Daytona in July. "Fresh From Florida" will also appear as the primary sponsor on the famed #43 Richard Petty NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry of Aric Almirola at Darlington in April 2014 and be positioned as an associate sponsor throughout the season.(RPM)(11-16-2013)
Richard Petty's #43 Stock Car Featured in Smithsonian Magazine: The November Issue of the Smithsonian Magazine features Richard Petty's famed #43 stock car as a part of a feature entitled, 101 Objects That Made America. After sourcing over 137 million artifacts held by 19 different museums, the Smithsonian selected 101 items to be featured. Included in the list is the 1984 #43 Pontiac Grand Prix that carried "The King" Richard Petty to his 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at the Daytona International Speedway in July of 1984. The fact that Petty won the race with President Ronald Reagan in attendance, the first sitting United States President to visit the track, helped carry the moment, the car and "The King" into American history.
The STP-sponsored, red, white and Petty Blue machine is featured along other iconic American objects such as the Bald Eagle, the Discovery Space Shuttle, the Model T, the Barbie, the U.S. Olympic Hockey Jersey and more. Writer Jeff MacGregor writes about the car and Petty in a look at what made the #43 stock car make this exclusive list. MacGregor points out that the "genius of this car lies not in what it is, but in what it did." He also singles out Petty as a "throwback" with his signature jean and cowboy look as he explained Petty's place in the history of stock car racing. Petty himself is honored to be featured in the magazine.
"I just think the fact that it's the Smithsonian, and they had all these pieces of history or objects to look at, and they picked our car is what makes it special," said Petty. "That just made us feel pretty good that they include the car and mentioned a little about what we did. You look at everything on that list, it's our history, and it's humbling that they think we're a part of that." You can find the complete list and read more by visiting www.smithsonian.com.(RPM)(11-10-2013)
Petty Museum moving back to Level Cross: The Richard Petty Museum is coming home. After 10 years of being located in downtown Randleman, North Carolina, the museum that holds memorabilia and personal collections of the most decorated American stock car driver in history is going back home to Level Cross. The Museum will be located on the site of the original Petty Engineering and later Petty Enterprises race shop. The site currently is the home of Petty's Garage and the Petty Family Foundation. The Museum was founded at the race shop in Level Cross in 1988 by Lynda Petty but moved to Randleman in 2003 after space demands of the expanding race operation. Randleman, the neighboring city where Richard Petty went to high school, then became the home of museum. With the race operation, Richard Petty Motorsports, now operating in Concord, North Carolina, it was decided to move the museum back to its original location.
After it's relocation and renovation, the museum will not only recover its spot in the building first built to house Kyle Petty's race program but will eventually expand to include the "Reaper Shed," first home of Petty Engineering where Lee Petty found the family dynasty. The museum will also include the Dodge Barn, built in the days of the team's close connection to Dodge and Plymouth. Finally, fans will be able to also visit the Lee Petty House, birthplace of both The King and his brother Maurice. The new-look museum will also feature exhibits of the Petty family's four members in the Hall of Fame (Lee, Richard, Dale Inman and Maurice), of "Mr. and Mrs. The King" from the Pixar film "Cars" and of the family's many contributions to the sport of stock car racing.
The move is effective immediately, and while the new exhibits will not open until February of 2014, the museum will provide limited tour opportunities at the Level Cross facility during the move and renovation period.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(11-5-2013)
Todd Parrot suspended by NASCAR UPDATES - Released by RPM, Comments: Todd Parrott, a crew member in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (#43 team crew chief), has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's Substance Abuse Policy. On Oct. 17, Parrott was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2013 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR)(10-17-2013)
UPDATE: Upon notification today that employee Todd Parrott had violated NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy, Richard Petty Motorsports fully supports his indefinite suspension from NASCAR. Sammy Johns, Vice President of Operations and Competition, will handle crew chief duties on the #43 Ford this weekend at Talladega. He will also handle these duties on an interim basis until further notice. "We have an expectation of all RPM employees to conduct themselves at the highest level of professionalism and within the competitive confines as set forth by NASCAR," said Johns. "We are very disappointed that one of our employees did not meet our expectations and we completely support NASCAR, their policies and final decisions when it comes to the substance abuse policy."(RPM)(10-17-2013)
UPDATE 2: Todd Parrott was released from Richard Petty Motorsports on Monday for violating NASCAR's substance-abuse policy. The 19-year veteran crew chief won the 1999 Sprint Cup championship with Dale Jarrett and most recently oversaw the #43 Ford team and driver Aric Almirola. Parrott has been with RPM since 2010. He has 31 Sprint Cup wins. Parrott has already submitted his application for NASCAR's Road to Recovery program. Greg Ebert will take over as the interim crew chief for Aric Almirola's team.(Fox Sports)(10-22-2013)
UPDATE 3: Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) announced Greg Ebert will serve as the interim crew chief for the #43 Ford and driver Aric Almirola starting this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Ebert will fulfill this role on an interim basis for the remainder of the season. Ebert has served in the role of car chief of the #43 Ford for the past two seasons and has been a car chief with RPM since its inception. Before joining RPM, Ebert spent nine years at Roush Fenway Racing serving the last five of those seasons as the car chief for Matt Kenseth. Ebert replaces Todd Parrott who is no longer with the organization.(RPM)(10-22-2013)
UPDATE 4: "(The dismissal) was just automatic," Richard Petty told reporters Tuesday afternoon during an appearance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "When he done what he did, he did his own thing. All we've done is said, 'This is the way it's got to be.'" Petty said he was "really shocked" when Parrott failed a drug test and said he never saw the crew chief acting suspiciously. But because drivers and crew members put their lives on the line every weekend, Petty said, the team took a zero-tolerance approach to Parrott's offense. "One hundred percent ain't good enough, so if anyone breaks the rule, there ain't no room in our organization for that," Petty said. (USA Today)
AND Crew chief Todd Parrott said Tuesday night on Motor Racing Network's "NASCAR Live" that he's sorry for his actions, which caused him to violate NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy and lose his job at Richard Petty Motorsports. "I was in a dark moment and it happened," Parrott told host Eli Gold. Parrott declined to reveal what banned substance he took. NASCAR indefinitely suspended him Thursday. Gold asked Parrott during "NASCAR Live'' if it was a long-time issue or something that happened that caused Parrott to be suspended. "It's just something that happened and my number came up," Parrott said. "Not a whole lot I can say. I feel bad about it, and I'm sorry for it and I'm ready to move on." Parrott said he's scheduled to meet with a counselor Wednesday to begin NASCAR's Road to Recovery program. "I have the support of my family and a lot of friends in the garage to go down this path,'' he said. "I'm sorry it came down to this, but it's a blessing, too ,that NASCAR has a path that helps you ... to be able to get back to work."(Motor Racing Network)(10-23-2013)
Almirola to drive #41 at Martinsville: Richard Petty Motorsports will make special tribute this weekend to the latest Petty family member to be elected into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The team announced that current driver Aric Almirola will race a #41 Ford Fusion this weekend at the Martinsville Speedway, replacing the traditional #43. The#41 Ford will be Petty Blue and feature the likeness of 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Maurice Petty, who raced the number during his driving career. The car was unveiled at the NASCAR Hall of Fame with Maurice Petty, his brother "The King" Richard Petty, Almirola and Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell all present. Winston Kelley, NASCAR Hall of Fame Executive Director, led the ceremonies in Charlotte, N.C. Maurice used the #41 for nine starts over his five-year driving career from 1960 to 1964. During that span, Petty entered 26 race events and finished in the top-10 in 16 of those. Maurice also earned seven top-five finishes with a best result of third in Spartanburg, S.C., in 1961. Maurice used the #41, staying consistent with the family heritage of racing subsequent numbers in the 40's. His father, Lee, raced the #42 and his brother, Richard, raced #43. Maurice was a driver, crew chief and a car owner, but is most known for being the engine builder for the family's operation. Maurice developed his craft in the engine room learning from his father, Lee, as he helped the family business win three championships with Lee. He then came into his own and was the horsepower behind the seven championships of Petty Enterprises and also behind 212 wins with drivers such as Richard Petty, Jim Paschal, Marvin Panch and Buddy Baker. Maurice was the crew chief for Pete Hamilton during the 1970 Daytona 500 which he won. Maurice later built engines in the Truck Series and played a role in the return of Dodge to the sport in 2001. Maurice is the third Petty to be elected into the NASCAR Hall of Fame following his father and brother. He is also the first to enter under the merits as an engine builder. Richard Petty Motorsports will use the #41 this weekend only and collect owner and driver points under the #43. The change of car number was approved by NASCAR.(RPM), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(10-22-2013)
RPM expected to announce #43 crew chief plans this week: Aric Almirola won't shy away from admitting that not having crew chief Todd Parrott in the garage the rest of the season will impact his race team. "It certainly has had some impact for sure but for all weekends for something like that to happen, Talladega is a pretty easy one," Almirola said after winning the pole. RPM competition director Sammy Johns [served] as interim crew chief [at Talladega] while Parrott is suspended. Parrott is not expected to return before the end of the season. He must meet with a substance-abuse professional, who will diagnose him and determine what steps he must take to complete NASCAR's "Road to Recovery" program. That typically takes at least six weeks. Parrott is the first Cup crew chief suspended since NASCAR started random drug testing in 2009. "We are working on a plan, and I am sure they will announce the plan next week as to our plans for the rest of the year moving forward," Almirola said. "We just have to work through that and we will keep that internal until we are ready to announce it. "We have sat down and talked about it and tried to come up with the best solution for what is best for us."(Sporting News)(10-21-2013)
Charter on the #43 at Dega: Driver of the #43 Charter Ford, Aric Almirola says the keys to racing the Gen-6 car at the Talladega Superspeedway are track position and aggression. The No. 43 team hopes to have both to position them for the win in Charter's primary race with the #43 team. Almirola has 13 NASCAR starts at the 2.66-mile track. In seven Sprint Cup starts, he tallied his best finish of 10th this spring. He has two Nationwide and four truck series starts at the high-banked track and posted his best finish of second in the truck races in 2009 and 2010.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(10-17-2013)
Almirola, Ambrose set to return to RPM: The paperwork hasn't cleared yet but #43-Aric Almirola and #9-Marcos Ambrose both expect to be with Richard Petty Motorsports next season, the drivers told Popular Speed on Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "That's the plan," Almirola said. "We're real close on finishing everything. The continuity of keeping everything the same and working with this team and (crew chief) Todd Parrott will be a huge advantage. All the guys on this team do a good job and they understand these cars and what it takes to make them go faster." When asked about his plans for next season, Ambrose simply took a sip of water and pointed down at his hauler and said 'right here.' During a season where drivers are changing seats at rapid-fire pace, both RPM pilots emphasized the importance for the team to establish some continuity from season-to-season.(Popular Speed)(8-31-2013)
RainEater Wiper Blade to sponsor Amirola: RainEater Wiper Blades, an Erie-based company, will have "Erie, PA" on the hood of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford driven by Aric Almirola at Bristol. The logo also will appear on the team's pit stall during the race. "We are so very proud of our hometown that we wanted to share it with all of the NASCAR car Sprint Cup fans," RainEater president Lance Thornton said in a prepared statement. "When we founded RainEater Wiper Blades, it was conceived so I didn't have to leave Erie and be able to raise our children in this beautiful community. This is my way of saying thanks to Erie. Maybe it will help other businesses look at our community also." Fans from Erie can enter to win a piece of the Cup car by liking RainEater's Facebook page after the race weekend. "It's great to see a new partner come support Richard Petty Motorsports and our #43 team," Almirola said in a statement.(GoErie), , see an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(8-21-2013)
Eckrich and RPM Driver Aric Almirola Race to Military Family Home: With the sounds of a revving race engine, Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) and Eckrich-sponsored NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Aric Almirola made a different kind of pit stop Thursday evening in Ann Arbor, Michigan. And it was all to the surprise of military family, the Kotts, in their own driveway. Almirola drove a replica of the famed #43 Eckrich stock car right up to the house of Sergeant First Class Howard Kott and his wife Dawn to surprise them with the opportunity to be honorary crew members this Sunday at the Michigan International Speedway. Once Almirola stepped out of the car, he surprised the Kott family by presenting them with crew uniforms and VIP passes and then asked them to be part of the famed #43 team this Sunday. But Eckrich and Almirola weren't done honoring the family just yet. In addition to the VIP crew member experience, Eckrich brought a gift basket that Almirola presented, including Eckrich #43 hats, water bottles and plenty of Eckrich products. The family will also be given a pace car ride around the track on Sunday, attend the driver's meeting with Almirola and be introduced to the race crowd with "The King" Richard Petty prior to the start of the race. Sergeant First Class Howard Kott is currently active in the Army and has been deployed twice for service. He and his wife, Dawn, are race fans who are now looking forward to their first VIP experience thanks to Eckrich. To learn more about Operation Inspiration, please click here.(Eckrich/RPM)(8-17-2013)
Almirola Gives Military Families in Indianapolis a Big Surprise: Military families experienced disbelief and then excitement Saturday afternoon thanks to Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola, Eckrich and Operation Homefront. A group of military families and wounded warriors, invited by Operation Homefront and Eckrich, were gathered at a private home to enjoy the summer afternoon with games, music, friends and family. When time came to start grilling, however, the party goers realized there was a problem. Their hosts had forgotten a key element to the cookout: the Eckrich smoked sausage.
However, the roar of a race car quickly diverted their attention as Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola wheeled the #43 Eckrich Ford through the neighborhood and into the backyard to surprise the guests and save the day with plenty of Eckrich smoked sausage on hand. After climbing out of the famed #43 machine, the driver unloaded bags of Eckrich smoked sausage for the cookout. In addition, Almirola handed out gift bags filled with Eckrich products, coupons, t-shirts and #43 Eckrich team hats for the military guests to give thanks for all they have sacrificed. But that's not all. Almirola then encouraged each guest to look closely through their bag. Inside they found a ticket to Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where they could watch Almirola race the #43 Eckrich Ford. The tickets were provided by Eckrich and the cookout surprise was a re-enactment of the new Eckrich commercial featuring both Richard Petty and Aric Almirola that will air Sunday during the pre-race show on ESPN. Click here to watch the commercial. This surprise is part of the ongoing efforts of Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, and Operation Homefront to support and thank military men and women and their families. Earlier this year the Operation Inspiration campaign was launched to thank, honor and support military families, the heroes behind our heroes. The campaign includes the Operation Inspiration TV special hosted by Al Roker which debuted in June and will air in syndication in markets across the country throughout the summer.(Eckrich)(7-28-2103)
Richard Petty Motorsports may get new landlord: Boris Said is selling his race shop in Concord, NC. Normally, that wouldn't be a big deal. But in this case, it's currently the home of Richard Petty Motorsports. "We're looking at our options right now," said RPM director of operations Sammy Johns. "It's nothing that's a surprise. We're working through it.' Johns is optimistic that RPM, which has leased the property since 2010, will continue a similar relationship with the new owner.(Fox Sports)(7-17-2013)
Sixteen Cup teams found with modified roof flap spacers UPDATE: Sixteen teams found to have modified roof flap spacers (lighter) during NASCAR inspection. Teams listed: #1-McMurray, #2-Keselowski, #9-Ambrose, #11-Hamlin, #13-Mears, #15-Bowyer, #16-Biffle, #17-Stenhouse Jr., #18-Busch, #20-Kenseth, #21-Bayne, #22-Logano, #43-Almirola, #55-Waltrip, #56-Truex Jr. and #99-Edwards. The modified/confiscated roof-flap spacers are on display at Daytona in the NASCAR hauler. NASCAR's Kerry Tharp addressed media on confiscated roof-flap spacers - "Spacers not in compliance with those kits." The roof-flap kits are supplied to teams for #NASCAR by one company (a Roush company) and are not to be changed.(SPEED's, Dustin Long Fox/NASCAR on Twitter)
AND Thirty-one cars, including 16 in the Sprint Cup Series, failed inspection before Thursday's practices at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR confiscated the teams' roof flaps, which are designed to keep cars on the ground during spins and wrecks at high speeds, for further inspection. Penalties could be possible. The roof-flap spacers had been illegally machined down to reduce weight. NASCAR inspectors made those Cup teams install new, unaltered roof flaps before drivers were allowed on the track for the first of two practices. Inspectors then went to the Nationwide garage and found similar issues on 15 cars. "When you find something in one garage, you communicate to the other garage," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "We looked into it and this is what we found."(Associated Press)(7-4-2013)
UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup teams expect widespread penalties after 16 cars were found with illegal roof-flap spacers at Daytona Thursday, but they don't know how severe those penalties might be. The teams caught scrambled Thursday to make compliant spacers, which are used to attach the hinge of the roof flaps. Teams and manufacturers get roof flaps from Roush Composites and, according to the NASCAR rulebook, "the hinged air deflectors must be installed as specified in the instruction sheet supplied with the hinged air deflector kit." But it was apparent that many teams had lightened the spacers or changed them. It wasn't clear what tipped off NASCAR inspectors to the violations, but after a sweep of the Sprint Cup garage Thursday, NASCAR went through the Nationwide garage and took pieces from 15 Nationwide teams Thursday night. A non-compliant part might just be a monetary penalty but because it dealt with a safety piece - the roof flaps pop up during a spin to try to keep the car on the ground - a points penalty is definitely possible, as well as crew suspensions. NASCAR traditionally issues penalties the Tuesday after a race weekend. NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said the widespread use of the illegal spacers most likely indicates that those pieces had gotten through inspection previously. "It's probably not something that was on a normal inspection routine," Pemberton said. "The teams are told that they must assemble all that stuff using all the parts that's in the kit. Once in a while you'll find things like that and it's probably something that teams have probably done a little bit in the past." Whether the number of teams involved will impact the penalties and whether crew chiefs who are on probation will face more severe penalties will be determined Monday and Tuesday, Pemberton said. Because teams didn't have extra kits at Daytona, NASCAR allowed the teams to make spacers that were compliant.(Sporting News)(7-5-2013)
Purple Heart Recipient Surprised With 'Ride of a Lifetime' at Kentucky: Richard Petty Motorsports and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver #43-Aric Almirola logged some extra time on the track this weekend at the Kentucky Speedway. With sponsor Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, and Operation Homefront, they surprised a special member of the U.S. military and his family with a 'Ride of a Lifetime'. United States Marine Corps Corporal Sebastian Gallegos, a 23-year-old Purple Heart recipient, and his wife, Tracie are VIP guests of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team, Eckrich and Operation Homefront this weekend. Saturday morning, the Gallegos received a 'Ride of a Lifetime' around the 1.5-mile track with Almirola in an Eckrich-branded Richard Petty Driving Experience Ford Fusion. In addition to the morning event, the Gallegos will get a behind-the-scenes tour of the garage and track and all-access with the #43 team prior to settling in atop the pit box for the night's race. The couple's story and the surprise in San Antonio will be featured in the half hour NBC special hosted by Roker, which airs on local NBC stations across the country tonight, June 29, and in syndication throughout the summer. The special, sponsored by Eckrich, is aimed to honor, thank and support the military families who inspire us. Eckrich is providing additional assistance to military families by donating up to $250,000 to Operation Homefront this year through the donation of five cents from the purchase of specially-marked packages through July 4.(RPM)(6-29-2013)
RPM announces partnership with GoBowling.com: The number one recognized car in NASCAR will now feature the number one participatory sports activity - bowling! Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) and Strike Ten Entertainment announced today at the International Bowl Expo (IBE) the launch of a new partnership that will feature GoBowling.com as a primary sponsor of the #43 Ford Fusion driven by Aric Almirola. Also at IBE was the official unveiling of the #43 GoBowling.com Ford Fusion. Richard Petty appeared on the Expo floor and helped give attendees a first look at the historic car as well as posed for photos and signed autographs. Later this summer the car will make its on-track debut at the GoBowling.com 400 on August 4 at the Pocono Raceway. The GoBowling.com Ford will also be the primary partner for the #43 team at the same event in 2014. GoBowling.com is the website to visit to learn more about the 2,100+ bowling centers around the country. Fans can learn about their local bowling centers, promotional offers, bowling tips and more. Currently, GoBowling.com is running a national promotion for one lucky race fan to wave the green flag to start their NASCAR Sprint Cup event (GoBowling.com 400) on Sunday, August 4. This partnership with RPM is their first with a team and driver.(RPM), see images of the car/scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(6-27-2013)
Eckrich and Operation Homefront return to the #43: This weekend Aric Almirola and the #43 race team will head to the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway for Saturday night's 400-mile event. The team will again be carrying the logos of Eckrich and Operation Homefront on the hood and sides of the Petty Blue Ford. Eckrich, through their Operation Inspiration program, will be hosting some special guests this weekend. A San Antonio military family will be VIP guests of the team and be surprised with a 'Ride of a Lifetime' this Saturday morning courtesy of Almirola. This special couple receiving the "Ride of a Lifetime" will be one of three families featured on the half-hour television special 'Operation Inspiration' hosted by television personality Al Roker, with appearances by Almirola and "The King" Richard Petty. The show, sponsored by Eckrich, is aimed to honor, thank and support the military families who inspire us. It will air on local NBC stations across the country this weekend and in syndication throughout the summer.(RPM), see an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(6-27-2013)
Military Veteran Father and Son Receive Special Father's Day Surprise at Michigan: Joel Correll, a United States Marine Corps veteran, and his 15-year son, Jarrett, who lives with cystic fibrosis, received a Father's Day surprise of a lifetime today at Michigan International Speedway. Joel and Jarrett Correll, along with Jarrett's mother, were on a VIP tour of the track - or at least that's what they thought - when Aric Almirola, "The King" Richard Petty and representatives from Operation Homefront and Victory Junction surprised the family with an experience they will not soon forget.
As part of the "tour," the family was brought to the facility's media center to listen to a press conference involving Almirola and NASCAR Hall of Famer, Petty. In the middle of the press conference, Almirola called the family to the front. The driver of the famed #43 announced that Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, would be providing Jarrett with a week at Victory Junction, a camp founded by the Petty family that hosts children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.
But, the surprises weren't over yet. "The King" then offered Joel and his son Eckrich crew uniforms and asked them to be a part of the race team on Sunday as special guests of the team, Eckrich and Operation Homefront. Petty and Almirola also informed Joel and Jarrett that they would have their names on the #43 Eckrich Ford on Sunday to honor them and help celebrate Father's Day. This Father's Day surprise was a part of "Operation Inspiration," a campaign launched by Eckrich and Operation Homefront earlier this year to help honor, thank and support the military families who inspire their fellow Americans. Eckrich is providing additional assistance to military families by donating up to $250,000 to Operation Homefront this year through the contribution of five cents from the purchase of specially-marked packages from May 1 through July 4.(RPM)(6-15-2013)
McCollum amendment to ban military sponsorship fails: An amendment to cut off government spending on sponsorships of NASCAR and pro wrestling events sponsored by Rep. Betty McCollum, DFL-Minn., fell short in the U.S. House on Friday. McCollum, who sits on the powerful appropriations committee, has been trying to highlight Pentagon spending she considers wasteful. Her biggest target: money the National Guard spends on pro sports sponsorships which the Guard says helps with recruiting. "The fact that $53 million in taxpayers' funds is going to sponsor some of the most violent and sexist entertainment on television and NASCAR racing teams that results in zero recruits is a waste of money," McCollum said. The amendment was defeated by a wide margin. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., represents a district with a big NASCAR track. "We would be stealing from our nation's military and hard-working taxpayers if this amendment were to pass," Hudson said.(MPR News)(6-14-2013)
Chinese company buys Smithfield Foods: Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. has agreed to buy Smithfield Foods Inc. for approximately $4.72 billion, the largest acquisition of a U.S. company by a Chinese company. Hong Kong-based Shuanghui owns a variety of global businesses that include food, logistics and flavoring products and is the majority shareholder in China's largest meat processing enterprise. Smithfield, the world's biggest pork producer, owns brands such as Armour, Farmland and its namesake. Both companies' boards have unanimously approved the transaction, which still needs approval from Smithfield's shareholders. The transaction may also be subject to review by the U.S.'s Committee on Foreign Investment, which evaluates the potential national security effects of transactions. The process typically includes a 30-day initial review, followed by a 45-day investigation before making a recommendation to the president. Smithfield's stock will no longer be publicly traded once the deal closes.
Under the agreement, there will be no closures at Smithfield's facilities and locations, including its Smithfield, Va., headquarters in the historic southeastern Virginia town of about 8,100 where it was founded in 1936, the companies said. Smithfield's existing management team will remain in place and Shuanghui also will honor the collective bargaining agreements with Smithfield workers. The company has about 46,000 employees.(Associated Press), no word how or if this will affect the sponsorship of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team and driver Aric Almirola.(5-29-2013)
#43 Team Wins 1st Qtr Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award: The #43 Smithfield Ford over-the-wall Richard Petty Motorsports crew of driver Aric Amirola has been named the Quarter One Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew - an honor determined by a vote of each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chief given quarterly to top-performing pit crews. "It's just awesome," said rear tire changer Dwayne Ogles. "Just the history of the 43 car in itself and us kind of being the underdogs, it's pretty cool to bring the 43 back. Everybody's looking at us and it's cool for the spotlight to be back on the 43 team." The #43 crew's precise performance this season has helped to cement Almirola's solid start to the 2013 campaign. The team's four straight top-10s, accumulated from the April 13 race at Texas to May 5 at Talladega, marked the first time since 1996 that the storied Petty Enterprise's #43 had finished in the top-10 in four straight races. In addition to Ogles, the 43 over-the-wall pit crew consists of a combination of newcomers and experienced pit road veterans, including: Joe Karasinski (gas man), Jeremy Neeley (jackman), Greg Donlin (front tire changer), Lance Hanna (front tire carrier), and Eric Wallace (rear tire carrier). Andrew Carter is the team's pit crew coach.(NASCAR)(5-26-2013)
Almirola Honors Air Force with Patriotic Paint Scheme in Coke 600: Aric Almirola and the #43 Air Force Ford team look to repeat last year's speed in the Coca-Cola 600. Almirola and team won the pole in last year's 600-mile event and finished 16th in his Charlotte Motor Speedway debut. In just his second start at the 1.5-mile track, Almirola started 15th and drove to the 12th position. The United States Air Force will adorn the hood of the #43 Ford this weekend. This will mark the 13th consecutive season the Air Force has been involved in NASCAR, five of which were with Richard Petty Motorsports. Charlotte Motor Speedway has many events that include the Air Force, as well as other branches of the military, as the sport works to give back during this patriotic weekend.(RPM), see an image of the Air Force scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(5-22-2013)
NASCAR legend makes south Georgia' teen's wish come true: A south Georgia boy's wish will come true this weekend when he meets a NASCAR legend. 16 year-old Jacob Entrekin from Sumner lives with a rare form of muscular dystrophy. He left for Charlotte Wednesday where he will attend the NASCAR All-Star race as a special guest of Richard Petty Motorsports. Jacob will get to meet Petty and driver Marcos Ambrose. The Make a Wish Foundation helped make the trip possible.(WALB)(5-18-2013)
Almirola looks to extend streak: Aric Almirola and the #43 Smithfield Ford team are looking to make history this weekend at Darlington Raceway with a fifth consecutive top-10 finish. If the team can finish in the top-10, it will mark the first time that the Petty-owned #43 has more than four consecutive top-10 finishes since Richard Petty posted seven consecutive top-10s in 1983. It will also mark the first time Richard Petty Motorsports has posted five consecutive top-10 finishes. With a 10th-place finish at Talladega, the team moved to the seventh position in championship points, a first for any Richard Petty Motorsports team after 10 races. The #43 team is trailing the sixth spot by six points and has a 14 point lead on 11th.(RPM)(5-9-2013)
Ambrose, Almirola complete test at Sonoma: Richard Petty Motorsports teammates Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola completed a successful two-day test session at Sonoma Raceway on Wednesday. It marked the first test for the new Gen-6 car on a NASCAR-sanctioned road course, and the debut of the new car on the 10-turn, 1.99-mile Sonoma circuit. Ambrose completed approximately 75 laps, while Almirola completed 100 laps, all in race trim. Lap times were not available. "We always want to try to get an advantage on the competition, so we feel like it's been worthwhile to be out here and hopefully it will pay off for the race," said Ambrose, who won the pole in Sonoma last year. "We're happy with the progress, but we would love to be faster, always. We're confident that we've learned a lot and we'll come back with a better package in June." (Sonoma PR)(5-9-2013)
Ambrose, Almirola Set to Test at Sonoma, May 7th: Race fans will be treated to a FREE NASCAR test session and also get a sneak peek at some tasty new food options on Tuesday, May 7, at Sonoma Raceway. The test will also mark the debut of the new NASCAR Gen-6 car in Sonoma. Richard Petty Motorsports will visit the road course for a two-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test with #9-Marcos Ambrose and #43-Aric Almirola in preparation for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 21-23. This will be the first time the new Gen-6 NASCAR stock car will lay tracks on the Sonoma Valley road course. Ambrose claimed the pole in Sonoma last year and nearly took the checkers in 2010 before a late-race stall cost him the victory. In addition to the great on-track action, fans can also preview the raceway's newest concession concept, the Sears Point Grill. Located at the north-end of the main grandstand, the Sears Point Grill will feature handmade burgers, locally-sourced sausages and other savory grilled items. Three Sears Point Grill locations will open officially during NASCAR race weekend, but fans can purchase food and drinks near the main grandstand during the test session from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. A press conference and fan event with the drivers will be held at the Sears Point Grill during the lunch break at approximately 12:15 p.m., and fans are welcome to attend. Fans can also test their skills with Grand Prix Karting in front of the Simraceway Driving Performance Center during the test session. Karting will take place from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Tuesday in front of the racing school and is free for attendees. Testing will span from approximately 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fans who purchase tickets to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 during the test on May 7 can save up to $50 on a special NASCAR ticket package. Tickets for NASCAR's 25th annual visit to the Sonoma Valley are also available at 800-870-RACE (7223) or racesonoma.com/nascar. Great options are still available, including the all-new NASCAR Express train package, Save Mart 2-Pack and more.(Sonoma Raceway)(5-2-2013)
Eckrich making first appearance of the year with Almirola: Aric Almirola and the Richard Petty Motorsports team will travel to the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway this weekend with familiar logos. Returning for its first of six primary events, Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, will once again be featured on the hood and sides of the famed # 43. The car will continue to showcase the Petty Blue base that Smithfield Foods returned back to the #43 earlier this season. In addition, Eckrich, through its continued partnership with Operation Homefront, will once again showcase the nonprofit colors on the car to support military families in need.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(4-10-2013)
Jani-King on the #43: The partners joining the #43 team this week include old and new. One of Richard Petty Motorsports newest partners, Jani-King, will make their 2013 debut on the hood, while STP will boast the Gas Booster logos on the sides of the #43. Almirola's paint scheme will commemorate STP's relationship with Petty and the first time the STP logo was on Petty's car at Riverside in 1972.(RPM), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(4-3-2013)
#43 to feature Farmland at ACS UPDATE: Aric Almirola will make his ninth NASCAR series start at the Auto Club Speedway this weekend in the #43 Farmland Ford. The Richard Petty Motorsports driver looks to surpass his best California finish of sixth, which he posted in 2010 in the Nationwide Series, in Sunday's Auto Club 400.
As part of their Race to End Hunger, Almirola will join Farmland Foods this week to present a cash and protein donation to Second Harvest Food Bank. The donation will help feed thousands of families, children and seniors in the Inland Empire. The announcement and presentation will be held at the Auto Club Speedway on Friday, March 22 at 9:30am and will include remarks from Farmland, Aric and Second Harvest Food Bank representatives, as well as photo opportunities.(RPM)(3-22-2013)
UPDATE: Farmland Foods presented $20,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank serving Riverside and San Bernardino Counties on Friday as part of an expanding effort by the company to raise awareness of hunger issues around the country. Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola joined Farmland in presenting the check. In addition, 43 cases of Farmland's famous Hickory Smoked Bacon were donated in honor of the legendary #43 Ford made famous by Richard Petty. The bacon donation will help to ensure families, children and seniors in the Inland Empire have access to much-needed protein. Farmland's "Race to End Hunger" is raising awareness about hunger issues in a growing number of communities in conjunction with race weekends for the famous #43 car, and in partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports,. In 2013, Farmland is expanding their efforts in the "Race to End Hunger" as part of the Helping Hungry Homes initiative of Smithfield Foods, Farmland's parent company. Farmland is providing cash and protein donations to food banks such as Second Harvest as part of a continued partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports and the No. 43 team. Earlier this month as part of the Race to End Hunger, Farmland donated an additional $20,000 and 43 cases of Oven Perfect to St. Mary's Food Bank in Phoenix, Ariz., and Three Square Food Bank in Las Vegas.(RPM)(3-24-2013)
Smithfield & RPM return Petty Blue Color Scheme to Famed #43: Richard Petty Motorsports and its partner Smithfield Foods announced that the Petty Blue tradition and heritage will return for the majority of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season in 2013. Smithfield Foods, and its family of brands including Eckrich, Farmland, Gwaltney and Smithfield, will showcase the historic color on the #43 Ford driven by Aric Almirola in 24 races this season. It will be the first time in over 40 years that the Petty Blue color will be primarily featured on the #43 for nearly the entire race schedule. The color, introduced by the Petty family and then made famous by "The King" Richard Petty, has come to define the winning tradition and heritage of the Petty family and the famed #43. The legions of Petty race fans have long waited for the return of the famous Petty Blue paint scheme. Smithfield Foods is proud to return the tradition and winning heritage back to the track.
"We want to connect the tradition and history of Richard Petty and Richard Petty Motorsports fans to our Smithfield Foods family of brands," explained Larry Pope, chief executive officer of Smithfield Foods. "There is no better way to do that than to bring back the Petty Blue color scheme that all race fans recognize and relate to on the #43 Ford. We will now make sure that each time we race this season, our fans will be able to easily recognize Aric (Almirola) on the track and the strong heritage that the Petty and Smithfield Foods brands represent."
The first Petty Blue scheme will adorn the #43 this weekend when Almirola will race the Famland Ford at the Phoenix International Raceway. This car, along with the Eckrich and Smithfield (Gwaltney) Ford were unveiled today by team owner Richard Petty and Smithfield Director of Public Affairs, Dennis Pittman.
"I'm really humbled by everyone at Smithfield and all their companies to decide to make this change," said team owner Richard Petty. "They have been great partners for us as a company and this really proves that. Our fans will now be able to easily recognize the No. 43 Ford and Aric on the track throughout the season. It will also bring back a lot of good memories for me each time I see it."
Also this weekend, Almirola will make his return to NASCAR Nationwide Series competition for the first time since competing full-time in 2011 when he finished fourth in the point standings. Almirola will substitute for Michael Annett, who was injured in a crash at Daytona, in the #43 Flying J Ford at Phoenix.(RPM), see images of the cars on the #43 Team Schemes page.(2-28-2013)
Richard & Kyle Petty Dedicate Muscle Cars Forever Stamps: Raw power will get a stamp of its own when seven-time NASCAR National Champion Richard Petty will dedicate new America on the Move: Muscle Cars Forever stamps. On Friday, Feb 22nd at 2pm/et, Petty, joined by son Kyle, will dedicate the limited-edition stamps at the Daytona International Speedway where "King Richard" won a record seven Daytona 500 Championships. Typically equipped with big, powerful engines, these high-performance vehicles began roaring across America in the 1960s. The stamps feature five iconic muscle cars: the '66 Pontiac GTO, the '67 Shelby GT-500, the '69 Dodge Charger Daytona, the '70 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda and the '70 Chevelle SS. Three classic muscle cars, '67 Shelby GT-500, '70 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda and '69 Dodge Charger Daytona will be in the Sprint FANZONE on Friday! Customers may view the America on the Move: Muscle Cars stamps, as well as many of this year's other stamps, on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps or at beyondtheperf.com.(2-22-2013)
STP to sponsor April race at Martinsville: co-sponsor on #43: Martinsville Speedway and the STP brand announced a multi-year entitlement sponsorship agreement at Daytona International Speedway. The sponsorship kicks off with the STP Gas Booster 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race scheduled for April 7, 2013 at the historic Virginia track. "STP and Martinsville Speedway have both been a part of the NASCAR family for decades. To work with a company that has such legendary status in our sport is exciting to me," said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. "Bringing together two companies that have so much history and such fan recognition is going to be a winning combination for everyone, especially the fans." The Martinsville Speedway entitlement is the latest addition to the STP brand's motorsports portfolio which includes entitlement sponsorships of NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide events at Kansas Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway, respectively, and the entitlement sponsorship for the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series.
In addition to sponsoring the race, the STP brand will be a co-primary sponsor of Richard Petty Motorsports and the #43 Jani-King STP Ford Fusion driven by Aric Amirola at the Martinsville spring race. The paint scheme will be commemorative of the first time the STP logo was on Petty's car at Riverside in 1972.
"STP, Richard Petty Motorsports and Martinsville Speedway were made for each other. It is surprising this hasn't happened sooner! Everyone at the STP brand is very proud to support Martinsville Speedway, the fans and Richard Petty Motorsports," said Jamie Kistner, Brand Director, STP. "The sponsorship is a perfect way to introduce our latest product innovation, STP Gas Booster" Concentrated Fuel System Treatment. This is the first time that we've leveraged an entitlement sponsorship to launch a new product. The STP brand continues to develop innovative technology and believes NASCAR provides a perfect platform to share the news with fans."
STP Gas Booster is a modern approach to fuel system treatments. One treatment of STP Gas Booster starts working immediately to help restore lost power and performance, and this unique formulation also helps to restore fuel economy by cleaning the fuel system. The STP brand continues to develop breakthrough technology to help consumers keep their engines running better longer.
"It is hard to believe my relationship with STP started more than 40 years ago, and here we are today announcing yet another chapter in the brand's history with me, Richard Petty Motorsports and NASCAR," said Richard Petty. "During my time with STP I've watched the brand become a fan favorite with products that give them The Racer's Edge and this partnership is yet another example of their commitment. I can't wait to see the '72 Riverside STP car paint scheme back on the track."
Richard Petty and the #43 STP machine have a storied history at Martinsville: Petty has the most wins with a total of 15
· Petty has the most grandfather clocks, awarded to the winner, with a total of 12
· Petty has an amazing 67 starts, the most of any driver
· Petty has the most top-10 and top-five finishes
· In 1960, Petty won the spring race at the age of 20, becoming the youngest winner at Martinsville
· The last "ride" by Petty came on the side door of the famous #43 STP car with John Andretti driving him to Victory Lane in April of 1999; that year also marks the last time the #43 STP machine won there
The STP Gas Booster 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is scheduled for Sunday, April 7, the day after the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Pole Day is Friday, April 5. Ticket prices for the STP Gas Booster 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race start as low as $37. Tickets for the STP Gas Booster 500, the Kroger 250 and Martinsville Pole Day may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or by visiting www.martinsvillespeedway.com.(Martinsville Speedway)(2-12-2013)
Richard Petty special to air tonight: Richard Petty: A Racer's Life: Richard "The King" Petty shares the real truths behind this "simple man" and his family's impact on NASCAR as reported by Steve Byrnes. The Richard Petty Stories delivers the vanguard family of Nascar in a remarkably open manner that has never been documented before. At his request, The King, Richard Petty sat down with Steve Byrnes to share the real truths behind this "simple man" and his family's impact on NASCAR. The premiere is scheduled for Monday, February 18th at 8L30pm/et on SPEED with re-airs scheduled.(SPEED)(2-18-2013)
Drivers run in Daytona Beach Half Marathon: #5-Kasey Kahne apparently had slightly better equipment than Hendrick Motorsports teammate #48-Jimmie Johnson for Sunday's Daytona Beach Half Marathon. Kahne finished the chilly 13.1-mile run -- which began on pit road at Daytona International Speedway and included a brief stint on the beach -- in 1:28:45. Johnson came in at 1:29:48. Aric Almirola and Michael Waltrip also participated. Almirola crossed the lined in 1:46:12. Waltrip, who was hoping for a 10-minute-mile pace, said he had a good time, too.(ESPN)(2-18-2013)
Allstate Peterbilt Group providing Petty Motorsports with tractors: Richard Petty Motorsports and Allstate Peterbilt Group have joined forces for the 2013 NASCAR season. Allstate Peterbilt Group announced they will supply Richard Petty Motorsports' NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series teams with Peterbilt tractors. Allstate Peterbilt Group has 17 locations throughout the Midwest and over forty years of experience supporting the Peterbilt line of products. The company will provide the teams with Peterbilt model 389 tractors, the flagship of premium traditional trucks, with aerodynamics that provide the team more fuel efficiency. The tractors will haul the race cars and race equipment of the #9 and #43 Sprint Cup teams of Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola and the #43 NASCAR Nationwide team of Michael Annett. With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 36-race schedule and the NASCAR Nationwide Series 33-race schedule, all three teams are spending a total of over 200,000 miles transporting each team's cars and race equipment to each racetrack, making reliability a top-concern.(RPM)(2-7-2012)
Drivers to run Daytona Half Marathon: Prior to turning two high-speed qualifying laps in Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, several NASCAR drivers will first compete in the fifth annual Daytona Beach Half Marathon, which will start and end at historic Daytona International Speedway. The Central Florida Sports Commission and Daytona International Speedway, in partnership with Volusia County, will host the Daytona Beach Half Marathon on Sunday, Feb. 17, just one week before the 55th running of the Daytona 500. The Daytona Beach Half Marathon, which will start at 6:30 a.m. ET, is being held for the first time during Budweiser Speedweeks. Among the NASCAR drivers that have submitted applications to compete in the Daytona Beach Half Marathon are #48-Jimmie Johnson, #30-Michael Waltrip, #5-Kasey Kahne and #43-Aric Almirola. The Daytona Beach Half Marathon is open to runners and walkers, at least 12 years of age or older, who can complete the course in less than 3 hours and 30 minutes.(DIS)(2-6-2013)
Air Force renews sponsorship ofAlmirola: The U.S. Air Force will once again partner with Richard Petty Motorsports to connect with America's best and brightest young adults. The U.S. Air Force will serve as an associate sponsor on Aric Almirola's #43 Ford for the entire 2013 season and as a primary sponsor at the Memorial Day weekend race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Fourth of July weekend race at Daytona International Speedway. The star-studded Air Force paint scheme adorned the historic No. 43 Ford for the same two marquee races in 2012 - the Coca-Cola 600 (Charlotte), where Almirola earned his first career pole, and the Coke Zero 400 (Daytona). The Air Force will also continue its experiential marketing activities at NASCAR events, air shows and festivals throughout the year, taking the No. 43 U.S. Air Force Ford show car and "Hangar 43" interactive display to environments where recruiters can connect with young adults. It will also 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 their country.(RPM)(2-4-2013)
2013 silly season notes for #43-Aric Almirola / Richard Petty Motorsports:: Almirola re-signed with RPM for the 2013 season. RPM stayed with Ford after thinking about switching to Chevy or Dodge. Smithfield Foods expanded their sponsorship of the team, going from 18 races in 2012 to 25 in 2013. The U.S. Air Force will be the primary sponsor for a few races and looks like STP will return for a race, the STP 400 at Kansas is likely. Todd Parrott returns as Almirola's crew chief in 2013 after taking over in late 2012. Almiorla had three crew chiefs in 2012: Greg Irwin, Mike Ford and Parrott. See many images of some #43 schemes on my #43 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-28-2013)
Smithfield Foods Expands Partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports: Smithfield Foods announced it will expand its partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports to include primary sponsor of the legendary #43 Ford in 25 events during the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Smithfield Foods and its family of brands including Eckrich, Farmland, Gwaltney and Smithfield will all participate as primary sponsors throughout the year. Aric Almirola will drive the Smithfield Foods-backed #43 Ford in his second full-time season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Smithfield Foods, the world's largest producer of pork products, will continue to engage fans with unique marketing initiatives that introduce NASCAR fans to the company's many brands and products. Both rich with history, Smithfield Foods and Richard Petty Motorsports are a natural match while both pursue continued excellence in their respective industries.
"We are thrilled to come back as a partner of Richard Petty Motorsports, Aric and the #43 team this season," said Joe Luter IV, Executive Vice President of Smithfield. "We were very pleased with the value that the partnership provided us and our customers in our first year together. We are already working hard to make our race program better this year."
In his first full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Almirola and his #43 Ford team secured a pole, earned one top-five and four top-10 finishes and finished 20th in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship standings. "We are happy to continue our partnership with Smithfield and its family of brands," said Richard Petty, co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. "The folks at Smithfield put some great programs into place last season, and we can't wait to see what they have in store this year. Smithfield came on board at a pivotal time for our company and helped us develop to the team we are today. Aric and Todd came on strong at the end of the year last year, and we're looking forward to a solid year in 2013."
Almirola not only became a partner of Smithfield last season, but also became part of its marketing programs, playing a key role in giving back. "I had a great time working with Smithfield and its companies last season," Almirola commented. "Together, we gave back to the community through Smithfield's initiative Helping Hungry Homes, Eckrich's Operation Homefront and to Harvesters Food Bank with Farmland Foods among others. It has been a privilege to work with a company that focuses on giving back. Not to mention, their quality products." Smithfield Packing will kick off the season aboard the #43 Ford at Daytona International Speedway for The Sprint Unlimited and the Daytona 500.(RPM)(1-24-2013)
Ford Racing - RPM & RFR Notes from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour: the first stop on the final day of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour was at the hotel where Ford drivers from Richard Petty Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing talked and met with the media: Some notes from Twitter world
Roush on working with Penske: "They have a dramatically different car than our car. The underbody and the suspension doesn't relate."
Robbie Reiser promoted from general manager to vice president of competition at Roush Fenway.
Roger Penske says his team's main contact with the RFR is Robbie Reiser.
Jack Roush said he's looking to put Trevor Bayne in a Cup car, full-time for the 2014 season, depending on sponsorship and driver performace.
Roush Fenway Racing had 9 sponsors up for renewal entering 2012 who are back.
There is sponsorhip available for #17-Stenhouse.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was asked directly whether he is dating Danica Patrick. He said he preferred not to talk about his personal life.
Smithfield Foods will expand the number of races it will sponsor the #43 to 25 races.
Marcos Ambrose shaved off his bushy beard he sported at testing.
(from many Twitter reports/feeds)(1-24-2013)
The King & Dale Jr. team up: Dale Earnhardt Jr., the most popular driver in NASCAR racing today, is joining Goody's longtime spokesman, Richard "The King" Petty, in a new multi-media campaign that will introduce consumers to the fast-dissolving headache remedy. Beginning in early 2013, the driving duo's radio, television and digital campaign will tell fans how to be unstoppable with Goody's. Goody's Powder will be the title sponsor for the Goody's Fast Relief 500, the October 27 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville. Goody's also will continue its longstanding tradition of sampling the product at racetracks and, to the delight of fans, bring Earnhardt and Petty together for personal appearances. "This partnership is unprecedented," said Joseph Juliano, Brand Director, Goody's. "It is the first time that these two NASCAR legends have worked together. Each of them has a huge fan base, and they are both synonymous with the sport of auto racing. Goody's is all about speed, and nobody personifies the idea of speed better than Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Jr."
"I am really looking forward to working with Dale Jr. on the new campaign for Goody's, which will introduce the product to a whole new generation," Petty said. "He is a great driver and a smart businessman, and nobody is more popular with NASCAR fans."
"Richard Petty is a role model for me and every other driver in NASCAR," Earnhardt said. "I am honored to be working with him and thankful Goody's brought us together. I signed on with Goody's in part because of their long-term commitment to NASCAR. They helped start the trend of non-car companies coming into the sport. In my mind, they are synonymous with NASCAR racing. I am also a big fan of their product because it works so fast."(JR Motorsports)(1-22-2013)
Ambrose to run Rolex 24 At Daytona: Even with the best laid plans, sometimes you have to call an audible. Fortunately for the defending Rolex 24 At Daytona Champions Michael Shank Racing, the audible is an excellent play as the team has confirmed that NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose will join Michael Shank Racing for the 2013 Rolex 24 At Daytona to drive the #60 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley. Ambrose, who impressed in testing with the team during the "Roar Before the 24" over the weekend, will supplement the driving line up of AJ Allmendinger, Justin Wilson, John Pew, and Ozz Negri as Negri continues to heal from an off-season testing injury. The Roar testing proved productive for the Shank organization, as the team led five of eight practice sessions during the weekend between the two team Daytona Prototype entries. Negri will continue to push ahead with his physical therapy and expects to be able to compete in the 51st running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Ambrose has previous experience in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and with the NASCAR Preseason Thunder kicking off this weekend, is getting plenty of seat time on both the oval and the 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway as he prepares to kick off a busy season.(RPM)(1-11-2013)
2012 Races  that Smithfield Foods is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Daytona - 2/26
Phoenix - 3/4, Allez Cuisine
Martinsville - 4/1
Texas - 4/14
Richmond - 4/30
Kentucky - 6/30, Eckrich
Indy - 7/29, Eckrich
Watkins Glen - 8/12
Michigan - 8/19, Eckrich
Richmond - 9/8
Chicago - 9/16, Farmland
Talladega - 10/7, Gwaltney
Charlotte - 10/13
Kansas - 10/21, Farmland
Martinsville - 10/28, Gwaltney
Texas - 11/4, Farmland
Phoenix - 11/11, Farmland
2012 Races  that STP is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Kansas - 4/22
2012 Races  that Verifone is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Talladega - 5/6
2012 Races  that the U.S. Air Force is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Charlotte - 5/27
Daytona - 7/7
2012 Races  that Gravely Mowers is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Darlington - 5/12
2012 Races  that Goody's has been the primary sponsor:
Bristol - 8/25
2012 Races  that AdvoCare is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Atlanta - 9/2
2012 Races  that TrimFit All-Natural Weight Loss Water has been the primary sponsor:
New Hampshire - 9/23
2012 Races  that Super 8 Hotels has been the primary sponsor:
Dover - 9/30
2012 Races  that Medallion Financial has been the primary sponsor:
Auto Club - 3/25
Michigan - 6/17
Sonoma - 6/24
New Hampshire - 7/15
Richard Petty: Phone rule made up: Hall of Fame driver Richard Petty says NASCAR was "hypocritical'' in fining point leader Brad Keselowski for carrying a cell phone in his car last weekend at Phoenix. "I think it's hypocritical because he [did] it at Daytona, and then NASCAR had a big meeting with everybody and said, 'Oh! Man! That's great. Everybody go out there and do it just as much as you can.' And then they say, 'Whoo! You ain't supposed to do it in a racecar,' '' NASCAR's all-time win leader said on Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "I don't think that was in the rulebook. I think they made that one up as they went.''(ESPN)(11-18-2012)
RPM re-signs Ambrose and Almirola: Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) confirmed today its current drivers, Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola, have re-signed for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Ambrose will enter his third season driving for the organization. He will again be behind the wheel of the #9 Ford with partners Stanley and DEWALT. Almirola will begin his second season as the driver of the #43 Ford with primary support from partner Smithfield Foods and its family of brands, Smithfield, Eckrich, Farmland and Gwaltney. In addition, long-time Petty sponsor, STP, will also continue as a primary partner of the #43.
Ambrose returns to the Petty organization where he has his two Sprint Cup victories. The Australian native has won consecutively at Watkins Glen for RPM. This season, Ambrose also earned his first two Sprint Cup Series poles at Michigan and then Sonoma. In addition to this year's win and two poles, Ambrose has collected eight top-10 and three top-five finishes. He was also in position to earn a berth in the Sprint Cup "Chase" for the second consecutive season.
"It's good to come back to Richard Petty Motorsports and focus on our future together," said Ambrose. "We had success this year and recently have made plans to get better for 2013 and beyond. It was great to win at Watkins Glen, earn my first two poles and also have the opportunity to make the 'Chase' this year. I think the Petty organization, and this #9 team under the leadership of 'The King,' Sammy (Johns) and Drew (crew chief Blickensderfer), is going to be even stronger next season. I can't think of a better place to be and am ready to win."
Almirola is completing his first full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He also found success with RPM behind the wheel of the famous #43 Ford. Almirola won his first career Sprint Cup Series pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. He also collected three top-10 and one top-five finish so far this season. Recently, Almirola has been under the crew chief leadership of RPM veteran Todd Parrott. The combination has helped Almirola lead the most laps in his young Sprint Cup career. The team also recently finished fourth at Martinsville in October.
"We went through some changes this season, but since being paired with Todd (Parrott) and this crew, I've had the most fun I've had in a Cup car," said Almirola. "I think we have a lot of things 'clicking' right now and have a lot of momentum heading into 2013. Everyone at RPM seems to have good chemistry right now and that's a good feeling as we all prepare for 2013."
RPM previously announced its continuing relationship with Ford Racing and the addition of crew chief Drew Blickensderfer. Also confirmed earlier this season, RPM will continue to field the #43 Pilot/Flying J Ford in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with driver Michael Annett. Annett is currently fifth in the Nationwide Series championship. With all the pieces in place for 2013, director of competition Sammy Johns has high expectations in 2013 for all teams.
"We have shuffled our Cup team line-ups a few times this season to maximize our results," commented Johns. "We feel that the chemistry that we are developing now with both teams is very strong. We have seen marked improvement over the past few weeks. It's important that we continue to better our communication and continuity with Marcos, Aric and their teams into 2013. We feel confident that both teams are capable of competing for wins and making the 'Chase' next season."(RPM)(11-17-2012)
Farmland returns to sponsor the #43: Sunday's AdvoCare 500 marks the final of four races that the Farmland colors will adorn the #43 Ford Fusion this year. Before strapping into his race car on Friday, driver Aric Almirola will strap into an F-16 fighter jet on Thursday at Luke Air Force Base in nearby Glendale, Ariz. The U.S. Air Force, a #43 team sponsor, is giving Almirola the flight of a lifetime, courtesy of the 56th Fighter Wing. Almirola will go through flight training and be fitted for his own flight suit before climbing aboard the F-16 Fighting Falcon for an authentic training exercise.(RPM), see images of the car on the #43 Team Schemes page.(11-7-2012)
Almirola close to deal to stay in #43: Aric Almirola said he is close to a deal that will keep him in the famous #43 at Richard Petty Motorsports in 2013 following Sunday's fourth-place finish at Martinsville Speedway. "I feel like I'm close to getting it done,'' said Almirola, who was given a one-year deal for this year. "I want to be there.'' Sunday's finish equaled Almirola's career best. He was fourth last season in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. RPM also is close to finalizing a deal to keep Marcos Ambrose in the #9 next season. Team officials said they hope to have everything wrapped up in the next few weeks.(ESPN)(10-28-2012)
Richard Petty Motorsports renews with Ford: Richard Petty Motorsports and Ford Racing announced they will continue their manufacturer partnership. The announcement ensures that Richard Petty Motorsports' two NASCAR Sprint Cup race teams and its Nationwide Series race team will race under the Ford Racing banner into 2013. It will be the fourth consecutive season the team has raced with the manufacturer. Subsequently, RPM will continue its services contract with Roush-Fenway Racing and Roush-Yates Racing to supply new Ford Fusions and Ford horsepower for its entries. RPM will continue to enter the #9 Ford Fusion with partners Stanley and DEWALT and the # 43 Ford Fusion with Smithfield Foods and its family of brands, Smithfield, Eckrich, Farmland and Gwaltney, in the Sprint Cup Series, as well as the #43 Pilot/Flying J Ford Mustang with driver Michael Annett in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The team is currently in the process of securing its Sprint Cup Series driver agreements.(RPM)(10-19-2012)
Almirola "Bacon a Difference" at Kansas: Aric Almirola and the #43 Farmland team head to Kansas Speedway a couple days early this week to participate in a two-day test on the newly repaved track. But there's one "test" that this partnership has already passed - that together they can raise awareness for hunger relief. The Farmland Foods paint scheme on Almirola's Ford Fusion marks the success of "Bacon a Difference," a summer-long campaign that raised funds for Harvesters-The Community Food Network. With each package of Farmland bacon purchased from Memorial Day to Labor Day in the Kansas City area, Farmland pledged to donate 4.3 cents to the area food bank, with a minimum donation of $43,000. Total funds raised will be announced by Farmland, Harvesters and race team owner Richard Petty at a special event on Thursday in Kansas City, Mo.(RPM)(10-17-2012)
Gwaltney to wrap #43 Ford at Talladega Superspeedway: Gwaltney Foods, producer of quality bacon, franks, lunchmeats, sausage and hams, will wrap Aric Almirola's #43 Ford with its signature red and yellow colors for the October 7, 2012 race at Talladega Superspeedway. "Gwaltney is a trusted family brand with over 140 year history of producing the quality meat products at a popular price point," said Will Brunt, Vice President of Marketing at Smithfield Packing. "Gwaltney proudly boasts America's number-one rated chicken frank and bologna, and we're excited to be running our prize sweepstakes in conjunction with the Talladega race, as many of our customers are stock-car racing fans."(Richard Petty Motorsports)(10-2-2012)
Super 8 to Paint RPM #43 Car in Signature Colors for Dover: The signature colors of Super 8 will adorn Aric Almirola's #43 Ford at Dover International Speedway this Sunday and, to celebrate, the hotel brand is offering sweepstakes prizes based on the driver's finish. This month, the first prize winner of the Super 8 Road Trip Challenge Sweepstakes--which launched in March 2012 and awards weekly and monthly race-themed prizes--has a chance to win additional prize money based on the performance of the #43 car in the upcoming AAA 400.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(9-25-2012)
New look for the #43 at New Hampshire: The #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford will have a new look on the track this week for driver Aric Almirola, with TrimFit All-Natural Weight Loss Water joining the team as primary sponsor for the first time this season in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. TrimFit is eager to showcase its unique product to the NASCAR audience. The first-ever weight loss water is formulated to help users lose weight, lower body fat and build lean muscle (RPM), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(9-20-2012)
Petty expects to stay with Ford; Ambrose and Almirola to return: UPDATE: Richard Petty is busy lining up his team for 2013 (and, hopefully, beyond), and he is moving in waters that remain choppy and with changeable tides. Discussions about Richard Petty Motorsports' future continue, but the landscape as it currently is painted appears to keep the RPM cars in the Ford camp for the next season, although the King has been talking with more than a few other possible partners. "It looks like there is not going to be a lot of change there for next year, but there's no concrete stuff yet," Petty said Friday at Chicagoland Speedway. "We're figuring on staying in exactly the same place, with the same operation from a manufacturing standpoint. We don't see a change unless somebody else comes up with something." Petty said he expects drivers #9-Marcos Ambrose and #43-Aric Almirola to return but admitted the die is not cast.(SPEED)(9-15-2012)
UPDATE: The director of Ford Racing said on Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway that the manufacturer is "very close'' to a new deal with Richard Petty Motorsports. "All the pieces are in place,'' Jamie Allison said before the Chase opener. "We're working on giving them the tools so they can be competitive. It's all going to work." There was a report last week that Chevrolet might be in the mix for RPM, but sources close to the situation said the plan is to re-sign with Ford. Allison was excited about the prospects of keeping RPM in the Ford camp. He also mentioned maintaining a relationship with Marcos Ambrose, the driver of RPM's #9 car who is in the final year of his contract. He did not mention Aric Almirola, the driver of the #43 who also is in the final year of his contract.(ESPN)(9-17-2012)
#43 Farmland Ford Debuts at Chicago: Aric Almirola will take to Chicagoland Speedway this week with a new look and a new team. His #43 Ford will sport the Farmland paint scheme for the first of four races. The Kansas City, Mo.-based producer of pork products is part of the Smithfield Foods family, with which Almirola and Richard Petty Motorsports have celebrated a successful relationship all season. Sunday's GEICO 400 will also be the first race with new crew chief Todd Parrott atop the #43 pit box. Farmland's sponsorship of the #43 Ford coincides with its 2012 launch of a series of innovative pork offerings. The Farmland colors will also adorn the #43 Ford at Kansas, Texas and Phoenix this season.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(9-12-2012)
Richard Petty Motorsports Makes Change to Sprint Cup Teams: Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) announced it has made changes to its crew lineup in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Mike Ford will now lead Marcos Ambrose and the #9 Ford while Todd Parrott has been assigned as the crew chief for Aric Almirola and the #43 Ford. In addition, team members from both teams will also make the switch with their respective crew chief. Several pit crew members were also recently changed. The move is made to strengthen the entire RPM organization and improve the performance level now and into the future. The change is effective immediately. Richard Petty Motorsports currently has one win, three poles, 10 top-10 and three top-five finishes this season in the Sprint Cup Series. The team was also in position to make the Chase for the second consecutive season with driver Marcos Ambrose.
"We're continuing to make improvements at Richard Petty Motorsports and we've added talented people to our organization this season," said Sammy Johns, director of competition. "This move is to make sure that we are using that talent to the fullest to get the best results for our teams each weekend. We feel this adjustment will strengthen the organization, allow us to continue to compete for wins and ultimately challenge for championships."
Ford and Parrott are both veteran, winning crew chiefs. Parrott has one Sprint Cup championship, a Daytona 500 championship and 31 Sprint Cup wins to his credit. Ford has six Chase births and 25 Sprint Cup race wins on his resume. Both are looking at the change as an opportunity to better Richard Petty Motorsports.
"Aric has really shown the desire and dedication to get his first Sprint Cup Series win," Parrott said. "It was great our team helped lead Marcos to his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win and poles. We are now ready to help direct Almirola and the #43 team to the same results and better."
Ford is also ready to work with Ambrose and the #9 race team. "Marcos is a racer who has proven to win poles and races," Ford said. "Our goal is to take my experiences and make sure we can consistently run up front and continue to win races." Ford, Parrott and their teams will be working with their new respective drivers this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(9-10-2012)
Petty to Chevy?: According to sources, principals from RPM met with Richard Childress Racing management earlier this week to discuss the possibility of becoming a satellite team similar to the relationship that the Welcome, N.C.-based organization has with #78 Furniture Row Racing. "No comment on anything because I don't have a clue what's going on," Richard Petty said. "When we get everything squared away, we'll talk to you. Other than that, there ain't nothing. There ain't nothing there 'til we bring something there, and right now we have nothing." Sources say the move to Chevrolet would include technical support from the manufacturer in the form of sheet metal, wind tunnel time and engineering. Petty Enterprises last ran Pontiacs under the General Motors banner before switching to Dodge in 2001.(FoxSports)(9-8-2012)
Congrats - Aric Almirola: Richard Petty Motorsports driver $43-Aric Almirola and wife Janice welcomed a baby boy, Alex, on Tuesday.(9-5-2012)
Petty's 1992 STP Pontiac Grand Prix SE Race Car on display: Richard Petty, The King of NASCAR, ran his 1992 Cup Season as his farewell Fan Appreciation Tour. Petty concluded his 34-year racing career on November 15, 1992 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in the legendary 1992 STP Pontiac. On the 94th lap, Petty was involved in an accident causing the car to go up in flames. Petty was fortunate to walk away uninjured. His crew was able to get the car back on the track to finish the race. After the race, Petty circled the track to salute his fans one last time in the trademark STP Pontiac. Visit the famed car located in Atlanta Motor Speedway's Fan Zone at the Goody's display.(AMS)(8-31-2012)
Almirola gets Truck ride for Atlanta:
Aric Almirola will pilot the #5 Jordan Truck Sales- Courtesy Ford Wauters Motorsports F150 Friday night in the Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Almirola has two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins with Richie Wauters as the crew chief (Dover, Michigan 2010) and three previous starts at Atlanta's tricky, high-speed quad-oval in the series, with a best finish of third-place position in 2010. Sponsors of the #5 Ford F150, Jordan Truck Sales & Courtesy Ford, are based in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Rimrock Design, Lake City, Florida and Quick Lane Tire and Auto Center, Georgia will also be on the NASCAR truck for Friday nights event.(Wauters Motorsports)(8-31-2012)
RPM to return in 2013: Richard Petty Motorsports will remain a part of the Sprint Cup Series in 2013 despite a loss of manufacturer money and limited sponsorship, the co-owner told ESPN.com. Petty said he hopes to have a new deal with Ford in the next three weeks, but acknowledged it probably won't be as good financially since much of the manufacturer's money that went to RPM is going to Penske Racing. Penske is moving from Dodge to Ford in 2013. Petty did say that RPM currently has enough sponsorship to put two Cup cars on the track next year. "We've always been here, so we're going to be here,'' the Hall of Fame driver said. Petty wasn't so adamant on whether his driver lineup -- Marcos Ambrose in the #9 and Aric Almirola in the famed #43 -- would remain the same. Ambrose appears safe -- he's won this year and is safely inside the top 20 in points at 16th. Almirola signed a one-year deal and is 22nd in points. "We'll see," Petty said on his driver lineup. "Right now, everything we've got going is in the air, just like it has been the last three or four years."(ESPN)(8-30-2012)
AdvoCare to Sponsor #43 Ford at Atlanta: Health and wellness company AdvoCare will power the #43 Ford Fusion on Labor Day weekend, sponsoring Aric Almirola at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The award-winning company, which offers energy, weight-loss, nutrition, and sports performance products, will also be the title sponsor of the September 2 Sprint Cup race, the AdvoCare 500, for the second consecutive year. The event will mark the 2012 debut of the AdvoCare blue and white colors on Richard Petty Motorsports' #43 Ford Fusion. But the company is no stranger to Almirola. The 28-year-old driver is a regular user of AdvoCare products in his nutrition and fitness regimen.(RPM)(8-28-2012)
RPM makes crew changes: Richard Petty Motorsports made changes to its two pit crews on Monday in preparation for this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. "We're trying to move things around to improve the performance on both teams," says Sammy Johns, director of operations for RPM. RPM swapped the rear tire combination of changer Justin Fieldler and carrier Eric Wallace from Marcos Ambrose's team with Aric Almirola's rear tire changer Kyle Power and rear tire carrier Blake Haugland. The jackmen positions were also exchanged. Rodney Fetters will now jack Almirola's #43 Ford while Kevin Wing is the jackman for Ambrose and the #9 Stanley team.(FoxSports)(8-23-2012)
Goody's on the #43 at Bristol: Goody's Powder is bringing its fast pain relief to a race that's considered by some as the "king of pain" ... the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, August 25. Goody's® will be the title sponsor on the Richard Petty Motorsports' #43 Ford driven by Aric Almirola. Goody's has been involved in the sport for 35 years, but this marks only the third time it's appeared on Richard Petty's famed #43 car. The paint scheme will include the traditional blue and white colors that customers associate with the fast pain reliever.(RPM)(8-21-2012)
Almirola to have Eckrich colors back at Michigan: Aric Almirola and the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford team will once again carry the distinctive colors of Eckrich this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. As Eckrich continues to honor military families, the #43 Ford will again carry a splash of red-white-and-blue by featuring the star-spangled logo of Operation Homefront, a national non-profit organization that provides emergency financial assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. This summer, Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, has partnered with Operation Homefront to support military families. The company has already donated $200,000 to Operation Homefront through the contribution of five cents from each purchase of specially marked products from May 1 through July 4.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(8-15-2012)
Richard Petty talks about Ford Richard Petty said Sunday after his driver, #9-Marcos Ambrose, won at Watkins Glen that his company would have to renegotiate with Ford after the season. "I seen some of the Ford people there today. I told them, `Me and Marcos won the race.' I had the contract in my pocket. I was going to let them sign it right there. I don't think it went over too good."(Associated Press)(8-13-2013)
Furniture Row and RPM looking to firm up manufacturer deals: Sprint Cup teams flirting with a move to Dodge will try to land other manufacturer deals for next season now that Dodge has decided to leave the sport after this season. Richard Petty Motorsports, a Ford team, and Furniture Row Racing, a Chevrolet team, both had contemplated moves to Dodge before the announcement Tuesday that the manufacturer will not field a Sprint Cup car next year. RPM fields cars for Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola while Furniture Row fields a car for Regan Smith.
"RPM is still looking at all their options as far as manufacturers go," said Ambrose. "For the sport, Dodge pulling out was not a great thing. It's been really healthy to have four manufacturers in the sport. As a fan of NASCAR, I'm disappointed that Dodge has taken that choice. I understand it, though. For us, we're building to the future at RPM and I look forward to playing my part and helping them make good choices. It's exciting times for RPM."
It would appear that RPM's options are limited. Chevrolet (13 cars) and Toyota (seven) appear to be content with their number of teams. RPM likely will return to Ford, but it has added Penske Racing to its lineup for next season. Furniture Row has a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing for cars and Earnhardt Childress Racing Engines. "What it does is it allowed us get focused on what we're doing now and what we're doing for next year," Furniture Row Racing general manager Joe Garone said. "All of our contracts were open after this year. We're starting to meet with (Childress) this weekend and start working on that." Now that it has a good idea of its manufacturer situation, Garone said the team can also focus on Smith, who's contract is up after this season. "Now that that is behind us, we'll go into that process of evaluating where we're at, looking at the whole thing and trying to get everything done," Garone said.(Sporting News)(8-11-2012)
Dream Come True: Richard Petty Super Fan Designs RPM #43 Car: This weekend, the Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) #43 Ford driven by Aric Almirola will once again showcase the black and "Petty blue" colors of the Smithfield paint scheme designed by longtime Richard Petty super fan Kevin Gates. The scheme, featured earlier this year at the Charlotte Motor Speedway during the All-Star race, will once again be on the track this weekend at Watkins Glen International Speedway. Gates, who has been a Richard Petty devotee for more than 25 years, used his graphic design skills to create an updated paint scheme for the legendary RPM car. On a whim, he sent the sketch to RPM sponsor Smithfield Foods who, in turn, decided to make his vision a reality by updating the scheme to reflect his design. The car then raced at the All-Star race in May at Charlotte. It now returns to the track this weekend and the base scheme will be used for the remainder of the Smithfield-sponsored race events in 2012. The opportunity to see his scheme on the track has been a dream come true for the humble 27-year-old Connecticut native.
"We at Smithfield have been excited to be able to showcase Kevin Gates' great work on the RPM #43 car this season and again this weekend at Watkins Glen," said Will Brunt, Vice President of Marketing. "The passion and enthusiasm racing fans possess is inspiring and is one of the many things we love about this sport. We are thrilled to be able to reward a lifetime racing fan in this manner."
"Designing the car has been an overwhelming experience for me," said Kevin Gates. "I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity Smithfield has given me. This is a dream come true for a fan like myself and it's been awesome to see this car race on the track. To know that I had a part in the process of creating the King's car is undoubtedly one of the stand alone highlights of my life."
"Smithfield started looking at their paint scheme and told us that one of our fans had created something they really liked," said Richard Petty, co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. "We looked at it too and thought he did a pretty good job so we decided to check it out under the lights during the All-Star race. Everyone seemed to like it so we'll bring it out in the day this weekend at Watkins Glen."
Gates' affinity for "The King" goes beyond just his skills on the racetrack; he also shares Petty's passion for charity with special needs and chronically ill children. Gates' own younger brother Scott was diagnosed with a very rare chromosome disorder at birth and has served as an inspiration and blessing in Gates' life. He greatly admires and supports Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp, a camp that provides life-changing experiences for kids with lasting medical conditions or serious illnesses, for providing these children with a place to enjoy themselves and gain self-confidence. (RPM), see images of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(8-8-2012)
Almirola to carry Automotive Lift Institute Safety Message at Pocono: The Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) will be the primary partner on the Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Ford driven by Aric Almirola in this weekend's Sprint Cup Series Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway. The sponsorship provides a unique platform to share ALI's vehicle service lift safety message with millions of NASCAR fans as the Institute launches the ALI Lift Inspector Certification Program. The Automotive Lift Institute #43 Ford wears a stunning paint scheme of orange, white and black. ALI is a trade association dedicated to promoting the safe design, construction, installation, inspection, service and use of vehicle service lifts. It sponsors several national vehicle lift safety standards, offers a third-party Automotive Lift Certification Program and is launching North America's first national Lift Inspector Certification Program.(RPM), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint scheme page.(7-31-2012)
Almirola and Eckrich Hand-Deliver Surprise to Indianapolis Military Member: Imagine answering your front door and finding a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and race car outside. And the driver is bearing gifts. That's exactly what happened to an Indianapolis family when Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Eckrich® Ford, rang the doorbell of the Baier home Friday afternoon. Almirola and sponsor Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, made the surprise visit as part of their partnership with Operation Homefront, a national non-profit organization that provides emergency financial assistance to the families of United States service members and wounded warriors. The driver presented retired U.S. Army serviceman Scott Baier and his family with a gift package that included Eckrich products as well as Eckrich shirts and hats autographed by Almirola and Richard Petty Motorsports team owner and racing legend Richard Petty. Almirola also gave the family VIP passes to Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Eckrich has already donated $200,000 to Operation Homefront through the contribution of five cents from each purchase of specially marked products from May 1 through July 4.(RPM)(7-28-2012)
#43 to honor military families with sponsor Eckrich: The Petty family has a long history of supporting our nation's heroes. This weekend, with the help of driver Aric Almirola, the team will once again take time to honor America's military families with team partner Eckrich. This summer, Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, has partnered with Operation Homefront to support military families. The company has already donated $200,000 to Operation Homefront through the contribution of five cents from each purchase of specially marked products from May 1 through July 4. It has also partnered with Operation Homefront and Richard Petty Motorsports to honor a military family at the track during its three primary race events, including this weekend at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Honoring the military is not new to Almirola or Petty. The team already has partnerships with the U.S. Air Force and the Paralyzed Veterans of America. For Almirola, who was born on Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, it's also in his family blood (RPM), see images of the car on the #43 Team Schemes page.(7-27-2012)
Congrats: Roy and Sara Gangdal welcomed their second child, Jasmine Gangdal into the world on June 20th, weighing in at 5lbs and 10oz. Roy is the shock specialist for Richard Petty Motorsports #43-Aric Almirola.(7-22-2012)
Air Force returns to the #43: The U.S. Air Force returns to the #43 Ford of Aric Almirola as the nation celebrates the Fourth of July holiday week at the "Birthplace of Speed." The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series makes its second trip of the season to Daytona Beach, Fla., for Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 at the super-fast Daytona International Speedway. The U.S. Air Force scheme is not only an appropriate salute to the military for Independence Day, it also brings good luck. The last time the team ran the Air Force scheme (May in Charlotte) Almirola won the pole.(RPM), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(7-4-2012)
Andretti is considering forming NASCAR team: UPDATES: One of IndyCar's biggest names could branch out to the Sprint Cup Series as Michael Andretti told SI.com that he is hoping to start a NASCAR team. "We were looking at NASCAR real close last year, too, but it fell apart," Andretti said. "We were looking at it just as hard last year as this year and the year before." If Andretti is able to find the right sponsorship, he could team up with Dodge and base his team out of the old Evernham Motorsports shop at the Statesville Regional Airport in Statesville, N.C. A Dodge source told SI.com that Andretti could probably team up with the engine manufacturer for $5 million to $6 million. That's because Dodge is losing its primary team in Sprint Cup at the end of this season as Penske Racing switches to Ford. Because of that, it is looking for a flagship team and Andretti could be a good fit, especially if it were to team up with Richard Petty Motorsports -- currently a Ford team paired with Roush Fenway Racing, but has a long history with Dodge. "I'm always looking at all options," Andretti said. "I'd be stupid not to listen to Dodge or any other manufacturers. It doesn't matter that we are a Chevy IndyCar team. It might be nice if it was all under one roof but, in our contract, we're a Chevy IndyCar team."(Sports Illustrated)(6-27-2012)
UPDATE: Sources have confirmed to PitPass.net that Michael Andretti has purchased the engine program from Penske Racing and will field at least one full time Dodge in the Cup series in 2013 and beyond. No word on who the driver is, but with Matt Kenseth leaving Roush at the end of the season, the 2003 Cup series champ did confirm to the Journal Sentinel on Wednesday that he will drive for "a new cup team" in 2013 and beyond. One option on the table is for Andretti to base his team out of the old Evernham Motorsports shop at the Statesville Regional Airport in Statesville, N.C. Also hearing from this unnamed source that this new deal with Dodge is also with Richard Petty Motorsports -- currently a Ford team paired with Roush Fenway Racing, but has a long history with Dodge. (this is why we didn't get the announcement of Petty to Dodge in Michigan a few weeks ago, they were trying to get Kenseth). Hearing that an offical announcement could come as early as next weekend.(PitPass.net)(6-282012)
UPDATE 2: In response to inquiries about the company's NASCAR motorsports program, Beth Paretta, Director of Marketing and Operations - SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC, offers the following statement: "While we continue to evaluate plans in NASCAR for 2013 and beyond, we have no commitments with any partners at this time. We continue to be pleased with the amount of interest from the media and fans in our motorsports program and will continue to follow our process as established in a timely manner. When decisions are finalized, we will announce them at that time. Currently what is most important is that we have not lost any focus on 2012 and our partnership with Penske Racing. Our commitment to win races and compete for championships with Penske Racing in both the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series this season remains firm. We will not lose focus on that partnership as we make decisions about our future in NASCAR."(Darnell Communications for Dodge)(6-29-2012)
UPDATE 3: Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing, issued the following statement: "Contrary to recent published speculation, Penske Racing has not sold its engine company. The team's focus continues to be on successfully completing the 2012 season, competing for championships and victories in the both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series for Dodge and our other sponsor partners."(Penske Racing)(6-30-2012)
Eckrich to make first appearance on #43: For the first of three NASCAR Sprint Cup events this season, the Eckrich colors will adorn the hood and sides of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford this weekend at the mile-and-a-half Kentucky Speedway. But, that will not be the only logo that driver Aric Almirola will race with. In a partnership with Eckrich, the Operation Homefront logo will also be on the car. Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, has partnered with Operation Homefront to support military families by donating five cents from the purchase of specially-marked products, up to $200,000, from now through July 4. In addition to the awareness on the car, Almirola and his Petty team will be hosting a military family at the track this weekend.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(6-27-2012)
Almirola Takes the Medallion Cab Road Racing: The #43 Medallion Financial Ford should look right at home at Sonoma this weekend - weaving right and left as if it were navigating the streets of New York City. Behind the wheel of that taxi-themed Fusion, driver Aric Almirola will make his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career start at the 1.99-mile road course for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350. Richard Petty Motorsports tested at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) last month to help Almirola and the team prepare their #43 Ford for the twists and turns of the Sonoma track. Almirola has only one previous Cup start at Sonoma, finishing 28th on the course in 2008. He brings additional left-and-right-turn experience from his Nationwide Series career, in which he made four road/street-course starts and earned a top finish of eighth (Watkins Glen, 2011).(RPM)(6-22-2012)
Almirola to run Taxi Cab colors at MIS: Don't try to hail the yellow-and-black cab that you'll see flying around Michigan International Speedway (MIS) next weekend. It will probably be going too fast. Aric Almirola will take the #43 Medallion Financial Ford to the newly repaved track for this weekend's Quicken Loans 400, plus a one-day test session on Thursday to feel out the new surface. A tire test in April at the two-mile oval, which was repaved in the off-season, showed speeds topping 210 miles per hour, far exceeding the track qualifying record of 194.232 miles per hour (RPM), see images of the car on the #43 Team Schemes page.(6-14-2012)
The King helps to promote PVA campaign: NASCAR legend Richard Petty joined Food City officials at a press conference today to promote a campaign that raises money for Paralyzed Veteran's of America. From July 8 to Aug. 18, Food City is making donation slips available at all Food City locations. A similar event last year raised $125,000 for Paralyzed Veteran's of America. "This year we intend to do the same thing and kick it up a notch," Food City President and CEO Steven C. Smith said. The organization assists veterans who were paralyzed and are having a difficult time receiving benefits from the Veterans Administration. It also helps veterans integrate back into society and find a job after the injury.(Bristol Herald Courier)(6-13-2012)
Petty to switch to Dodge? UPDATE 2 denied RPM & Dodge: according to AR1.com sources, Richard Petty Motorsports will announce on Friday in Michigan that they will switch to Dodges next year. No word yet on whether Penske, which is switching to Ford, will continue to build the Dodge engines for RPM.(AR1.com)
UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports says they do NOT have any press conferences planned this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. The team does not have any plans to discuss their manufacturer status this weekend (RPM)(6-12-2012)
UPDATE 2: Dodge on Tuesday denied that it has concluded a deal for 2013 with NASCAR team Richard Petty Motorsports, even though rumors to the contrary continue to swirl through stock-car racing circles that Petty was ready to make the switch from Ford. "I would be the person to ask," Beth Paretta, SRT Motorsports operations manager, told Autoweek. "We know there is a ton of interest out there to hear what our plans are for 2013. I keep being asked and it's honestly the same answer: We're simply not there yet." Various teams, including Richard Petty Motorsports, have been considered potential Dodge runners, but Paretta insisted that a lot of the rumors are "simply speculation." Richard Petty, meanwhile, reacted with understandable confusion and concern. "I don't know nothing about it," the seven-time NASCAR champion said in a Tuesday afternoon phone call to Autoweek. "I came in from a meeting at the Petty Foundation and got hit over the head with a bunch of people asking me what I was gonna announce on Friday in Michigan. I called Victory Junction and they said they didn't have anything. I called my people at RPM and they said they didn't have anything. I talked to my people here [at Petty Garage] and they said they didn't have anything. I don't know what this is all about or where it started. I know that sometimes one media cat will tell another guy something and it'll go from there, but this one is all news to me."(AutoWeek)(6-13-2012)
Transportation Impact on the #43 at Ponoco Coming off their second top-10 finish of the season, Aric Almirola and the #43 team of Richard Petty Motorsports will take new sponsor Transportation Impact to Pocono Raceway for an extended weekend that will include a two-day open test. Sunday's Pocono 400 will mark the NASCAR debut for Transportation Impact, an Emerald Isle, N.C.-based parcel spend management company.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(6-5-2012)
Air Force joins Almiola for the Coca Cola 600: Aric Almirola and the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team will carry the colors of the U.S. Air Force this weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series marks the Memorial Day holiday and pays tribute to the nation's fallen military. Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is the first of two primary sponsorship races [the other is Daytona in July] for the Air Force, which is also an associate sponsor on the #43 Ford for the entire 2012 season. In addition to his on-track activities this weekend, Almirola will also participate in Richard Petty Motorsports' third annual Fan Appreciation Day on Thursday from 7 am to noon at the RPM shop in Concord, N.C. The first 200 fans in line who donate a nonperishable food item to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina will receive a commemorative ticket allowing them access to the shop and an autograph session with Richard Petty, Almirola and his teammates, Marcos Ambrose and Michael Annett (RPM), see images of the car/scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(5-23-2012)
New sponsor for Almirola on the #43: Richard Petty Motorsports continues to introduce new partners to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2012. The latest company to unite with the legendary organization is Transportation Impact who will make their NASCAR debut as the primary sponsor of the #43 team and driver Aric Almirola during the Pocono 400 at the Pocono Raceway on June 10. The company is a parcel spend management firm headquartered in Emerald Isle, NC. A fast-growing, small business founded in 2008, Transportation Impact comes into the sport for the first time with Petty to help high-volume parcel shippers reduce cost through innovative audit and negotiation services, helping companies large and small identify and obtain savings they can then use to fund new initiatives, retain employees or hire new ones. The company was co-founded by Travis Burt and Keith Byrd. Co-owners Burt and Byrd are also anxious to work with the team. "When people see the Richard Petty brand, the first things that come to mind are being the best and doing so with integrity," said Burt. "As a business owner, I always want my company to be the best, but only as long as success doesn't interfere with doing the right thing."(RPM)(5-15-2012)
Fan Appreciation Richard Petty Motorsports: Marcos Ambrose, Aric Almirola, Michael Annett & Richard Petty are scheduled to participate in the Richard Petty Motorsports third annual Fan Appreciation Day on Thursday, May 24, 2012 from 7:00am - 12:00 noon/et. The first 200 fans in line who donate a nonperishable food item to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina will receive a commemorative ticket allowing them access to the shop and an autograph session with Ambrose, Aric Almirola, Michael Annett and Richard Petty. Other activities include a Q-and-A session with the RPM drivers and Richard Petty hosted by Miss Sprint Cup, raffles, give-a-ways and free food.
Gravely Mowers turn the #43 red at Darlington: Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Ford team plan to mow down the competition at Darlington Raceway this week with a new partner: Gravely Professional Mowers. The maker of commercial lawn and garden equipment will see its bright red paint scheme on the team's Sprint Cup Series car for one of NASCAR's most historic races - Saturday night's Bojangles' Southern 500. The NASCAR partnership is the first for Gravely, which has been a power equipment workhorse since 1916. Gravely is part of Ariens Company, a fourth-generation, family-owned company based in Brillion, Wis., and sells a complete line of professional mowers and outdoor power equipment, including the legendary Sno-Thro, through a national dealer network. The company's partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports will also include endorsements of Gravely products by team owner and racing legend Richard "The King" Petty in sales displays and advertisements.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(5-9-2012)
Mike Ford replaces Irwin as Almirola's crew chief: Richard Petty Motorsports asserted its commitment to winning with the hiring of Chase-proven Mike Ford as crew chief for the #43 team and driver Aric Almirola. The veteran crew chief joins the team after leading Denny Hamlin's #11 team to six straight post-season appearances in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ford will join the team immediately and will be atop the pit box in Talladega. The 42-year-old Morristown, Tenn., native spent the past six seasons with Joe Gibbs Racing as Hamlin's crew chief. In that span, he led his team to 17 wins, 66 top-five finishes and 108 top-10 finishes and never missed a Chase appearance. The 12-year Sprint Cup veteran also previously held crew chief roles for Dale Jarrett at Robert Yates Racing and Bill Elliott at Evernham Motorsports. Ford replaces Greg Erwin, who joined the team in mid-2011.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(4-30-2012)
Almirola gets sponsors for charity races: #43- Aric Almirola, Smithfield/Helping Hungry Homes and Eckrich announced that they will team up to race for charity. Almirola and Smithfield will compete this Thursday night in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at the Richmond International Raceway. The event is a 100-lap asphalt late model all-star race that will help raise awareness and funding for the specific needs of individuals afflicted with Cystic Fibrosis as well as other programs that support chronically ill children. The race is sanctioned by NASCAR. Almirola will also compete in the Prelude to The Dream dirt late model event hosted by Tony Stewart at the famed Eldora Speedway dirt track located in Ohio on Wednesday, June 6th. Eckrich will adorn Almirola's #43 dirt late model for the special that is televised live by HBO Pay-Per-View. The "Prelude" has grown to become one of the most seriously-challenged charity events motorsports stars compete in all year. The race benefits Feed The Children. Both Smithfield and Eckrich are in their first season as primary sponsors of Almirola and the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team. They have now taken this next step to be more involved with Almirola and the charitable events of NASCAR.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(4-26-2012)
Verifone sponsoring Almirola at Talladega: VeriFone will join Richard Petty Motorsports as the primary sponsor on the #43 Ford for one of NASCAR's wildest and most-watched races. The provider of secure electronic payment systems will be showcased on Aric Almirola's Ford Fusion at Talladega Superspeedway for the May 6 Sprint Cup Series event. The appearance will be the first NASCAR sponsorship for VeriFone, a San Jose, Calif.-based company that provides merchant-operated, consumer-facing and self-service payment systems for the financial, retail, hospitality, petroleum, government and healthcare industries. The sponsorship is the first for the team in the software category and first for VeriFone in NASCAR.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(4-25-012)
Farmland to sponsor #43 for four races UPDATE: On Saturday, April 21st, Farmland will unveil the details around its partnership with the legendary Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR team for select Sprint Cup Series events in 2012. As part of the partnership, Farmland will feature Harvesters on the famous #43 Ford during their hometown NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Speedway this October and will make a significant donation to fight hunger in Kansas City. During the launch event, Farmland and Harvesters will join forces with "The King" and his team to unveil a new paint scheme.(RPM)(4-17-2012)
UPDATE: Farmland Foods announced a partnership with the legendary Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR team. Farmland will appear on the iconic #43 Ford Fusion as the primary sponsor in four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events in Chicago, Kansas, Texas and Phoenix. "Farmland is proud to partner with 'The King' and NASCAR's first family," said George Richter, President and Chief Operating Officer of Smithfield Foods Pork Group. "Richard Petty Motorsports is an ideal team to help raise awareness of the good work our company is doing." Through the partnership, Farmland will bring greater awareness to hunger relief efforts in its hometown of Kansas City. As part of Farmland's "Bacon a Difference" initiative, Farmland will feature Harvesters-The Community Food Network on the famous #43 Ford for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Kansas Speedway in October. During the "Bacon A Difference" promotion, which runs from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend (May 26-September 3), Farmland will donate 4.3 cents to Harvesters for each bacon product sold at participating grocery stores in Kansas City. When the #43 Ford featuring Farmland and Harvesters returns to the Kansas Speedway for the Sprint Cup Series event in October, Farmland will present Harvesters with a check for no less than $43,000. "Farmland is just the kind of company we like to call our partner," indicated Richard Petty, NASCAR legend and co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. "We're excited to have Farmland and Harvesters on the #43 Ford at the Kansas Speedway this fall. That's a victory in itself." Farmland Foods, which reached over $4 billion in sales in 2011, is a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods.(RPM PR)(4-21-2012)
Petty not ruling out return to Dodge: Richard Petty Motorsports is trying to negotiate a deal to stay with Ford and retain its relationship with Roush Fenway Racing. But team namesake Richard Petty isn't totally ruling out a return to Dodge, the manufacturer with which he became a racing icon as a driver. "Right now, we've got our sponsors pretty much lined up for next year,'' Petty said Friday at Kansas Speedway. "Where we go with the cars and engines and things like that ... we've got a plan, but I don't know if anybody is going to go along with it.'' Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark is optimistic his organization can continue supplying Ford engines and chassis for RPM. "We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Richard Petty and his entire team, as it is a first-class organization,'' Newmark said. "We believe it has been a mutually beneficial relationship and sincerely hope to be able to continue the partnership into the future."
Dodge has been looking for an anchor organization since Penske Racing announced it would move to Ford in 2013. Because of Petty's past association with Dodge, RPM is among several organizations speculated to be a target for Dodge. "Right now, they are pretty confused,'' Petty said of Dodge. "They got a plug pulled out of them and wasn't really expecting it. ... We'll consider going anywhere to make a living out of this. Right now, we're still up with the Ford deal and we're going everything we can to win races with them.''(ESPN)(4-21-2012)
STP to donate to Victory Junction, run scheme: To celebrate 40 years with "The King," STP is presenting Richard Petty and Victory Junction campers with a $43,000 donation on Friday, April 20, 2012. Petty and STP forever changed the sponsorship landscape within the sport of auto racing back in 1972, and this weekend STP will like to thank Richard for 40 wonderful years. As part of the celebration, Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola will pilot the #43 STP Ford Fusion featuring a modern replica of the 1972 paint scheme with the original Petty Blue and STP Day-Glo Red. After the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway, STP, in conjunction with Victory Junction and Richard Petty Motorsports, will auction off Aric Almirola's race-worn firesuit signed by both Almirola and Petty. In addition, as part of the celebration STP will be providing race-day tickets for service members from Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth. Service members will enjoy an afternoon of fun, taking in all the action on the 1.5 mile tri-oval. To cap off the 40th Anniversary, STP will be launching a national television campaign, entitled the Left Lane Club, featuring Richard Petty. The advertisement will premiere during the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway on FOX and will continue to run through the summer.(RPM PR), see an image of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(4-18-2012)
Jani-King Joins Richard Petty Motorsports: Jani-King, the world's largest commercial cleaning franchise company with more than 12,000 franchise owners, is the newest partner to join Richard Petty Motorsports and driver Aric Almirola on the famed #43 Ford. The company and its crowned logo will be on Almirola's Ford Fusion as an associate sponsor for the rest of the 2012 Sprint Cup Series season and serve as a Co-Primary sponsor on the #43 for the June 3 race at Dover International Speedway. Launched by an entrepreneurial college student in 1969, the Texas-based Jani-King now services tens of thousands of business clients in 15 countries and has consistently been ranked at the top of the commercial cleaning industry. "I admire Jani-King for the way it began - just one guy working hard while in college - and growing it into a worldwide business," said team owner Richard Petty. "We're proud to have another 'King' working with us and looking forward to them joining our family. I think I'll wear the cowboy hat and let them wear the crown." The partnership, that was initiated by Medallion Sports Media, in cooperation with Richard Petty Motorsports, begins this weekend at Texas with branding on the #43 Ford.(Breaking Limits for Richard Petty Motorsports)(4-13-2012)
STP on the #43 at Kansas: STP signed their first deal with Richard Petty in 1972, forever changing the motorsports sponsorship landscape. This year they are proud to celebrate their 40th Anniversary with "The King." As part of the celebration, STP will be back on the #43 Ford Fusion for the second consecutive year during the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway. The #43 STP Ford Fusion will feature the iconic Petty Blue and STP Day-Glo Red colors and will be piloted by new Richard Petty Motorsports driver, Aric Almirola. "I've been an STP man since '72 and it's hard to believe that it has been 40 years since I started working with STP," said Petty. "They have remained a big part of my career and it's been great having them back at the track. I look forward to seeing Aric in the driver's seat at the STP 400 as we celebrate 40 years with STP."(STP), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(3-27-2012)
Almirola to sport different sponsor at Bristol: The colors of Charter Communications will debut as the primary sponsor on the Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Ford that Aric Almirola will drive this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. Charter, the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States, is a yearlong associate sponsor for the organization.(RPM)(3-16-2012)
Richard Petty Fantasy Racing Camp on the #43: The famed #43 Ford will race with the colors and messaging of the Richard Petty Fantasy Racing Camp. The Richard Petty Fantasy Racing Camp is the ultimate stock car experience for racing enthusiasts and this year's 12 participants names will be on the hood of the #43 this weekend.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(3-8-2012)
Allez Cuisine to sponsor Almirola at Phoenix: Chairman of Iron Chef of America, Mark Dacascos, is likely to exclaim, "Allez Cuisine!" when he cheers on the #43 Ford Fusion during the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Dacascos, who made the phrase popular in his starring role on the Iron Chef TV series, will serve as Honorary Race Official during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, March 4. Allez (ah-LAY) Cuisine is the brand name for The Chairman's Choice line of heat and serve marinated meats and seafood owned by Dacascos. The phrase, "Allez Cuisine," is used by Dacascos to waive the green flag on the Iron Chef's cooking competition.(PIR)(3-2-2012)
Where does Dodge go in 2013? A new manufacturer in Cup? Dodge will unveil its 2013 Sprint Cup car on March 11 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. However, the bigger question now is who will be driving Dodges next year? #7-Robby Gordon Motorsports would be the lone team at this point after Penske Racing announced Thursday that it was moving to manufacturer Ford in 2013. But Dodge has also reached out to other teams, including Richard Petty Motorsports [#43 & #9], according to owner Andy Murstein. "We received calls from several manufacturers today asking if they could meet with us," Murstein said. "It seems that while sponsorship is down, car manufacturer support is strong. That is probably due to the fact that the car companies are all doing significantly better these days than a few years ago. Thus Petty has been approached by several manufacturers recently. What's interesting is that while there are the usual suspects there is one new manufacturer that is trying to break into the sport. RPM's contract with Ford is up at the end of the season. Petty ran Dodges from 1972 to 1978. Petty Enterprises aligned with Dodge again when the manufacturer returned to NASCAR competition in 2001 through most of the 2009 season, then under the RPM banner. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing president Steve Lauletta said the company had not yet been approached by Dodge.(Fox Sports)
AND: Richard Petty Motorsports said: "We welcome Penske Racing to the Ford Racing Family in 2013. Additional teams mean more information for everyone and that's a very good thing from a competition standpoint. We have a partnership with Roush Fenway Racing and we are happy to be a part of the Ford Racing program. As we always do, we will evaluate all of our options and make decisions based on what is ultimately best for our race team."(RPM)(3-2-2012)
Allmendinger creates karting scholarship: #22-AJ Allmendinger announced a new program that will see a deserving young karter receive a scholarship to race in the 2012 World Karting Association championship starting March 23-25 at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC. The scholarship winner will also be set to compete in the Rotax Grand Nationals in August and SKUSA SuperNationals in November. The scholarship prize winner will also receive media and management training from Walldinger Racing, Allmendinger's management firm. Serious applicants ages 13-16 are asked to send their CV, racing credentials, photo, and short summary of their racing goals. Deadline for entry is March 10, 2012. For additional information and how to apply, visit ajallmendinger.com.(TRPR)(2-17-2012)
Petty discusses Robbie Loomis: Richard Petty said chief operating officer Robbie Loomis was not fired, that his contract simply expired, and he still maintained a "personal" relationship with the organization that has struggled financially the past few years. Loomis had been in charge of turning around Richard Petty Motorsports's on-track program for the past six years. He previously was at Hendrick Motorsports, where he was the crew chief for Jeff Gordon when he won the 2001 Sprint Cup title. Petty said the decision not to offer a new deal had nothing to do with Loomis being outspoken about wanting to sign 2004 Cup champion Kurt Busch after Busch was released from Penske Racing. "That was the business part of it," Petty said of Loomis' departure. "Personally, nothing has changed. Anything we do at the shop, we call him and let him know. He's up on the very latest thing we do at the shop." Petty said all of Loomis' responsibilities at the track and shop have been re-assigned to other people. He did not rule out Loomis returning at some point, if it is financially feasible. "He has a personal connection to Richard Petty Motorsports," Petty said. "Right now, that's all it is."(ESPN)(1-25-2012)
Loomis out at Petty: Richard Petty Motorsports has elected not to renew Robbie Loomis' contract for 2012. Loomis, who was most recently listed at Chief Operating Officer for RPM, first joined Petty Enterprises as a crew chief in 1991 at the end of the King's driving career. "I'm taking some time off," Loomis said. "My contract was up in December and I'm looking to explore what's next. Richard is still family -- so is everyone else at Richard Petty Motorsports. The future is exciting because it's unknown but there's still a lot of uncertainty in what the future brings." Loomis wouldn't acknowledge whether or not he would continue on as a consultant for the team but added that he'd "Do anything to help Richard Petty Motorsports be in a better place." But with Best Buy pulling out of RPM and Smithfield signing up for a limited schedule on the #43 Ford, it's become increasingly clear that the company could no longer afford Loomis' reported seven figure salary. While no successor for Loomis has been named, certainly with 20 years of racing experience, Sammy Johns, RPM's director of operation, is more than capable of overseeing the competition department.(Fox Sports)(1-22-2012)
Petty says sponsors didn't want Kurt Busch: UPDATE: Richard Petty said the reason Kurt Busch wasn't hired to drive his famous #43 was "personality." "Sponsorships," Petty said during a break in Thursday's test session at Daytona International Speedway. "Nobody at the time wanted to pay the bill for him. That's how simple it was." Busch, who was released from Penske Racing after a tumultuous 2011 season that led the 2004 Cup champion to seek professional help for anger issues, ultimately signed with Phoenix Racing. Petty said Smithfield Foods, which he introduced Thursday as a primary sponsor for the No. 43 car he drove to a record 200 victories and seven Sprint Cup championships, was among those that wouldn't come on board if Busch was involved. "Everybody has to protect their brand," Petty said. "Smithfield has a pretty laid back, pretty good down-home persona in the general public. If they had taken him on it would have changed their ... they just didn't like the personality." Petty said Best Buy, which left the #43 to join Roush Fenway Racing as a sponsor, had the same concern.(ESPN)(1-13-2012)
UPDATE: In between talking about how much fun he's having "old school" racing and how he needs to learn how to better handle adversity better, Kurt Busch let it be known that he's focused on the big "prize": 2013. "Yes, 2012 is going to be a unique year for somebody such as myself," Busch said Friday at Daytona International Speedway. "But to take a step back for me personally and look at all of this, this is what I need. And all along we're going to keep our eyes on the prize in 2013." And according to Busch, he could have several quality options. Busch said he talked to a number of team owners about 2012, including Richard Childress, Michael Waltrip and Richard Petty, who on Thursday said he didn't sign Busch because sponsors were leery of the 2004 champion. "It was weird to hear his comments yesterday because he was ready to throw me in the car and we would have been down the road," Busch said. "But the contracts just didn't align on where they were and where I wanted to be, and so I talked with [James] Finch, made the deal happen. " Listening to Busch, it's clear his plan is to be with Finch - a single-car owner who gets support from Hendrick Motorsports - for only one year. Then it's on to bigger and better things. But to get that opportunity, Busch realizes he has to change. Busch said he plans to use on using 2012 as a platform to reintroduce himself to sponsors - to get in front of as many of them as possible and show them that he's more than just a hothead.(Yahoo Sports)(1-14-2012)
Smithfield Foods will sponsor #43 team: UPDATE: Smithfield Foods Inc., and Richard Petty Motorsports announced Wednesday they have entered into a multiyear partnership starting this year. Smithfield will be a primary sponsor for Richard Petty Motorsports in 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup series events this season. Helping Hungry Homes, a Smithfield initiative, is the primary sponsor for the Daytona 500. Last week, Richard Petty Motorsports announced Aric Almirola would drive the No. 43 car.(Virginian Pilot)(1-12-2012)
UPDATE: Smithfield Foods, Inc. and Richard Petty Motorsports announced that the consumer packaged foods company headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia has entered into a multiyear, integrated partnership with the legendary Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR team starting in 2012. As part of its agreement with Richard Petty Motorsports, Smithfield will be utilizing a number of its core brands as well as unique and engaging promotional initiatives throughout this racing season to communicate with existing customers and introduce others to the company's many fine products. In addition, NASCAR fans will see a variety of Smithfield brands adorning the legendary #43 Ford Fusion as primary sponsor in fifteen Sprint Cup Series events in 2012, including the first event of the season, February's Daytona 500. Smithfield brands include Farmland, Eckrich and Curly's, among others, as well as Helping Hungry Homes, one of Smithfield's premier community-outreach brands. Smithfield and Helping Hungry Homes will be Smithfield's featured brands for the Daytona 500. Helping Hungry Homes is Smithfield's initiative focused on alleviating hunger across America. The initiative provided more than eight million servings of protein last year through food banks, school nutrition programs, disaster relief, and community outreach programs.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(1-12-2012)
Several drivers getting new spotters: In addition to getting adjusted to new personnel on their teams, several drivers will be working with new spotters when testing opens Thursday at Daytona International Speedway. Jeff Dickerson, who has spotted for #24-Jeff Gordon the last couple of years, left to pursue an opportunity in racing that will give him more time with his family. He has not announced where he is going.
• Eddie D'Hondt, who had won 39 races across all NASCAR series with #18-Kyle Busch, will move to Hendrick Motorsports to work as Gordon's spotter.
• Tony Hirschman, who was spotter for AJ Allmendinger, will replace D'Hondt as Busch's spotter.
• Busch isn't the only Joe Gibbs Racing driver to have a new spotter for 2012 as two spotters whose drivers have not announced 2012 rides have found new gigs - Chris Lambert, who was the spotter for Brian Vickers, will replace Curtis Markham as spotter for #11-Denny Hamlin and Rocky Ryan, who was spotter for David Ragan, will replace Joey Civali as spotter for #20-Joey Logano.
• Chris Osborne, who was spotter for Kurt Busch at Penske Racing, will start the season spotting for Allmendinger while Busch will use his new boss - Phoenix Racing general manager Steve Barkdoll - as his spotter.
• #15-Clint Bowyer, who has moved from Richard Childress Racing to Michael Waltrip Racing, will go to the test with MWR general manager Ty Norris as his spotter.
• Kevin Hamlin, who was Bowyer's spotter, will remain at RCR and work with Ty Dillon in the Camping World Truck Series.
• #43-Aric Almirola will use Tyler Green as his spotter. Green spotted for Almirola at JR Motorsports and will now spot for him at RPM.(Scene Daily)(1-11-2012)
#43 driver to be announced? UPDATE 5 Almirola Officially Named: Sources say David Ragan is likely to replace A.J. Allmendinger [who went to the #22 Penske Dodge] in the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, with an announcement possible as soon as tomorrow [Friday].(Sirius Speedway)(12-23-2011)
UPDATE: Aric Almirola, who finished fourth in points in the Nationwide Series this season, has emerged as the leading candidate to take over the #43 Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series in 2012. The deal, which has come together very quickly, will be officially announced after the Christmas and New Year's holidays and will include a sponsor announcement. Almirola, was set to begin his second full season with JR Motorsports' #88 team in 2012, but his move to the Cup series now leaves his future with that organization unclear. A spokesperson for RPM said Friday night the organization did plan to make a driver announcement for the #43 after the holidays but would have no other comment at this time.(Charlotte Observer)(12-24-2011)
UPDATE 2: David Ragan and Cole Whitt are the leading candidates to replace Aric Almirola in JR Motorsports' #88 Nationwide team in 2012, sources said. A decision is expected early next week, around the time Almirola's move to the Sprint Cup Series and Richard Petty Motorsports' #43 Ford should be officially announced.(Charlotte Observer)(12-29-2011)
UPDATE 3: Aric Almirola is the top candidate to take over the seat of the famed #43 car with Smithfield Foods as his sponsor at Richard Petty Motorsports. Fourth in the Nationwide Series points standings in 2011, Almirola had another year left in his contract with JR Motorsports but could obtain his release, according to sources, to go to RPM. A JR Motorsports spokesman would not comment on Almirola's status with the team and an RPM spokesman did not return requests for comment. Almirola would not be able to drive for RPM, which Ford has heavily invested in, and continue to drive for the Chevy-backed JRM at the same time. The Almirola-RPM deal is not complete, sources said, but JRM already has talked to drivers about his replacement for the Nationwide Series ride. David Ragan, Reed Sorenson and Cole Whitt are among the top candidates. Air Force and Smithfield Foods are expected to sponsor races on the #43 car next year.(SceneDaily)(12-30-2011)
UPDATE 4: supposedly Cole Whitt will drive the #88 JR Motorsports Chevy in the Nationwide Series in 2012.(Florida Times-Union)(1-3-2012)
UPDATE 5: Richard Petty Motorsports announced today that Aric Almirola will drive the legendary #43 Ford Fusion in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition beginning in 2012. Almirola has made 35 starts in the Sprint Cup Series, his most recent stint coming in 2010 when he finished the last five races of the season in the #9 Ford. During the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Almirola posted a career-high, fourth-place effort. Almirola drove a JR Motorsports entry [#88 Chevy] in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2011 and capped off a successful season with a fourth-place finish in the championship point standings. "One of the things I am most excited about is to have the chance to drive a car as iconic as the #43," stated Almirola. "There is so much history surrounding that number and to have my name above the door will be really special for me. This is the first real opportunity I've had to drive in the Cup Series full time. Last year the #43 team had a lot of speed and was competitive on a weekly basis. Greg Erwin is a great crew chief and I'm excited to work with him. Everyone at Richard Petty Motorsports has a lot of enthusiasm and drive and I'm really looking forward to getting to work."
Almirola will join a team that is poised to compete for a spot in the 2012 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Paired with veteran Crew Chief Greg Erwin, Almirola will get behind the wheel for a team that earned one top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in 2011 en route to a 15th-place finish in the owner point standings.
"We are thrilled to welcome Aric Almirola into the RPM family," said team Co-owner Richard Petty. "We feel extremely fortunate to have had a number of very talented drivers interested in joining our organization, but ultimately we felt Aric would be the best fit for the team and for our current and potential partners. We have had the chance to watch his progress for the past several years and we had success with him in the past. We are really confident in his potential as a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver. We think Aric has all the makings to be the next bright star in our sport."(Richard Petty Motorsports)(1-4-2012)
Evernham settles lawsuit with Gillett: Ray Evernham has settled his lawsuit against George Gillett over money owed from the 2007 sale of his Sprint Cup organization. Evernham, the former owner of Evernham Motorsports and a three-time Cup champion as the crew chief for Jeff Gordon at Hendrick Motorsports, was seeking $19 million from Gillett. The case was settled outside of court and dismissed last week. No details of the settlement were released.(ESPN)(1-3-2012)
Allmendinger to Penske? Ragan to the #43? UPDATES: Rumors floating around that A.J. Allmendinger could be headed to the #22 Penske Dodge and David Ragan to the #43 RPM Ford. If true Allmendinger moves over from the #43 RPM ride and Ragan moves from the sponsorless possibly closed up #6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford.(12-21-2011)
UPDATE: AJ Allmendinger will be named the driver of the #22 Sprint Cup car at Penske Racing on Wednesday, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com. Allmendinger finished 15th in points this past season driving the #43 Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports. He became available after RPM lost primary sponsor Best Buy to Roush Fenway Racing. Allmendinger will replace 2004 Cup champion Kurt Busch, who reached a "mutual'' agreement to leave Penske Racing after a 2011 season in which he had several profanity-laced run-ins with the media and his team. He was picked over David Ragan, who interviewed with the Dodge team and sponsor Shell Pennzoil shortly after Busch was released. Ragan could be a candidate for the 43. He also could drive for Phoenix Racing, with which he had a tentative agreement before pursuing the 22.(ESPN)(12-21-2011)
UPDATE 2: Penske Racing has named AJ Allmendinger as the driver of the team's #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Allmendinger, who has competed in the Cup Series since 2007, is coming off a strong season that saw him finish 15th in the series standings while battling for a position in the Chase for the Championship. The 30-year-old native of Los Gatos, Calif., earned one top-five, 10 top-10 and 22 top-15 results in 2011 while driving the #43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports.
"AJ is a very talented and motivated driver and we believe he will be a terrific fit with our team," said Roger Penske. "He has shown great promise and consistent results on the track over the last few seasons and working with Todd and the Shell-Pennzoil Dodge team will allow him to take the next step and compete for race wins and a spot in the Chase in 2012."
"Shell and Pennzoil are extremely pleased by Penske Racing's selection of AJ Allmendinger to drive the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge," said Lisa Davis, President of Shell Oil Products U.S. "AJ has consistently demonstrated great potential and continuous improvement as a driver, and with Penske's track record, our employees and customers can look forward to seeing him contending for wins and ultimately a championship in the NASCAR Cup Series. We know he will represent our brands well on and off the track and we look forward to a successful 2012 with AJ behind the wheel."(Penske Racing)(12-21-2011)
UPDATE 3: Statement from Richard Petty Motorsports: "Richard Petty Motorsports has released AJ Allmendinger to pursue other opportunities within the sport," stated team Chief Executive Officer Brian Moffitt. "AJ is a talented driver whom we all enjoyed working with and we wish him the best." Our plan remains to run a two-car team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2012 and we are continuing down that path," said Moffitt. "We believe there are several very talented drivers who are still available and would embrace the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the legendary No. 43 Ford Fusion. We continue to move forward and are optimistic about the future of this race team."(RPM)(12-21-2011)
Best Buy to sponsor Kenseth?: UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing and #17-Matt Kenseth appear to be well on their way to securing the Best Buy sponsorship for 2012, according to sources familiar with the situation. The Roush organization has pledged to run Kenseth, the 2003 Cup champion, without sponsorship but has been working hard to find funding for the driver coming off a three-win season where he placed fourth in the Cup standings. Kenseth's primary sponsor Crown Royal opted not to sponsor a race team in 2012. Best Buy's sponsorship of #43-AJ Allmendinger at Richard Petty Motorsports was for 24 races in 2011. RPM has not announced any sponsorship for the #43 car for next season. An RPM spokesman said the team would have no comment on its sponsorship search.(SceneDaily)(12-15-2011)
UPDATE: Best Buy Co., Inc. announced a new sponsorship deal for the 2012 Sprint Cup Series Season. Best Buy will serve as primary sponsor of Carl Edwards' #99 Ford for two races and the Matt Kenseth #17 Ford for nine races. In addition, Best Buy will serve as associate sponsor for each. "Best Buy is thrilled to announce this new NASCAR sponsorship deal with Roush Fenway Racing," said Drew Panayiotou, senior vice president of marketing for Best Buy. "Roush Fenway Racing is a great fit for Best Buy Racing. NASCAR continues to be a relevant way for us to connect with our customers. Our goal is to reach our target audiences in a meaningful way, while maximizing the value of our marketing and sponsorship investments." Best Buy has been a NASCAR sponsor for the past 7 years.(Best Buy)(12-20-2011)
AND: Richard Petty Motorsports statement: "We have had a successful and rewarding relationship with Best Buy for the past few years and appreciate all they have done for us," stated Richard Petty, co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. "Although it is very disappointing that Best Buy is changing directions at this late date, we wish all of our friends there the best in their future endeavors. Our plan has always been to run a two-car team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2012 and we are continuing down that path," said Petty. "We have several partners that remain committed to the #43 team. We will move forward and explore all of our options in regard to the #43 program in the coming weeks."(RPM)(12-20-2011)
"The Loopies": The Fifth Annual Best-Of Loop Data For 2011 #4: For the fifth consecutive season, NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications combed through the statistics to hand out a number of awards celebrating the best - and worst - Loop Data performances of 2011. The fourth award goes to:
"Rope-A-Dope" Award: Attention NASCAR Hall of Fame: Richard Petty's plaque needs a re-write -- he has just won a Loopie. The King's two drivers, A.J. Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose, ranked 1-2 in the "Closer" statistic -- the number of positions gained or lost in the last 10 percent of races. Allmendinger gained a whopping 134 spots as races winded down; Ambrose improved 85 spots. In case you're wondering, Kevin Harvick (aptly nicknamed "The Closer") ranked third, with 78 positions improved.(NASCAR)(12-20-2011)
RPM considering Kurt Busch in #43 car? UPDATE Sirius XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that in an effort to retain sponsor Best Buy, Richard Petty Motorsports has proposed replacing AJ Allmendinger as driver of the legendary #43 Ford with Busch. RPM struggled to re-sign Best Buy a year ago, negotiating until early January before inking a one-year contract. The electronics retailer served as major sponsor of the #43 team in 26 events this season.
Richard Petty Motorsports Chief Operating Officer Robbie Loomis confirmed today that discussions have been held regarding Busch, saying, "Best Buy has been a great partner for a long time, and AJ Allmendinger has done a fantastic job for us. He's coming off his best season yet, but I can tell you there is a lot of interest on our part in having Kurt Busch in the fold. It makes sense to have Kurt with our team, if we can make it work.
"Our main focus is to continue building on what we finished the season with last year," said Loomis. "But right now, I feel like I'm running down two different sets of train tracks. From a personal standpoint, nothing has excited me more than when I heard Kurt had become available. I'm excited about the opportunity to add a driver like Kurt Busch to Richard Petty Motorsports. I would mortgage my house to make Kurt a part of this team. We value what he has done on the race track. He has won a (Sprint Cup) championship and worked for a first-class operation like Penske Racing. Guys like that don't come along every day."
Allmendinger finished 15th in 2011 Sprint Cup Series championship points, with one Top-5 and 10 Top-10 finishes. His best finish was a fifth in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in late May. Busch won a pair of races this season at Infineon and Dover en route to 11th in points, tallying eight Top-5 and 16 Top-10 finishes. He parted company with Penske Racing earlier this month, in the aftermath of a much-publicized verbal confrontation with ESPN pit reporter Dr. Jerry Punch during the 2011 season finale at Homestead Miami Speedway (Sirius Speedway).
AND no word what Allmendinger would do IF this happens; and not too sure Jack Roush [who Busch drove for before Penske and had issues with], who team supplies cars and engines to RPM would allow this to happen.(12-13-2011)
UPDATE: RPM struggled to re-sign Best Buy a year ago, negotiating until early January before inking a one-year contract. The electronics retailer served as major sponsor of the #43 team in 26 events this season. RPM did not release an official statement on the speculation that either Allmendinger had been released or if Best Buy was ready to remain with the team for 2012. The possibility of adding Busch as a third entry has also been discussed but contingent on finding additional sponsorship.(CBS Sports)(12-14-2011)
Erwin re-ups with RPM: #43 crew chief Greg Erwin has re-signed with Richard Petty Motorsports. Erwin joined the #43 team prior to the Brickyard 400 in July and led Allmendinger to a career-high 15th-place finish in the points standings.(FoxSports)(12-14-2011)
Relativity Media co-sponsoring #43 at Texas with Immortals movie: Relativity Media and Virgin Produced will promote its upcoming epic adventure Immortals to millions of NASCAR fans by co-sponsoring the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford. Through its partnership with Sir Richard Branson's Production Company Virgin Produced, Relativity will join Best Buy and Richard Petty Motorsports in this co-branding initiative. AJ Allmendinger will drive the car at the Sprint Cup Series event at Texas Motor Speedway on November 6, 2011, five days before Relativity's Immortals opens in theaters on November 11, 2011. Branded with Best Buy logos, The #43 race car will also feature the Immortals title treatment placed on the hood, upper rear quarter panels and deck lid. In addition, the crew and Allmendinger will wear Immortals hats and shirts, as well as the title treatment on the pit wall banner.(RPM)(10-29-2011)
Allmendinger partners in IndyCar team: Michael Shank will expand his race operations to include an IZOD IndyCar Series team in 2012. The principal partners in Michael Shank Racing will also include NASCAR driver AJ Allmedinger and businessman Brian Bailey. The IndyCar team will join Shank's Daytona Prototype effort in the Grand-Am Rolex Sport Club Series and be based in Columbus, Ohio. While Allmendinger's focus will remain in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, he is expected to reprise his role for MSR in the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. Allmendinger is currently 14th in the Cup standings.(Fox Sports)(10-13-2011)
JTG Daugherty ending alliance with MWR? UPDATES: Michael Waltrip Racing currently fields two teams with #56-Martin Truex Jr. and #00-David Reutimann, and supplies cars for #47-Bobby Labonte and JTG Daugherty Racing out of its Mooresville, N.C., shop. Sources said JTG Daugherty Racing may cut its tie to MWR but remain in the sport with Labonte as its driver in 2012.(ESPN)(9-16-2011)
UPDATE: MWR has paved the way for a third full-time entry [with Clint Bowyer] by ending its affiliation with JTG Daugherty Racing, which had housed its #47 entry at the team's headquarters as part of its alliance. Team owner Brad Daugherty plans to keep his organization on track next season but is currently looking at options to align with another team, with speculation of a partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports. Daugherty's affinity to and admiration of Petty has even included the former college basketball and NBA star wearing the #43 throughout his career. An association as NASCAR business partners would further that connection. RPM was close to launching a third team with Bowyer before contract talks with the driver broke down so the desire to expand is evident.(CBS Sports)(9-22-2011)
UPDATE 2: JTG Daugherty Racing hasn't decided on an affiliation for next season, and retaining its relationship with Michael Waltrip Racing is still an option, team owner Tad Geschickter told Sporting News on Thursday. Geschickter said his phone had been "blowing up" in the wake of a report on CBSsports.com that MWR had terminated its relationship with JTG Daugherty, which fields Toyotas for Bobby Labonte, and speculation in the same story that JTG Daugherty might align itself with Richard Petty Motorsports. "I haven't talked with Richard Petty Motorsports," Geschickter said. "There's no truth to that at all." Geschickter said that, to his knowledge, MWR was still exploring its capacity to supply cars to JTG in light of possible expansion.(Sporting News)9-23-2011)
AdvoCare sponsoring Allmendinger at Martinsville: Richard Petty Motorsports announced a new primary partnership with AdvoCare International, LP, an award-winning, premier health and wellness company headquartered in Plano, Texas. AdvoCare will serve as primary sponsor of the AJ Allmendinger driven #43 Ford during the Sprint Cup Series race weekend at Martinsville Speedway in October.(RPM)(9-20-2011)
RPM no longer interested in Bowyer: Richard Petty Motorsports has withdrawn its offer to Clint Bowyer to drive a car for the organization in 2012. Team owner Andrew Murstein confirmed to FOXSports.com that RPM has decided to go in another direction with the program. "We are no longer in discussions with Clint," Murstein said. "We just feel that RPM is in a great place today, especially how far we have come since last year. Both #9-Marcos (Ambrose) and #43-A.J. (Allmendinger) are not only having career years, but they are both moving in the right directions and improving. "Clint is a great driver and we wish him the best wherever he ends up. For now, we will continue to focus on our two teams and continuing to make great strides as we return the King and his unmatched tradition and legion of loyal fans back into Victory Lane." The most recent organization in the Bowyer sweepstakes is Michael Waltrip Racing. Bowyer was seen touring MWR last Thursday. If he ends up at MWR, expect the company to a run a third team along with current drivers #00-David Reutimann and #56-Martin Truex, Jr.(Fox Sports)(9-14-2011)
Allmendinger talks about a possible third RPM team: Frontstretch.com's Amy Henderson sat down with #43-A.J. Allmendinger in Atlanta to discuss many things, including his thoughts on a third team at Richard Petty Motorsports:
Henderson: "There has been some talk of adding a third team at RPM. That's a long way from the team that, a year ago, the speculation was you weren't even going to be here this year. You stuck around through that and it turned out for the better. Is adding a third team something that would be helpful to you?"
Allmendinger: "It's helpful if it's done the right way. The thing is that we can't try to take off too much right away, we can't bite off too much. If all the sponsorship is there for all three cars and it's done the right way? Sure, it can only help. If you get a guy, say, like Clint Bowyer who's won races and got great experience, that can only be a benefit. But it's got to be done in the right way. That's the stuff for me, that you look at. As you said, we're a team that just barely missed bankruptcy, and we're still making sure that we've got everything kind of buttoned up for next year among our two cars. It's only good if it's done the right way. There are other teams that have shown that. You look at Richard Childress Racing when they first went to four cars. They were terrible because of it. You take a team like Gibbs, who could easily do a fourth car, but they won't do it unless it's done the right way. I think that's the main thing."(Frontstretch)(9-7-2011)
Bowyer talking to other teams: Although he hopes to return to Richard Childress Racing in 2012, #33-Clint Bowyer is weighing offers from other teams. The latest is from Richard Petty Motorsports. According to RPM co-owner Andrew Murstein during a Saturday radio interview on SiriusXM Radio, Bowyer has an offer to drive a third car next year. "When we had that media day opportunity at the beginning of the year, I perhaps went a little further than I should and I said I wanted to add a third team pretty quickly, and Danica (Patrick) and Clint Bowyer came to mind," Murstein told SiriusXM at Bristol Motor Speedway. So we've been thinking about the third team for the last six months or so, and we're close to doing something. I don't know if it will be Clint." Bowyer admitted after the driver's meeting that he has talked to numerous teams about his next deal. "Obviously, that's what you've got to go and do right now, you've got to go out and get every offer possible, you know?" Bowyer said. "Go home and when it's time to make a decision, weigh them all out and make the best decision for your life, your performance and other things. Sources told ESPN.com that the big hang up has been Bowyer not wanting to take a pay cut, which many drivers have taken over the last year. Childress said he still expects things to work out with Bowyer. Bowyer, speculated to have a deal with 5-hour Energy to sponsor a portion of his races at RCR, said he "hopes" to return to RCR.(ESPN)(8-28-2011)
Sadler settles suit with Richard Petty Motorsports: Elliott Sadler and Richard Petty Motorsports have settled a lawsuit filed by Sadler against his former team. The settlement terms are confidential, said Sadler attorney John Buric. Sadler had filed the suit in May in North Carolina Superior Court in Concord, N.C., and claimed in court documents that his former team was withholding a payment to him because it accused him of influencing Hunt Brothers Pizza to leave RPM and sponsor him at Kevin Harvick Inc. The amount Sadler was seeking was never listed in the complaint.(Scene Daily)(8-25-2011)
Bowyer talking to other teams: #33-Clint Bowyer is seriously considering offers from one or more Sprint Cup teams to leave Richard Childress Racing -- his home since making his series debut in 2005 -- following the 2011 season. Bowyer talked openly of his desire to remain at RCR earlier this season, but negotiations have dragged and, according to multiple sources, deteriorated. "They are at loggerheads right now," a source said. Discussions between Bowyer and team owner Richard Childress have been complicated by the lack of a primary sponsor for the #33 Chevrolet. For the past three seasons General Mills brands Cheerios and Hamburger Helper have been that sponsor. Childress had expressed confidence that General Mills would return a month ago, but it's now believed the company is looking at other options. With #99-Carl Edwards off the market, Bowyer is the top free agent available. In addition to Childress, Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing are said to be interested in hiring Bowyer.
Petty has been pursuing Bowyer for several months in an attempt to expand to a three-car operation. Chief operating officer Robbie Loomis has been diligently working to put together a package for Bowyer that includes a Ford-backed deal similar to the Wood Brothers. Petty buys chassis from Roush Fenway and leases engines from Roush-Yates and the equipment may be attractive to Bowyer.
Waltrip also would like to expand to three cars and may have some support from Toyota to acquire Bowyer.
David Ragan seemed safe at Roush Fenway after his win at Daytona in July. It put him in the Chase, but he's since fallen out. Ragan, 23rd in points, needs a second victory to make the Chase. He's under contract to Roush Fenway for next season, but the team could move him to Petty and sign Bowyer.
Gibbs president J.D. Gibbs has said that a fourth car for next season was a "long shot." Its earlier attempt to sign Edwards was financially backed by Toyota. The manufacturer would have to spend less money to land Bowyer, but it certainly could outbid the other offers.
Childress should not be counted out. He has shown the ability to be resourceful in retaining drivers and finding sponsors. Negotiations between Bowyer and Childress are at a critical stage and the atmosphere isn't healthy. The overall situation regarding Bowyer's next contract is said to be "sensitive." Bowyer probably would like to make a decision as soon as possible to remove the uncertainty and distraction that comes with it. He'd much rather focus on making the Chase than worry about whom he'll be driving for next year.(Sports Illustrated)(8-19-2011)
Partial Cup schedules for Bayne, Stenhouse in 2012? Roush Fenway Racing still is sewing up sponsorship on the Sprint Cup Fords of #99-Carl Edwards, #16-Greg Biffle, #17-Matt Kenseth and #6-David Ragan. Trevor Bayne said Wood Brothers Racing still is hunting sponsorship, too, and he would like to run full time in 2012 if the money were available. The #21 hasn't run a full schedule since 2008, and Bayne said he is slated for 13 to 15 races next year.(USA Today)
AND: Ironically, had Edwards not announced last week that he was not leaving Roush Fenway Racing for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2012, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Trevor Bayne would have been in line for Edwards' Cup ride. Now, Bayne likely will return to a part-ride Cup ride in the #21 Wood Brothers car and run a full or part-time Nationwide schedule at Roush. Stenhouse said he has no definitive plan other than he'd like to run a full Nationwide schedule for Roush and part-time Cup schedule. Stenhouse mentioned that Richard Petty Motorsports, which gets chassis and engines from RFR, might be looking to expand.(ESPN.com)(8-10-2011)
New sponsor for Richard Petty Motorsports: Roger J. Catarino, President and CEO of First Fruits Beverage Company, LLC, and Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) officials have announced a partnership centered around the new patented weight loss water beverage TrimFit. The associate sponsorship will showcase the brand on uniforms as well as on the Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Ford. TrimFit will have a presence with both of the RPM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams for the remainder of the 2011 season. In addition to a logo on the sleeve of the firesuit of Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford Fusion, the company will be featured on the deck lid of the #43 Ford machine.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(8-3-2011)
Moffitt is new CEO of RPM: According to the Richard Petty Motorsports website, Brian Moffitt has been named CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports. Prior to his July 2011 appointment to CEO, Moffitt served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. A long-time Petty associate, Moffitt spent the past 15 years overseeing the acquisition of sponsorship and services for team owner Richard Petty and his entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Before that, he held the position of Sales Representative at UPS. Moffitt has Associate Degrees in both Marketing and Business Administration. He also attended East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.(7-21-2011)
Crew chief change on the #43 team? UPDATE: from SPEED's Bob Dilner's Twitter: Hearing Mike Shiplett out and Greg Erwin in as crew chief for A.J. Allmendinger for the #43 at RPM.(7-18-2011)
UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports officials announced that Greg Erwin has joined the team and will replace Mike Shiplett as crew chief for the #43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry driven by AJ Allmendinger. Prior to joining Richard Petty Motorsports, Erwin held the crew chief position with the #16 team at Roush Fenway Racing. Erwin joined that team in May 2007 and during his tenure at RFR, led Biffle to five victories, 36 top-five and 66 top-10 finishes. Erwin's team made the Chase for the Championship three times, finishing as high as third in the year end point standings.(RPM)(7-18-2011)
CEO leaves RPM: Lisa Brown has left her position as CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports to become senior adviser to Andrew Murstein, president of Medallion Financial Corp. Brown orchestrated the restructuring of the Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup program under its new ownership group and guided the company through that transition. She will now help Murstein build his latest venture, Medallion Sports Media, which was launched in April. Brown introduced the Nautica brand to NASCAR and will roll out several additional new sponsors for RPM through the remainder of the season.(FoxSports)(7-6-2011)
SPEED honors Richard Petty with documentary: Independence Day 1984 ... The twofold historic significance of that memorable day may have been foreshadowed by the unprecedented command to start engines, delivered via telephone by President Ronald Reagan from aboard Air Force One en route to Daytona International Speedway. Seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Richard Petty won his 200th and final race July 4, 1984, in front of an audience that included the first sitting United States president ever to attend a NASCAR race. In honor of Petty's final win, SPEED and NASCAR Media Group examine one of NASCAR's finest hours in a one-hour documentary special entitled The Day: The 1984 Firecracker 400 premiering Thursday at 8:00pm/et. SPEED reflects on the landmark race from sunrise to sunset, focusing on the events and emotions for everyone involved, and how The King's victory and the president's visit left an indelible, defining and matchless mark on the sport. Petty, who celebrates his 74th birthday Saturday, retired at the conclusion of the 1992 season with 1,184 Cup Series starts (SPEED)(6-30-2011)
RPM owner still looking to bring NASCAR to NYC: Andrew Murstein made the roughly two-hour drive from New York City to Pocono Raceway for this Sunday's 5-Hour Energy 500 without complaint. But he is trying to revive interest in having NASCAR build a track so some day he can watch a race live without having to venture far from the heart of America's largest city. Murstein, who along with investor Douglas Bergeron purchased more than a 50% interest in Richard Petty Motorsports last November, said Saturday that he believes he could help such a venture succeed where previously similar efforts have failed. Asked how important Sunday's race that Pocono hosts is to the New York market, Murstein replied: "It's pretty important. Obviously it's the track that's closest to New York City. One of the things I'm talking to people back in New York City about -- in the really early stages -- is putting a track one day in New York City. Therefore, the people follow this to find out how well it does and how the fans turn out. I hope one day there is a track in New York City, because between that and Pocono, it would be great for the sport." Murstein, who is founder, president, board member and largest shareholder of Medallion Financial Corp., said he has opened preliminary discussions about the possibility with NASCAR as well as current and former New York state government officials. "I called NASCAR and said, 'Do you have any interest in looking at something for New York City?' And they said, 'Eventually.' But it's not at the top of their list," Murstein said.(NASCAR.com)(6-12-2011)
New sponsor for the #43 at Pocono: #43-A.J. Allmendinger will have a different look this weekend as Medallion Financial will be the primary partner of the #43 Ford Fusion. Allmendinger and team owner Richard Petty will be going to Nashville, Thursday on behalf of Richard Petty Motorsports partner, Super 8, to participate in media activities taking place around the CMA Music Festival.(RPM) Medallion Financial is a New York-based company that specializes in taxi medallion lending and commercial lending. The company is run by Alvin and son Andrew Murstein. The Murstein family is the largest shareholder in Medallion, owning approximately 20%.(6-8-2011)
Petty pleased with 2 car effort: Richard Petty believes the decision to cut from four to two Sprint Cup teams is working for Richard Petty Motorsports. Another thing that could make running well easier is that improved performance always helps when seeking sponsorship. The team has STP on Allmendinger's # 43 car as part of a renewed relationship between Petty and the company. STP, which is under new ownership, is looking to revive its rich motorsports heritage and it's obvious it wants to do it with "The King," who drove an iconic STP paint scheme for decades. The easiest way to entice STP to come back for more races is with performance. The organization gets its cars from Roush Fenway Racing and its engines from Roush Yates Engines. The improved performance by both those groups has helped RPM. "[We wanted to] get a real good, strong two-car team before we ever even look at going to three or four cars," Petty said. "Eventually we would like to do that. But we're not going to do that until we get a good base with our two cars."(Scene Daily)(6-5-2011)
Sadler suing Petty Motorsports: Elliott Sadler is suing Richard Petty Motorsports for an unspecified amount of money, claiming in court documents that his former team is withholding a payment to him because it is wrongly accusing him of influencing Hunt Brothers Pizza to leave RPM and sponsor him at Kevin Harvick Inc. Sadler filed the lawsuit Tuesday in North Carolina Superior Court in Concord, N.C. The lawsuit is against the new ownership group of RPM, which was sold by the Gillett family to Richard Petty and two investors last November. Sadler drove for RPM from 2006-2010 and has a separation agreement with the new owners of RPM that require payments to him, according to the lawsuit. That separation agreement had a non-solicitation provision and RPM alleged that Sadler violated it after Hunt Brothers, which sponsored Sadler in 2010, announced it was sponsoring him and driver Kevin Harvick at KHI this year. In the lawsuit, Sadler claims that RPM is accusing him of violating the non-solicitation clause in their separation agreement in order not to pay him. RPM did not make an April 20 payment, Sadler alleges in the lawsuit.(Scene Daily)(6-1-2011)
Richard Petty Motorsports Fan Appreciation Day: Don't miss out on your chance to meet "The King", AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose during Richard Petty Motorsports' second annual Fan Appreciation Day on Thursday, May 26 from 7-11:30am/et. The event will provide fans with a morning full of family-fun and entertainment at the RPM shop in Concord, NC.
In an effort to say thank you to the fans, Richard Petty Motorsports will offer its loyal supporters with a unique experience to see the shop, obtain driver autographs and attend a Question-and-Answer session.
The first 200 people in line who donate a 24-pack of pencils to Classroom Central, will receive a commemorative ticket allowing them access to an autograph session that will include RPM drivers Allmendinger, Ambrose and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty. In addition, ticket holders will be provided with free breakfast and a goody bag courtesy of RPM and its partners.
After the distribution of the commemorative tickets, fans will be invited to attend a Q-and-A session with Allmendinger, Ambrose and Petty. The Q-and-A session will be hosted by Miss Sprint Cup and is open to the public.
Everyone attending Fan Day will be given one raffle ticket that will put them in a drawing to be eligible to win items donated by Richard Petty Motorsports partners. Items up for raffle include a VIP meet and greet with AJ, Marcos and Richard, followed by lunch, various pieces of autographed sheet metal including a Stanley and Insignia racecar hood, Best Buy gift cards, a tool set courtesy of MAC Tools and a year supply of STP Octane Booster among other things.
In addition, four lucky raffle winners will get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dunk crew chiefs Mike Shiplett and Todd Parrott in the dunk tank. Participants in the Q-and-A session will also get the chance to answer trivia questions allowing them a shot at dunking the pair.
Following the raffle, shop tours will conclude and only participants with the commemorative ticket will proceed inside the RPM shop for the autograph session.
All fans attending this fun-filled event will be able to see the inner workings of the RPM shop, tour one of the transport haulers, take photos next to Allmendinger's Best Buy Ford, Ambrose's Stanley or DEWALT Fords and Richard Petty's 1972 STP show car, visit the merchandise hauler and stop by partner displays to receive free give-a-ways. More info at richardpettymotorsports.com.(5-23-2011)
Richard Petty teams up with Tag Heuer: Known throughout the world for his signature sunglasses and cowboy hat, NASCAR legend Richard Petty has partnered with TAG Heuer and can now be seen sporting the TAG Heuer brand of sunglasses everywhere he goes. "I've been thoroughly enjoying my TAG Heuer sunglasses," stated Richard Petty "The fit is great, the quality and workmanship is outstanding and I couldn't ask for a better pair of glasses for protection of my eyes. Whether I'm at the race track or working around the farm, my TAG Heuer sunglasses are always on." Richard Petty is the owner and chairman of Richard Petty Motorsports.(RPM)(4-29-2011)
New sponsor for Allmendinger at Richmond: Nautica, a part of VF Corporation and a leader in branded quality apparel, will serve as primary sponsor of Richard Petty Motorsports' #43 Ford for Saturday evening's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Richmond International Raceway. "We feel good that an organization as well known as Nautica has decided to showcase its brand on the #43 Ford," said team owner Richard Petty. "We welcome them to the RPM family and look forward to showing them everything the sport has to offer this weekend in Richmond. The #43 team has shown great promise this season and AJ is a force to be reckoned with every week. We're excited to have Nautica here this weekend and we think NASCAR's legions of fans will be enthusiastic as well." The #43 Ford will carry the familiar Nautica logo all weekend at the three-quarter-mile track. Allmendinger has made eight starts at the track and posted his career best finish of eighth at the venue last fall after starting from the third position. Founded in 1983, Nautica is a leading global lifestyle brand ranging from men's, women's and children's apparel and accessories to a complete home collection.(RPM Facebook)(4-26-2011)
Tire testing at Dover: hearing that #24-Jeff Gordon, #43-A.J. Allmendinger and #11-Denny Hamlin are Goodyear tire testing at Dover International Speedway, Tuesday, April 19th. Also Brett Moffit is testing his NASCAR K&N Pro Series car.(4-19-2011)
STP jumping back into racing: UPDATE: On Wednesday afternoon, STP will announce its return to big league racing, an aggressive sponsorship plan that will have the old familiar "racer's edge" mantra back in NASCAR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series as well as the NHRA, plus multiple racetrack sponsorships. It begins with NASCAR's split weekend of June 4-5, when the Saturday night Nationwide Series event at Chicagoland Speedway will be the STP 300 and the following Sunday afternoon's Sprint Cup race will be the STP 400. That same weekend, Richard Petty's famous #43 car, driven by A.J. Allmendinger, will carry The King's iconic 1972 STP paint scheme, marking the first time that car has carried those colors since a two-race deal in 2006. In addition, STP has signed track sponsorship deals with International Speedway Corp. properties, including Daytona, Talladega, Richmond, Darlington, Michigan, Chicagoland and Kansas. The company has also inked a multiyear sponsorship of Infineon Raceway, including title sponsorship of its Wednesday night drag racing series.(ESPN.com)(4-13-2010)
UPDATE: When STP and Richard Petty first signed a deal in 1972, it forever changed the sponsorship landscape within the sport of auto racing. To mark its 39 year history in racing, the STP brand is building its presence in the sport through multiple series' including NASCAR, NHRA, World of Outlaws, Infineon Speedway, and at several International Speedway Corporation (ISC) tracks. STP's racing portfolio includes:
• Multi-year title sponsorship of the Nationwide and Cup races at Chicagoland Speedway and Kansas Speedway, respectively. This year, the STP 300 Nationwide Series race will take place on June 4 and the STP 400 Cup race will run on June 5.
• The STP-branded #43 car will make its return to the track driven by Richard Petty Motorsports driver, AJ Allmendinger, during the STP 400. The No. 43 STP Ford Fusion will be a modern replica of the 1972 paint scheme featuring the original Petty Blue and STP Day-Glo Red.
• Primary sponsor of two-time NHRA Full Throttle Nitro Funny Car Champion Tony Pedregon for three races (Las Vegas, Houston and Infineon) and an associate sponsorship for the balance of the season.
• Multi-year track sponsorships with a number of ISC properties including Daytona, Talladega, Richmond, Darlington, Michigan, Chicagoland and Kansas.
• Multi-year track sponsorship of Infineon Raceway and title sponsor of Wednesday Night Drags and Bracket Drags.
• Continued sponsorship of Tony Stewart Racing and four-time World of Outlaws Champion Donny Schatz and the World of Outlaws Series.(MATTER, Edelman/STP)(4-13-2011)
Petty says team now has good foundation: Richard Petty Motorsports hasn't had a great year on the track so far, but off the track team co-owner Richard Petty can see a big difference. Petty now has operational oversight of the team that bears his name, something he didn't have for the previous two years under the ownership of George Gillett and the Gillett family. Performance aside, Petty can feel the difference in the shop. "All the guys working on the cars and stuff act like they enjoy what they're doing more," Petty said Thursday night at Texas Motor Speedway. The team does not have the debt that it had in the past and while it is designed to eventually make money, it can create its budget based off sponsorship revenues and race winnings to cover operations of the team and not to pay off loans. "We've got a better foundation," Petty said. "And I know the foundation is pretty good. The last three years, it's not been that steady. We feel like with the team, we've got something to build off of now that's going to be steady. We've got to work hard to build something."(Scene Daily)(4-9-2011)
Allmendinger goes karting on off weekend: While the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series took an early season weekend off, #43-AJ Allmendinger was returning to his roots with another karting outing in the WKA Manufacturers Cup this past weekend. Running in the second round of the World Karting Association (WKA), Allmendinger was on hand at Carolina Motorsports Park at the 7/10 mile 16-turn kart track in Kershaw, South Carolina. Allmendinger first got his start in karts in California, picking off championships one at a time on his way up to earn a shot at formula car competition. But he's never lost the bug and always is looking to get back behind the wheel of a kart. The race weekend was a successful one as Allmendinger was back in form straight away, nabbing a second place finish in Saturday's finals in both classes that he ran (TAG Senior and Parilla Leopard).(PR)(3-15-2011)
John Andretti has ride for Indy 500 UPDATE: John Andretti will drive the fifth Andretti Autosport car in the Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The others will be for IndyCar regulars Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Mike Conway and Danica Patrick.(Indianapolis Star)(3-11-2011)
UPDATE: Andretti Autosport announced it will join forces with co-entrant Richard Petty Motorsports and primary sponsor Window World, Inc., to field an entry for IndyCar veteran John Andretti in this year's 100 anniversary edition of the Indianapolis 500. John, who has made 11 prior Indy 500 starts including last year's run for the Petty-Andretti combo, will drive the #43 Window World car with a traditional "Petty Blue" and "Day-Glo Red" color scheme. However, the livery featured on this year's entry was inspired by the 1982 race-winning car of Gordon Johncock and designed to commemorate that historic car. In conjunction with the effort, Window World and ABILITY Magazine have created the "$1,000,000 WIN-WIN" promotion that will provide one, lucky contestant the chance to win $1 million should John win the 2011 Indianapolis 500. 2011 marks the third-straight year Window World has served as John's primary sponsor in the Indianapolis 500. Headquartered in North Wilkesboro, N.C., Window World remains America's largest replacement window company with offices in more than 200 cities nationwide. This will also be the third-consecutive Indy 500 to include participation from Richard Petty, a racing icon and one of the most-recognizable figures in NASCAR history. A 200-time NASCAR race winner and seven-time NASCAR champion, Petty witnessed the Indianapolis 500 in person for the first time in 2007 and participated as a co-owner for the first time in 2009.(RPM)(3-15-2011)
Should drivers communicate with each other during races? UPDATE: Drivers were able to communicate with non-teammates for the first time during the Daytona 500, which added an intriguing element to NASCAR's biggest race. Because there was a need for two-car tandems to work together while the race was going on, many drivers set their radios up so they could speak with their competitors. But some drivers believe the practice should be banned. "I think NASCAR should step in on drivers getting on other teams' radios," #22-Kurt Busch said. "... We shouldn't be able to communicate with radios." #5-Mark Martin had only four drivers among his options for chatting: His three teammates and #43-AJ Allmendinger. But the veteran agreed with Busch, saying he hopes his competitors "clean the radios up." #27-Paul Menard said he had 12 different drivers on his radio during the Daytona 500 - and was just fine with continuing the practice for future restrictor-plate races if NASCAR doesn't pass a rule against it. #99-Carl Edwards backed the open radio communication between drivers based on safety reasons, calling it "necessary."(SB Nation)(2-26-2011)
UPDATE: According to Mike Mulhern, "NASCAR's Robin Pemberton says no changes planned for radio rules for Talladega April 17th.(3-6-2011)
Allmendinger interested in IndyCar offer: Former open-wheel driver #43-A.J. Allmendinger says he might be open to racing in IndyCar's season finale in Las Vegas for a chance at $5 million. Allmendinger, who switched to NASCAR in 2008, says while driving in the Oct. 16 race is an unlikely scenario, the prize money would be good incentive to give it a try. IndyCar announced last week that it will allow up to five qualified drivers from outside the series a chance to win $5 million if they're able to win the race. Allmendinger, Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Stewart have been mentioned as drivers who might give it a try because of their backgrounds in open-wheel racing. Montoya said it would be logistically impossible since NASCAR races in Charlotte that same weekend.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(2-26-2011)
Evernham suing Gillett: Ray Evernham has filed a lawsuit seeking $19.3 millon from the man who purchased the majority interest of Evernham Motorsports from him in 2007. The suit, filed on Tuesday in North Carolina Superior Court in Mecklenburg County, was filed against Booth Creek Management and Gillett GEMS, LLC for money not paid in the sale. Gillett GEMS, LLC is a corporation of four members that includes George Gillett Jr., who purchased Evernham Motorsports, which later became Gillett Evernham Motorsports and then Richard Petty Motorsports. Evernham charges in the suit that Gillett breached an agreement to pay the remaining 20 percent owed for the Sprint Cup organization.(ESPN.com)(2-24-2011)
Forbes names most valuable NASCAR teams & highest paid drivers: The weak economy has pummeled NASCAR over the past three years, with sponsorships, merchandise sales, race winnings and subsidies from automakers falling. Fans have tuned out, sending TV ratings down 24% since 2006 and leaving more than 40,000 empty seats at some races last year. One of its longest-tenured teams, Richard Petty Motorsports, was scrambling for cash on a week-to-week basis so it could race on weekends last fall. Is NASCAR headed for a full-blown meltdown? Hardly. Yes, the value of the top 10 teams slid 5% in 2010, on average, to $136 million by [Forbes] count, as prize money dropped and sponsors dialed back their commitment, but a rebound in 2011 for the sport is a strong possibility. NASCAR's strongest and most valuable team remains Hendrick Motorsports. With a valuation of $350 million on revenues of $177 million in 2010, Hendrick is worth 56% more than the next-highest-grossing team, Roush Fenway Racing, which [Forbes] value at $224 million on revenues of $140 million last year. Hendrick earned a NASCAR-high $18 million in operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) in 2010. Richard Childress Racing was third on the list, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing. Rounding out the top 10: Stewart-Haas, Michael Waltrip Racing, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, and Red Bull Racing.
AND: Despite his lack of success in recent years on the track, Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains NASCAR's highest-paid driver, earning $29 million in 2010 thanks to merchandise sales that are the best in the sport and reportedly account for one-third of all NASCAR licensed merchandise sales. Other income streams include an annual salary from Hendrick and a 50% share of his $4.9 million in winnings and bonuses in 2010 from Sprint Cup races. Earnhardt also has a bevy of personal endorsements, including Chevrolet, Nationwide and Wrangler. Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon follows Earnhardt in the NASCAR money standings with earnings of $25 million last year. It is a clean sweep for Hendrick at the top with five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, the third-highest-paid driver at $24 million. The rest of the top 10: Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, and Matt Kenseth.(Forbes)(2-24-2011)
RPM already looking in to expansion: Expansion is already on Richard Petty Motorsport's plate for 2012, Team co-owner Andrew Murstein is looking towards growth to help boost a program whose #43 car hasn't won since Spring 1999 at Martinsville. Here's the catch: in a world full of 2012 free agents, where Carl Edwards, Brian Vickers, and Greg Biffle top the list of possibilities, this car owner is looking to break the mold by picking an unproven driver -- but not just any rookie. "If there was one driver that was out there, I would go for something new and different," he says. "I think that's what the sport's lacking. There's no perfect answer for that, but a woman driver would be a terrific accomplishment for us. Whether it's someone like Danica [Patrick], or it's someone like Johanna Long. If there was an up-and-coming African-American driver, that would be my focal point. I want to make a game-changing decision in this sport to try to bring it to another level."(Sports Illustrated)(2-18-2011)
Richard Petty Motorsports owner interested in Danica, Bowyer: Now that Richard Petty Motorsports is on firm financial footing, don't be surprised if Danica Patrick is part of a conversation about the organization's future. Financier Andrew Murstein, one of Richard Petty's partners in the revamped RPM, thinks Patrick would be an excellent fit for the Sprint Cup team. When 2012 arrives, however, Murstein would like to see a third car in the stable, and Patrick, who currently drives part-time for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series, is an intriguing possibility. Clint Bowyer of Richard Childress Racing is another driver who has caught Murstein's eye. Murstein said he eventually would like to see four Cup teams at RPM.(Sporting News)(1-27-2011)
Evernham concerned with owners' ability to walk away: Former Evernham Motorsports owner Ray Evernham told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody Tuesday that he is troubled by the ability of owners to pull up stakes and leave the sport without paying their bills. While never identifying former partner George Gillett by name, Evernham said, "When a company goes out of business or leaves without paying people, it's not just drivers and crewchiefs (who are affected). There are tons of other people who get hurt. People are allowed to fly back to their lives on private jets, drink champagne and (go) skiing, while other people are left trying to figure out how to put food on the table. That kind of pisses me off. It's a shame that there are a lot of really good people who are owed a heck of a lot of money," said Evernham. "The press releases go out talking about how great everyone is doing now, and that's not totally true. There are a lot of people who have been left holding the bag, and a lot of people out of work. All you can do is hope that what goes around, comes around, and that the legal system -- or karma -- take care of it at some point."(Sirius Speedway)(1-27-2011)
Richard Petty Motorsports announces sponsor lineup: Richard Petty Motorsports announced the 2011 partner lineup for the #9 and #43 Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. The sponsor line up for 2011 includes several organizations that have partnered with Richard Petty in the past. Stanley, an RPM sponsor since 2005, returns for the 2011 season. The 2011 season will also have a new addition to the RPM partner family as DEWALT returns to the sport. Both brands will serve as primary sponsors of the #9 Ford driven by Marcos Ambrose. Best Buy will return to sponsor the #43 Ford and driver AJ Allmendinger for 24 races. Leading that team will be Mike Shiplett, who has worked with Allmendinger for several years at Richard Petty Motorsports. Valvoline, U.S. Air Force, WIX Filters, Reynolds and Paralyzed Veterans of America will round out the sponsorship package on the famed # 43 car for the 2011 season.(RPM)
AND Air Force officials announced that it would renew its NASCAR partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports and the # 43 car with driver A.J. Allmendinger for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The Air Force is both a primary and associate sponsor of the #43 car, driven by A.J. Allmendinger. As a primary sponsor, the car will feature the Air Force paint scheme in two of 36 NASCAR points races this season.(Air Force PR)(1-24-2011)
Allmendigner, McDowell team up for Rolex 24: Fully committed to earning the best possible result in the team's eighth consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona, Michael Shank Racing will stage the strongest campaign in team history with three Daytona Prototype entries for the 49th running of the endurance classic on Jan. 29-30. On Friday, team owner Mike Shank announced the driver lineup for the third entry, with the #6 Ford-Dallara being driven Sprint Cup Series drivers A.J. Allmendinger and Michael McDowell and IndyCar driver Justin Wilson. The 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona will mark Allmendinger's sixth attempt in the Rolex 24. McDowell has Grand-Am experience stretching back to 2004, as the Phoenix native broke through for his first Daytona Prototype victory one year later in Mexico City.(Michael Shank Racing PR)(1-9-2011)
Best Buy renews with RPM: Best Buy Co. and Richard Petty Motorsports announced their continued partnership for the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season. The agreement extends Best Buy's status as primary sponsor of the #43 driven by AJ Allmendinger. Best Buy will be the primary sponsor for 24 Sprint Cup Series events in 2011 and will be featured as the primary sponsor for two non-points events, The Duels and the Sprint All-Star race. In addition, Best Buy will serve as an associate sponsor for the #9, driven by Marcos Ambrose. The deal marks the company's second year with driver AJ Allmendinger and its seventh year in the sport of NASCAR.(Best Buy/RPM)(1-4-2011)
2010 Races  that Best Buy/Insignia is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Daytona - 2/14, Best Buy
Auto Club Speedway - 2/21, Best Buy
Atlanta - 3/6, Insignia
Bristol - 3/21, Insignia
Texas - 4/18
Talladega - 4/25
Darlington - 5/8
All-Star Race - 5/22
Charlotte - 5/30
Michigan - 6/13
Infineon Raceway - 6/20
Chicago - 7/10, Geek Squad
Pocono - 8/1, Insignia HDTV
Michigan - 8/15
Atlanta - 9/5
Richmond - 9/11
New Hampshire - 9/19
Dover - 9/26
Kansas - 10/3
Martinsville - 10/24
Phoenix - 11/7
Homestead - 11/21
2010 Races  that Paralyzed Veterans of America was the primary sponsor:
Daytona - 7/2, Mission: ABLE
2010 Races  that Charter Communications was the primary sponsor:
Martinsville - 3/28
2010 Races  that WIX Filters is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Charlotte - 10/16
2010 Races  that Valvoline was the primary sponsor:
Las Vegas - 2/28
Phoenix - 4/10
Indianpolis - 7/25
Bristol - 8/21
Talladega - 10/31
Texas - 11/7
2010 Races  that Berlin City Auto Group was the primary sponsor:
New Hampshire - 6/27
Allmendinger/McMurray karting it at Daytona: The new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season hasn't even started yet and AJ Allmendinger is already turning competitive laps at Daytona International Speedway. For the second straight year, Allmendinger is participating in Daytona KartWeek, which showcases hundreds of karters from across the country in World Karting Association races. "We've had three off weekends now so I'm bored," said Allmendinger, who drives for Richard Petty Motorsports. "I had to get away from the house. It's time to go racing. As soon as Christmas is over, it's time to go racing." Allmendinger didn't enjoy last year's Daytona KartWeek as much as he wanted. He struggled on the track and packed up early and headed back home to North Carolina. This year, he comes ready for what is a competitive field that also includes 2010 Daytona 500 champion Jamie McMurray.(DIS)(12-29-2010)
New RPM owner wants to build race track in New York: Now that the president of Medallion Financial Corp., Taxi tycoon Andrew Murstein, has purchased NASCAR racing team Richard Petty Motorsports for less than $50 million, sources close to the situation tell us, Murstein intends to finally establish a track here [New York City area] and make New Yorkers fans of the supercharged sport. It's not a new idea. A company called International Speedway attempted to build a track on Staten Island earlier this decade, until opposition from nearby residents killed the project by 2007. The Medallion mogul's idea is to build the track to co-exist with horse racing at Aqueduct in Queens or at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. [New York Daily News] sources say he'll soon begin lobbying state and city officials. Even if local officials are receptive, Murstein could face a tough sell with the public. Though NASCAR is second only to NFL football in sports TV ratings, audiences have reportedly declined.(New York Daily News)(12-16-2010)
Layoffs precede Richard Petty deal: Richard Petty Motorsports cut 75 jobs a week before the company was acquired by the racing legend and other investors. The Concord-based team had struggled financially and announced Nov. 22 its plans to field two cars in the NASCAR circuit in 2011, down from four. That same day, the firm notified N.C. regulators of the termination of 75 employees. On Tuesday, Richard Petty Motorsports announced its sale to an investment group comprised of Richard Petty, Medallion Financial Corp. of New York and DGB Investments of San Jose, Calif. The sales price was undisclosed. Andrew Murstein, Medallion Financial president, says the layoffs leave the race operation with about 80 employees. The cuts reflect Petty Motorsports' financial struggles and had been planned for some time. "I hope to get back to four teams and hire them back," Murstein adds. Murstein hopes to gear up to three teams in 2012 and reach a fourth "shortly thereafter."(Charlotte Business Journal)(12-2-2010)
RPM purchased by Richard Petty and others MORE: Richard Petty Motorsports signed and closed a sale of its racing assets to an investment group comprised of Richard Petty, Medallion Financial Corp. and DGB Investments. Richard Petty will serve as Chairman and will be actively involved in overseeing day-to-day operations of the company. As previously announced, the team will operate the legendary #43 car driven by AJ Allmendinger and the #9 car driven by Marcos Ambrose. "Today is a great day for me, my family, our fans and our wonderful sponsors. Ford, Stanley, Best Buy, Valvoline, Reynolds, Air Force, Super 8, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), WIX Filters and Menards have supported me through thick and thin and I thank them from the bottom of my heart," said Petty.
Andrew Murstein, President of Medallion Financial, commented: "We could not be happier to be able to acquire these assets together. Richard is one of the greatest names, not only in NASCAR, but in all sports. His name and image are a world recognized brand with unlimited potential to grow and expand in racing. Ample working capital has been invested in the company to insure this great team and legend will not only continue to perform, but will thrive and be back in the winner's circle."
"George and Foster Gillett deserve a great deal of credit for running a successful race team," commented Petty. "They made a significant investment into the business and helped get back into Victory Lane. Going forward, we have put together an all-star ownership team consisting of myself, Medallion, and VeriFone CEO Doug Bergeron."
Medallion Financial, a publicly traded investment company, has invested over $3 billion in companies since its IPO in 1996 and its board members include such notables as former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, former Connecticut Governor and Senator Lowell Weicker, and another "King" of his sport, Hank Aaron. The Murstein family is the largest shareholder in Medallion, owning approximately 20 percent.
DGB Investments is an investment vehicle of Canadian-born investor Douglas G. Bergeron, CEO of VeriFone Systems, Inc. (NYSE: PAY), San Jose, Calif. In 2001, Bergeron and DGB participated in the acquisition of VeriFone Systems from Hewlett-Packard in a transaction valued at $50 million. Today, VeriFone's market value exceeds $3 billion dollars and Bergeron remains CEO and one of the largest individual shareholders.
Douglas Bergeron commented, "With Richard Petty's unmatched name and reputation in the motorsports industry, I know this investment is well-timed to succeed. We are going to help put Richard Petty Motorsports back in Victory Lane." Richard Petty concluded, "Our partnership with Andy Murstein and Doug Bergeron will help take us to a whole new level and I could not be more excited about our future."(RPM PR)(11-29-2010)
MORE: RPM will operate as a two-car organization with AJ Allmendinger in the famed #43 that Petty drove to 198 [of 200] wins and seven championships and Marcos Ambrose in the #9. Sources said rights to the owner's points for the #98 driven by Paul Menard are moving to Menard at Richard Childress Racing [#27 Chevy] and the points from the #19 driven by Elliott Sadler are expected to go to the #21 owned by the Wood Brothers. Andrew Murstein, the president of Medallion Financial, said he agreed to get involved only if Petty made a substantial commitment along with his company and DGB. While he couldn't divulge details due to a confidentiality agreement, Murstein said all three parties invested millions of dollars. Murstein said the more than $100 million of debt on RPM operations has been paid off. "A fresh start for Petty coming in with no debt,'' he said. The sale of RPM's racing assets to Medallion Financial and DGB Investments not only takes Gillett out of ownership but also Ray Evernham, who remained a minority owner after selling what was Evernham Motorsports to Gillett in 2007.(ESPN)
Ford Statement: Statement from Jamie Allison, Director, Ford North America Motorsports, on Richard Petty Motorsports: "We're elated that Richard Petty has been able to complete this very complex task of restructuring Richard Petty Motorsports. Everyone knows that The King is a motorsports icon and to have him part of the Ford Racing family is something we cherish. We're also excited about moving forward with Andy Murstein and Doug Bergeron, two men whose knowledge and understanding of what it takes to be successful will serve RPM well in the future. I am extending a personal welcome to Andy and Doug from all of us at Ford. Now, we can concentrate on the task at hand, which is getting AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose the resources they need to win races and make the Chase in 2011."(Ford Racing)(11-29-2010)
Petty says RPM will compete in 2011: Stopping short of saying he has financial investors to keep his Sprint Cup organization afloat, Richard Petty said Saturday that Richard Petty Motorsports will compete in 2011. This came a week after the minority owner of RPM said he was in limbo for next year. Employees at RPM will get an indication Monday morning of how the company will move forward. According to a memo, a mandatory 8:00am/et meeting has been called, with instructions for no one to come to work before then. "We're going to make it," Petty said. "That's all I can say now." A source in the Cup garage said RPM, in order to restructure its financial situation, may have to shut its doors for at least a day, release most employees, then re-open. Petty would not confirm that, saying only "nothing's off the table." Regardless, major layoffs will occur as RPM will shrink from four cars to two after this season, with AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose the only drivers under contract. Petty would not confirm he has found investors to make it, but several sources in the Cup garage said the pieces appear in place. Ford Racing officials met with Petty for a briefing Saturday. Afterward, Ford spokesman Kevin Kennedy said: "It was a good meeting. We're confident it will get worked out.'' Edsel Ford II, a member of Ford's board of directors, said keeping RPM in the fold is paramount. "We've done everything we can,'' he said. "Quite frankly, a lot of their suppliers have done the same."(ESPN)(11-21-2010)
Evernham no longer legally bound to RPM: Famed crew chief and ESPN analyst Ray Evernham is free to return to the competition side of the Sprint Cup Series. Evernham said Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway that he no longer is legally bound to the exclusivity deal at financially strapped Richard Petty Motorsports that kept him from entertaining offers from other organizations. He said he will entertain offers of being a consultant, making it clear he does not want to return full-time. "Ray Evernham, for the first time coming into the final race of a NASCAR season, does not have a complete direction for next year,'' Evernham said. "Obviously, I have been buried under a mire of legal paperwork, caught up in something I don't really want to be involved in. But it is what it is. I'm probably as apprehensive or a little bit nervous about my future as Ray Evernham has been. I am free and clear according to my people now. Basically, every contract I've had has been breached in every shape or form.'' Evernham sold majority interest in Evernham Motorsports in 2007 to George Gillett. That organization later merged with Petty Enterprises to become Richard Petty Motorsports, but it kept Evernham in the loop as a consultant and would not allow him to work with other teams. Evernham said he has not brought legal action against Gillett for outstanding money owed him in the original transaction, but he has hired attorneys that have plans in place to do so, if necessary. "Honestly, the thing before you file a lawsuit, you have to make sure there is something to get,'' he said. Evernham isn't sure whether he'll remain with ESPN in 2011 or be with a race organization, or both. There has been speculation that he could return to Hendrick Motorsports, where he helped Jeff Gordon win three of his four titles and help turn around the struggling Dale Earnhardt Jr. "I love my ESPN job and the people I work with,'' Evernham said. "So we're talking about that. We haven't talked about specifics. I haven't made any decisions because I haven't had enough time to talk about it.''(ESPN.com)(11-20-2010)
Gillett at Homestead, refuses to talk: Foster Gillett appeared at a NASCAR track for the first time since financial problems began consuming his team. As he climbed from the top of the #19 Richard Petty Motorsports hauler, Gillett, the managing partner of the company his father, George Gillett, purchased in August 2007, refused to answer questions that have been on the minds of many - from suppliers to whom RPM owes money to drivers who want to know what their situations are for next year.
When asked where have you been, Gillett refused to answer. When asked if his family still had majority interest of Richard Petty Motorsports, Gillett refused to answer.
The latest scenario in the garage has RPM closing the doors on Monday and reopening under a newly founded company with two teams - the #43 and #9 - and the ability to rehire select employees from the existing rosters and some fresh faces. A.J. Allmendinger is signed to drive the #43, and Marcos Ambrose will take over the #9. Stanley, which is currently the sponsor on the #19 of Elliott Sadler, has signed on to return next year. Best Buy, the primary sponsor of the #43, has not yet.
RPM has three teams in the top 25 in the points standings, but sources say that #98-Paul Menard, who is joining Richard Childress Racing in 2011 [running the #27 at RCR], has commandeered his points for next year. That means his Childress team will be exempt from having to qualify for the first six events next year.(in part from FoxSports)(11-19-2010)
RPM on road to Homestead: After a brief delay Wednesday at Roush Fenway Racing, which supplies Richard Petty Motorsports with its NASCAR Sprint Cup cars, the team is on the road to Homestead-Miami Speedway. The organization has faced financial struggles in recent weeks and was delayed transporting its cars from the race at Texas to last week's race at Phoenix International Raceway because of those (FoxSports)(11-18-2010)
If Allmendinger wins 42 fans win a car; special scheme 'the elf': AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #43 Insignia/Best Buy Ford Fusion, will have the chance to win an all-new Ford Fiesta for 42 race fans on Sunday if he can earn his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in the Ford 400. This weekend is the culmination of Ford's 43 Fiestas promotion, which also included Richard Petty and rally driver Ken Block. Allmendinger talked about his feelings heading into Ford Championship Weekend (Ford Racing). Allmendinger will run a 'Kenneth the Blue Elf' scheme at Homestead this weekend. Best Buy, which already announced that it will offer tech support through New Years- including on Christmas Day- has gotten the point across with a new 30-second commercial starring a cartoon elf. In the ad, Best Buy uniform-clad Kenneth the Blue Elf is asked by Santa to give a pep talk to the other elves heading into Christmas, see an inage of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(PettyFans)(11-17-2010)
Edwards wins with FR9 Engine, will run all races in 2011: Carl Edwards' Ford Fusion has been on an impressive winning streak, earning front row starting positions and capturing the win in the last two Nationwide Series races. Edward's also qualified on the pole during this week's Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway and swept the weekend by winning the Kobalt Tools 500. Edwards drives the #99 Aflac Ford Fusion powered by Roush Yates' new FR9 engine. The FR9 is the first Ford purpose-built race engine ever engineered and produced at Roush Yates Engines in Mooresville, NC. The new Ford engine has been integrated slowly into the Sprint Cup Series throughout the second half of the 2010 season with help from Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports' cars racing the engine intermittently. It has been a remarkable learning period for the FR9, with a total of 5 poles and 3 wins, including Edwards' win this weekend that required both horsepower and efficient fuel mileage to beat Championship contenders Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin. "The new FR9 engine that Ford helped us with certainly was a factor today," said Jack Roush, owner of Roush Fenway Racing. "The fact that we were able to save gas and still have enough speed to maintain position on the race track was all very good. I'm thrilled to be in Victory Lane this weekend." Even though a Championship is out of reach for Ford this year, the FR9 engine has shown an impressive increase in performance and reliability throughout the second half of the 2010 Sprint Cup season. These improvements bring enthusiasm to the Ford Racing and Roush Yates Engines camps, as they plan to run the FR9 in all Ford cars for the full 2011 Sprint Cup Season.
"I'm excited to be running the FR9 in all Fords for the entire 2011 Sprint Cup Season and soon to come for the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series," said Doug Yates, CEO of Roush Yates Engines. "Carl's win at Phoenix is just another testament to the power Roush Yates' FR9 engine is capable of. Everyone at the engine shop has been working hard to get this engine just right, and we are extremely proud of Roush Fenway Racing and their accomplishments with it this year. I look forward to watching the FR9 race at Ford Championship weekend next week at Homestead, as well as the 2011 Sprint Cup Season."(Roush Yates Engines)(11-15-2010)
RPM at Phoenix, plan on being at Homestead: While the four Richard Petty Motorsports teams were prepping cars for the first NASCAR Sprint Cup practice at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday morning, the regular chain of command was nowhere to be found. Robbie Loomis, executive director of racing operations, was scheduled in before qualifying. Sammy Johns, director of operations was preparing to run a half-Ironman in the Beach to Battleship Triathalon in Wilmington, N.C. In the lounge of the #43 transporter was Dr. Eric Warren, former technical director of Evernham Motorsports who revised his role at RPM specializing in simulation projects, who jokingly deferred responsibility to Mike Shiplett, crew chief of the #43 team. "We're here to sit on the pole and win the race," Shiplett said, sounding like Loomis. Shiplett is encouraged about this weekend's activities after his driver, AJ Allmendinger, won the pole at Phoenix in April and finished 15th. And since Allmendinger participated in the Goodyear tire test at Homestead in September, Shiplett feels the team will be strong in the season finale next weekend. "I think he'll be good there," Shiplett said. "He really liked the new tires - thought they had more grip and were able to fall off. When you have speed and fall off that makes for great racing. That puts the racing back in the driver's hands." As far as whether RPM will have cars for next week, Shilplett says everything is right on schedule. "We have our Homestead cars ready and are expecting delivery on the engines today," Shiplett said. "We'll put the engines in on Monday, chassis dyno the cars on Tuesday, Wednesday we'll do the final scales and the cars will be ready to go to Homestead (FoxSports)(11-13-2010)
Richard Petty Motorsports on hold UPDATE: The situation at Richard Petty Motorsports remains tenuous at best, despite reports to the contrary. Last week team officials said everything was set for this weekend's Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway as well as the season finale the following week. But five truck drivers remained in Fort Worth at Texas Motor Speedway waiting for the call as to whether they were heading west to the next race or back to the shop in the east as of Tuesday evening. The organization has been in limbo as team owner George Gillett is still reeling from the financial hit he took Oct. 15 when the English soccer team he co-owned -- Liverpool Football Club -- was taken over.
RPM had planned to run two cars next season with AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose. However, until money can be secured to settle the current debts at RPM, it's uncertain how much longer the organization will be around. Sources told FOXSports.com that Richard Petty, the team's namesake, was in talks with Andrew Murstein, President of Medallion Financial Group, in a bid to gain financial control of the company from Gillett.
As a backup plan for Paul Menard, who has already announced that he will leave RPM to drive for Richard Childress Racing in 2011, the #10 Stavola Labonte Racing Chevy stayed within two hours of Texas Motor Speedway in case it needs to turn around and head to Phoenix for Menard's use. Stavola Labonte Racing has a technical alliance with RCR.(FoxSports)(11-10-2010)
UPDATE: Eight Richard Petty Motorsports Fords scheduled to compete this weekend at Phoenix international Raceway remain at Texas Motor Speedway today, waiting to be paid for so they can be released to travel to PIR. Reliable sources tell Sirius Speedway that as of 1:00 pm/et today, the cars sit on an unmarked, white Roush Fenway Racing transporter in a parking lot at Texas Motor Speedway. Alongside sit the respective Richard Petty Motorsports transporters, empty and waiting for permission to load the cars and begin their drive from Fort Worth to Avondale, Arizona.
"The plan was to take RPM's Phoenix cars to Texas and hold them there until the check cleared," said a source close to the situation, speaking on the condition on anonymity. "The money was supposed to be there Monday, but that didn't happen. It didn't happen again yesterday, and everyone's still there today, on hold. Everyone knew this was going to happen before they left for Texas. Our hands are tied and there's nothing we can do but wait."
A representative for Richard Petty Motorsports said early this afternoon, "(The transporters) are headed to Phoenix. We're all scheduled to leave as planned tomorrow morning. Nothing has changed." Federal regulations allow transporter drivers to drive for only 10 hours before getting 10 hours of rest. It is approximately 18 hours from Texas to Phoenix, and teams are required to sign in at the track at 7:45 am/et (5:45 am local) on Friday.
Richard Petty Motorsports employees have been required to work on their cars at Roush Fenway Racing in recent weeks, since Roush will not release the cars until they are paid for. RPM faces other financial obligations in the near future. The team is scheduled to make winnings and retainer payments to each of its drivers on the 15th of this month.(Sirius Speedway)(11-10-2010)
RPM 'in limbo' in quest for backing beyond 2010: Richard Petty says he is closer than he was two weeks ago to finding a solution that will keep Richard Petty Motorsports alive. "What that something is I don't know yet," Petty said before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. "We thought it was [done] last week. Last week we thought it was the week before. Still in limbo." Petty has been seeking investors to help regain majority control from George Gillett since it was reported two weeks ago that Gillett's financial difficulties that escalated from the recent sale of the Liverpool soccer club were putting his racing organization in jeopardy. The situation was so dire that there were concerns whether RPM would keep its doors open for the remainder of the Sprint Cup season. Robbie Loomis, vice president for competition, said Saturday that the organization had enough backing to finish the final three races -- at Texas, Phoenix and Homestead-Miami Speedway. "As far as I know," Petty said. "The cars are here [and] ready to go to Phoenix." Petty said the outpouring of support to keep RPM on the track has been overwhelming. "There's been a lot of support to keep us running from all facets, from manufacturers and fans and NASCAR, even the competitors," Petty said. Among those who have offered help is former team owner Ray Evernham, who still has a minority interest in RPM after selling majority interest of what was then Evernham Motorsports to Gillett in 2007. "He called and said, 'What can I do?' " Petty said. "Right now, we don't know." Petty declined to comment on whether he would have majority control ultimately. "I don't know what we've got to do to make it work," he said. "Until we figure it out, can't do nothing."(ESPN)(11-8-2010)
RPM will finish out season with four cars: Richard Petty Motorsports has the financial backing to finish the season and is working toward running a two-car Sprint Cup car operation in 2011, vice president of competition of Robbie Loomis said on Saturday. "It's been amazing to me, the support from owners and drivers who have come up and been able to help keep us going ... past crew chiefs," Loomis said after the final Cup practice at Texas Motor Speedway leading up to Sunday's race. "People have really been supportive of helping us continue along and get to a better place." Among those helping RPM is former team owner and crew chief Ray Evernham, who still has a minority ownership stake in the team after selling what was then Evernham Motorsports to George Gillett in 2007. Gillett later merged with Petty Enterprises to form Richard Petty Motorsports. Gillett's recent financial difficulties surrounding the sale of the Liverpool soccer club left the racing team so strapped for money that two weeks ago there were questions of whether RPM could pay the bills necessary to finishing the season. Since then minority owner Richard Petty has been looking for investors to retake majority ownership from Gillett and keep the team afloat through the final race of this season. Loomis said the latter no longer is an issue. "Every car owner, every manufacturer has been behind us," he said. "Ford has been incredible in their ability to keep us healthy. Jack Roush and what his crowd has done has been amazing. For Richard it has been very rewarding to see everybody supporting us the way they have." Roush Fenway Racing supplies cars for RPM and Roush Yates Engines supplies engines. Roush said two weeks ago at Martinsville that RPM was up to date on its bills, but added there was at least one payment to be made before the season ended. Loomis said RPM is undecided with which crew members from the #19 team of Sadler and #98 team of Paul Menard will be retained. "We've definitely got some plans," he said. "The roster is already put together. ... Everyone knows we're a four-car team and working on laying out our plans to get to two cars. We've had a lot of talk about running a third car for the first five races with other interests. We've got the points for it."(ESPN)(11-7-2010)
Evernham to help Petty with RPM: Richard Petty Motorsports minority owner Ray Evernham confirmed today that Petty is assembling the financing necessary to bid for control of the troubled team, and said he will do whatever he can to ensure the success of that venture. Evernham told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody, "I'm going to do everything I can to help (Richard). The situation surrounding that team lately has been a... legal and financial nightmare. I don't have an interest in owning a piece of the team anymore, but if it comes down to helping Richard bridge a financial gap for the time being, I would absolutely do what it took to help him achieve his goal."
Evernham expressed confidence that Petty will be able to field a full roster of four cars in the remaining races of the 2010 season. "(Richard) has a lot of people behind him," said Evernham. "He is doing the right thing for racing and doing his best to keep a lot of people employed." Despite still owning a minority stake in the team, Evernham said, "I don't get communication from George Gillett. I haven't spoken to him in months. All I know is that there are good things happening from the Richard Petty side of things. The #43 and Richard Petty need to be in NASCAR, both now and in the future. There are lots of people -- including me and in addition to me - who want to see him succeed."
One of the team's drivers, Stanley Tools Ford driver Elliott Sadler, said news of Petty's involvement has helped calm fears among team employees about the future of the company. "I think people were more scared at Martinsville than they are now," said Sadler. "Richard Petty has gotten a lot more involved in the last couple of weeks and that has put people at ease. I'm confident that we're going to be here for the remainder of the season. Richard Petty deserves to be part of this sport. He's a good guy, and he's lots of fun to race for. It wouldn't seem right to be at the racetrack without seeing that cowboy hat and sunglasses."(Sirius Speedway)(11-3-2010)
Bud to remain on the #9: Budweiser will remain on the #9 Ford at Richard Petty Motorsports for the final three Sprint Cup events of the season, a team spokesman said on Tuesday. There was speculation the sponsor would not be on the car past last weekend's race at Talladega Superspeedway after a report surfaced that Anheuser-Busch would not make its final payment to RPM with Kasey Kahne no longer in the car. RPM officials said Tuesday that Anheuser-Busch has paid through the end of the season, assuring the Bud logo will remain on the #9 car. "The Budweiser car is a fixture in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and we look forward to finishing out the season," an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson said. Aric Almirola will drive the #9 for the third straight race this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. He replaced Kahne, who was released to move to Red Bull Racing, where he will compete full-time next season. All four RPM cars are entered in Sunday's race at Texas. According to a member of the team's public relations department, it has been business as usual at RPM's shop in Concord, N.C. Meanwhile, minority owner Richard Petty continues to seek investors that would help him purchase controlling interest of RPM from financially-strapped owner George Gillett Jr. Gillett has not returned repeated phone calls from ESPN.com seeking comment (ESPN)(11-3-2010)
Petty still looking for control of RPM: Richard Petty continues to seek investors in a bid to purchase a controlling stake in the team that bears his name. In addition to Petty, at least one other group has expressed interest in making a bid for the financially troubled Richard Petty Motorsports team, but sources say Wachovia Bank -- lead lender for majority owner George Gillett and holder of a defaulted $90 note on the team -- is waiting for Petty to assemble his investor group. Petty's initial offer was said to be long on demands for operational control of the team, but short on cash.(Sirius Speedway)(11-2-2010)
Budweiser not making final payment to RPM? Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that Budweiser has told Richard Petty Motorsports that the team will not receive the final installment of its 2010 sponsorship contract. Bud's contract called for Kasey Kahne to be the driver of the Budweiser Ford, and when Kahne left the team five races early to join Red Bull Racing, that contract became null and void. There has been no confirmation from either the team or Budweiser, and no word on what the final installment of that sponsorship would have been worth to the team.(Sirius Speedway)(10-29-2010)
UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports' director of competition Robbie Loomis expects the organization to stay status quo until the end of the season. Despite rumors of doom and gloom surrounding the organization - and the latest allegation that Budweiser will not fulfill its contractual obligations with the final payment on its sponsorship of the #9 entry - Loomis insists that RPM will field four cars throughout the remainder of the NASCAR season. When asked about the status of the #9 Ford, a spokesperson for Budweiser said, "Our policy is to not comment on contractual agreements." However, rumors of their early departure has been floating around for a week - ever since Kasey Kahne extricated himself from the car after Charlotte. RPM had planned to run two cars next season with AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose. However, until money can be secured to settle the current debts at RPM, it's uncertain what the lineup will look like. Multiple sources insist that Richard Petty will divest himself from majority owner George Gillett as early as next week. However, Loomis said he is in constant contact with the Gilletts and they will remain the owners of the company. This weekend on the competition side, Loomis and Sammy Johns, director of operations, are calling the shots.(Fox Sports)
AND: Another source close to RPM said lenders had taken back the team from majority owner George Gillett and had approved a plan for Richard Petty to manage the team's day-to-day operations, but official team sources would neither confirm nor deny that, nor say who was currently running the team or if Gillett was gone.(SPEED)(10-30-2010)
RPM looking for Investors: UPDATE 2: George Gillett's financial difficulty following the sale of Liverpool FC has thrown the future of Richard Petty Motorsports into doubt and left the NASCAR team's owners and lenders searching for investors to keep the team afloat. The Gilletts and Pettys, which are two of the NASCAR team's principal owners, began an aggressive search for investors this month. RPM has hired the Gordian Group, a New York-based investment bank, to assist them in their search, while the syndicate of banks that lent Gillett more than $90 million to buy the team have been working with FTI Consulting, a global consultancy specializing in corporate finance, to find investors, sources said. A spokeswoman for RPM declined to comment.
The search for funding for RPM follows a challenging financial year for Gillett. The team reportedly defaulted on its roughly $90 million loan last February, and Gillett, who owns as much as 70% of the team, has been unable to restructure it. Gillett was counting on the sale of his stake in Liverpool FC to assist him in funding the NASCAR team. But Liverpool sold two weeks ago for $475 million, a sum far less than Gillett and co-owner Tom Hicks expected and one that has put a heavy strain on Gillett's liquidity.
The team was renamed Richard Petty Motorsports in 2009 after Gillett formed a partnership with Petty that gave the NASCAR great a roughly 4% stake in the team. The partnership followed the closure of Petty Enterprises. RPM plans to run two cars next season after running four this year. Only one of the 2011 cars, the #9 Stanley Tools Ford to be driven by Marcos Ambrose, is sponsored. The team remains in negotiations with Best Buy about extending its sponsorship of the #43 car driven by AJ Allmendinger.(full article at the Sporting News/SportsBusiness Journal)(10-26-2010)
UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports majority owner George Gillett, Jr., made a major move to shore-up the financial standing of the team Tuesday. His Booth Creek Resort Properties LLC sold its stock in the companies that operate the Northstar-at-Tahoe Ski Resort to Vail Resorts Tuesday for $63 million. Gillett reportedly owes approximately $70 million to Wachovia Bank from his purchase of the team formerly known as Evernham Motorsports. It is also believed that he continues to make payments to Evernham for the team, and Evernham told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that Gillett is current in his payments. The former car owner and championship-winning crewchief declined to discuss the inner workings of the team, beyond confirming that he receives regular updates on RPM's finances. Informed sources say that without the infusion of capital, RPM would not have been able to compete at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, despite the return of the team's Talladega chassis and engines by Roush Fenway Racing and Roush Yates Racing Engines late last week. There is no word on whether today's $63 million cash infusion will allow RPM to compete for the remainder of the 2010 season, or on how it might impact Richard Petty's attempt to secure financing for a purchase of Gillett's ownership stake.(Sirius Speedway)(10-27-2010)
UPDATE 2: Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that the sale of a Lake Tahoe Ski Resort by Richard Petty Motorsports majority owner George Gillett this week apparently brought far less to the team's financial coffers than initially believed. Gillett's Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc., sold its stock in the companies that operate the Northstar-at-Tahoe Ski Resort to Vail Resorts Tuesday for a reported $63 million. However, a search of public records shows that Northstar-at-Tahoe actually sold for $80 million in November of 2007 to CNL Lifestyle Properties, a real estate investment trust. CNL's company prospectus outlines terms of the sale, and makes it clear that since late 2007, Gillett's company has only managed the resort on their behalf, and not owned it. Industry sources say those management rights likely sold for far less than the claimed $64 million. Further, they say that Gillett personally owns only 2% of Booth Creek Ski Holdings, with his wife accounting for an additional 2%. Thus, Gillett would have received very little cash from Tuesday's sale. Richard Petty Motorsports confirmed late yesterday that it will field all four cars this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway for drivers AJ Allmendinger, Elliott Sadler, Paul Menard and Aric Almirola. Today's news raises new concerns, however, over the team's long-term viability.(Sirius Speedway)(10-28-2010)
RPM will have all four cars at Talladega: Richard Petty Motorsports will field all four of its cars at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, a team spokesman confirmed Wednesday afternoon. The team's presence at the Amp Energy Juice 500 this weekend was in question as employees were told last week that their jobs weren't guaranteed through the end of the year and that last week's race at Martinsville might be their last. Team co-owner Richard Petty, whom the SportsBusiness Journal said owns just 4 percent of the team, is working to take over control of the organization from George Gillett, according to sources familiar with the situation. Gillett, who had taken a $90 million loan to purchase the team from Ray Evernham in 2007 and then merged the organization with Petty Enterprises and Yates Racing in the last two years, has a majority ownership in the organization. Ray Evernham and Boston Ventures also have a minority interest.(Sporting News)(10-27-2010)
RPM to Toyota? Could there be a Toyota in the King's court? Multiple sources have confirmed to FOXSports.com that Richard Petty met with principals from Toyota and Michael Waltrip Racing at Martinsville on Sunday and the meetings continued through Monday in Charlotte. In the past week, Petty has scrambled to salvage what is left of his brand and the #43. This latest development, however, doesn't appear to involve Petty's current partner George Gillett, the majority owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. Currently, RPM fields four Fords in the Sprint Cup Series. [George] Gillett is named as the owner of record on the #s 9, 19 and 98. Petty's name is on the #43. The only sponsor signed for RPM in 2011 is Stanley Tools, a deal rumored to be worth $10 million and expected to be aligned with driver Marcos Ambrose. Gillett and Petty turned to Toyota once before in the summer of 2009, but the automaker could not match the eight-figure financial support that RPM had previously received as a factory-backed Dodge organization. RPM began the transition to Ford with select races at the end of the 2009 season.(Fox Sports)(10-27-2010)
The King says he is staying in the sport; could buy the team? Richard Petty doesn't plan to let financial woes run him out of the Sprint Cup series. "I've been here since 1949 and I'm going to be here till they run me off," the minority owner of Richard Petty Motorsports said on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Petty would not comment on whether he is attempting to put together investors to purchase majority interest from George Gillett, whose legal dispute over the sale of the Liverpool soccer team has impacted the finances of the racing organization to the point there was concern it wouldn't be able to compete past this weekend. But Roush Fenway Racing owner Jack Roush, whose organization leases cars and engines to RPM, told ESPN.com that Petty was attempting to purchase controlling interest of the team. "I haven't got anything to tell you except speculation on somebody else's part and my part and that ain't going to get anybody anywhere," Petty said from the back of the #9 hauler. "When we do get all of it together we'll get it together.''(ESPN)(10-24-2010)
Loomis discusses RPM's plans: Richard Petty Motorsports is looking forward to finishing this season strong and already is making plans for 2011. Robbie Loomis, the director of competition for RPM, answered questions at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday amid speculation that the organization is facing an uncertain future. The team and driver Kasey Kahne parted ways earlier this week, and Loomis said he thinks the sudden departure of the driver has fueled talk about the team's stability.
"Like I said before, there's been a lot of speculation about a lot of things," Loomis said before practice while behind the team's #43 hauler. "There always has been in this sport, but what gives me confidence is that we've always had the ability to move forward." Loomis says the team will be at Talladega next weekend, but he did not say who will be driving the car. Aric Almirola is taking Kahne's place in the #9 Ford this weekend. "Most of the things we've been working on has been our models for 2011 and what our race teams look like moving forward," he said. The team is planning to field two cars in 2011, with A.J. Allmendinger staying in the #43 and Marcos Ambrose driving the other car [supposedly the #9].
RPM is co-owned by George Gillett Jr. and seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty. Questions about the team's financial health have followed it for almost two years and Gillett was recently ousted as a co-owner of Premier League soccer club Liverpool. Loomis said Gillett still owns RPM, and declined to comment on speculation that Petty is trying to round up investors that would allow him more control of the organization. "There are a lot of people working collectively together to make this thing more successful as we go forward in the future," he said. Loomis said Petty might make it to the track Sunday, but that he's been spending most of his time with his ailing wife, Lynda.(Associated Press)(10-23-2010)
Allmendinger / Ambrose talks about RPM: from a Frontstretch interview by Jay W. Pennell with #43-Allmendinger and #47-Ambrose about the Richard Petty Motorpsorts situation:
Jay W. Pennell, Frontstretch.com: I asked you last week about your situation at RPM and you described it by saying, "at least there's light at the end of the tunnel. It's not like there's a train coming back at you to hit you." Do you still feel that way now?
Allmendinger: "I feel like the train is coming back now.Honestly, I'm not exactly sure what's happening. I don't have any hardcore answers about what's going on inside the team. There are certain people that need to answer those questions. For me, all I can do is focus on driving the race car. Can't fix anything else. I feel bad for my guys that work so hard, my guys here at the race track, back at the shop, my guys that get told things like we might not be going to Talladega - which we are, we got the cars and the motors. They're the ones that work really hard and bust their butts. All I can do is take care of it as best I can, just try to keep us focused on coming to the race track. We can't fix what's going on and I don't know the true answers. We still have fast race cars. We're still working hard. The last couple of weeks we've had a couple of setbacks when it comes to engine problems during the race, but we've been running well, so that's all we can focus on."
Pennell: Are you worried about your situation for next season?
Allmendinger: "I'd be freaking lying to your face if I said, 'It's all good."
Pennell: What about Talladega or Texas? Are you worried about making it to those races?
Allmendinger: "I can't worry about it, honestly. If I let that take away from this weekend, then it doesn't really matter. If I go out there and suck it's kind of irrelevant when it comes to anything. There's definitely question. I think (we'll be at) Talladega, for sure, and I think we're getting our stuff together for Texas and things like that, but there's nothing set in concrete. For me, it's working hard at the race track and making sure we're running well. To me you've always got to look at the worst case scenario, and if it's the worst case scenario and we have to go work on other stuff and make that happen. That's why I pay Tara Ragan for and my management to work on that so I can worry about the race car."
Marcos Ambrose, moving to RPM in 2011: "I believe in the program over there (at RPM). I made the choice to commit to them because I believe it is a great fit for me. I wish them the best of luck to get themselves sorted out and back on the right path. I'm not involved in the decision making (at RPM). All I can do is voice my commitment to them. I believe the choices I made were right, I still do. I'm looking forward to the opportunity, they have a great program with assistance from Roush and the program's a great place. With Stanley coming on board supporting it, it's a great place for me to be. I was joking about it when we ran well in Richmond, but I believe in the program over there and want the chance to drive for Richard Petty Motorsports."(Frontstretch.com)(10-23-2010)
RPM owes millions UPDATE none to Kahne: More details are being revealed concerning the current financial situation at Richard Petty Motorsports, including approximately $12 million owed to the team's chassis and engine suppliers and former driver Kasey Kahne. Speaking on the condition on anonymity, a source with knowledge of the situation told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that RPM had fallen $9-10 million behind in its payments to Roush Fenway Racing and Roush Yates Racing Engines for race cars, engines and rear gear assemblies. That debt prompted Roush to repossess the team's Talladega cars, engines and gears earlier this week, but the cars were returned to RPM late Thursday morning after a partial payment was made. The engines reportedly remain in the possession of Roush Yates Racing Engines, awaiting an additional payment.
The same source revealed that Kahne is owed between $1 million and $1.25 million by RPM, and that those past-due paychecks played a major role in his criticism of the team following last Saturday night's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. As of mid-afternoon Thursday, Kahne had not received a signed copy of his release from RPM, potentially compromising his ability to compete for Red Bull Racing this weekend at Martinsville. However, legal experts tell Sirius Speedway that Wednesday's press release from RPM announcing Kahne's release was legally binding, and will allow Kahne to drive for Red Bull this weekend without violating his contract with RPM. A second source within Richard Petty Motorsports confirmed that a series of high-level meetings were held throughout the day Thursday in an attempt to ensure that the team will be able to compete past next weekend's race at Talldega Superspeedway.(Sirius Speedway)(10-22-2010)
UPDATE - Kahne is paid: Kahne said RPM has met all its financial responsibilities to him, dismissing rumors that the decision to split early made sense for both sides. Red Bull Racing will pay Kahne's salary the rest of the season. Kahne said talks about a split began on Monday, two days after the brakes failed on his car for the second time in three races (and third time this season), leaving the driver frustrated. Kahne defended his decision not to return to the race after repairs were made, saying he was sick and unable to continue. He was offended that an RPM official questioned his commitment, saying he needed to do his part to help the team. "Anybody that questions my commitment doesn't know me very well,'' Kahne said. "I don't know if there is anybody out there that puts as much into it as I do throughout the week. I was sick to my stomach and it was time for me to call it a day. I'm happy I did it and ready to get on with this weekend.'' Kahne said the decision to split was not based on speculation that financial difficulties concerning RPM. He said he wished the team well the rest of the season. Kahne said he has agreed to maintain his commitments to sponsor Budweiser for the remainder of the season, including all meet and greets. He added this was not the way he wanted to end his relationship with Budweiser or RPM, but reiterated it was best for all parties.(ESPN)(10-22-2010)
RPM may not run past Martinsville UPDATE 3: The house of cards is finally falling for George Gillett's Richard Petty Motorsports. The assembly line from Roush Fenway Racing and Roush Yates engines has stopped running to RPM. Engines have been picked up, cars have been repossessed, and sources on both sides -- RPM and RFR -- say no cars will be delivered beyond Martinsville this weekend. On Thursday morning, crewmen at RPM were told they may not have jobs after the race at Martinsville Speedway this weekend. Neither Petty team CEO Foster Gillett nor team Vice President Robbie Loomis could be reached for comment. RPM currently fields four cars in the Sprint Cup Series -- the #9, #19, #43 and #98. Kasey Kahne was released from his contract as of Wednesday night and is expected to drive for Red Bull Racing for the remainder of the year and in 2011. Elliott Sadler is expected to drive for Kevin Harvick Inc. next year. Paul Menard signed a multi-year deal to drive for Richard Childress Racing starting next year. His current crew chief Richard "Slugger" Labbe will continue his duties at RCR [supposedly Labbe will stay at RPM thru 2011....if they still exist]. AJ Allmendinger re-signed a multiyear deal to drive the #43 Ford this summer. Allmendinger is currently 20th in the point standings. Marcos Ambrose was signed to drive the #19 [actually the #9 car, not the #19] Ford in August. Ambrose currently drives for JTG/Daugherty Racing and is 26th in the point standings.(Fox Sports)(10-21-2010)
UPDATE: The story has now been updated to include: "Sources tell FOXSports.com that the Talladega cars were returned after 11:00 am/et Thursday, but they do not have engines or gears yet."(10-21-2010)
UPDATE 2: Multiple sources confirmed to SPEED.com on Thursday that Roush Fenway Racing, which builds RPM's cars, briefly repossessed RPM's Talladega cars and engines because of non-payment. Roush Fenway Racing allowed RPM to take the cars back Thursday morning, sources told SPEED.com. Additionally, sources said that one of the reasons Kahne was released from the team is that RPM owed him a substantial amount of back salary. A team spokesperson contacted Thursday afternoon declined to say whether or not Kahne was owed money, Roush Fenway Racing was owed money, when team owner George Gillett would publicly discuss his team's situation or what RPM's plans were beyond this weekend. "There's just nothing much to comment on right now," said Tiffany Breaux of Richard Petty Motorsports.(SPEED)(10-21-2010)
UPDATE 3: Sources tell Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that a number of Richard Petty Motorsports employees who had planned to join Kasey Kahne at Red Bull Racing next year were told my management today that their services are no longer required, effective immediately.(10-21-2010)
Wix Filters scheme on the #43: The #43 Ford Fusion will showcase the familiar Petty Blue color this weekend as WIX Filters hops on board the car to serve as primary sponsor. WIX Filter's history in racing started with NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty, who began using the product to protect his stock car engines in 1967. WIX partnered with Petty to win his second NASCAR championship that season, and WIX filtration technology went on to help him win five more throughout his illustrious career.(RPM), see an image of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(10-14-2010)
RPM owner Gillett, fighting takeover of soccer club: Richard Petty Motorsports majority owner George Gillett has fired the Board of Directors of his Liverpool soccer club in an attempt to derail a takeover of the club by New England Sports Ventures, owners of the Boston Red Sox. The board was scheduled to meet yesterday to consider bids from two potential buyers, but Gillett and co-owner Tom Hicks filed an injunction claiming the board was not acting in their best interest by entertaining those offers. The injunction sought to replace board chairman Martin Broughton and directors Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre with Hicks' son, Mack Hicks, and Lori Kay McCutcheon, giving Gillett and Tom Hicks majority control of the club. New England Sports Ventures is controlled by John W. Henry [part owner of Roush Fenway Racing] and a group of partners that includes the New York Times Company and television producer Tom Werner. They purchased the Red Sox in 2002 and a subsidiary of NESV - Fenway Sports Group -- purchased a 50% ownership stake in what is now Roush Fenway Racing in February of 2007. How the sale will impact RPM, which recently restructured a $90 million loan agreement, is not immediately clear.(in part from Sirius Speedway see other articles if interested at scenedaily.com and guardian.co.uk)(10-6-2010)
RPM not ruling out 3rd team next year: It's a given that Richard Petty Motorsports will field at least two teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2011, but team officials said this past weekend that it's possible that the organization could field a third team as well. RPM currently fields four Cup teams for drivers #43-AJ Allmendinger, #9-Kasey Kahne, #98-Paul Menard and #19-Elliott Sadler. Kahne is scheduled to drive for Red Bull Racing next season while Menard is slated to join Richard Childress Racing; Sadler has said he isn't expected to return to the organization's #19 team. Team co-owner Richard Petty hasn't ruled out the possibility of a third team. "We've talked to a lot of people about a third car, but our main deal is make sure we've got two really good cars, and then we try to do a third deal," Petty said. "We've got until the end of the year [to make a decision]. If we're downgrading from four teams to three teams, we've still got plenty of everything it would take to run that third car. It wouldn't be like just having two, and then all of a sudden we've got to go out and get cars, people and trucks and all the equipment to run the third car. We can wait a pretty [long time], I think, as far as being able to get cars ready."(Scene Daily)(9-27-2010)
Drivers visiting Walter Reed: NASCAR's annual visit to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center is set for Thursday, with a total of 10 drivers scheduled to attend along with NASCAR President Mike Helton. Drivers expected to visit include #43-AJ Allmendinger, #16-Greg Biffle, #2-Kurt Busch, #38-David Gilliland,#17-Matt Kenseth, #12-Brad Keselowski, #98-Paul Menard, #87-Joe Nemechek, #39-Ryan Newman and #82-Scott Speed. Show cars on display are expected to be #39 U.S. ARMY Chevy, #88 National Guard Chevy, #99 Scotts Ford, #2 Miller Lite Dodge, #11 FedEx Toyota, #24 National Guard Chevy, #10 Sprint show car and a NASCAR/Walter Reed Army Medical Center car.(NASCAR)(9-22-2010)
NHMS & RPM give tickets to employee's of Hartford Distributor: New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Richard Petty Motorsports are teaming up to make this weekend a little brighter for the employees impacted by the Hartford Distributor tragedy, by sending 250 tickets for all employees to the Sylvania 300 and four Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series haulers to the facility Thursday morning. One of the victims, Doug Scruton, had dreams of retiring in New Hampshire before the tragedy occurred. Scruton, 56 had worked for the company for 30 years and was months away from retirement in the White Mountains. Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway was more than willing to donate the tickets to the employees and families. "I think it is just such a positive thing to give these folks the opportunity to come out to the speedway and enjoy themselves this weekend with some exciting NASCAR racing," said Gappens. "It was just the right thing to do." The Richard Petty Motorsports haulers will make a pit stop on their way to the speedway tomorrow at 8:00 am. The employees will have the opportunity to tour and visit with the four haulers and teams.(NHMS)(9-16-2010)
Petty Blue to be released: Petty Blue is the story of the Petty family's dramatic rise to the top of a sport, told in their own words. Through vintage film, dynamic race footage, archival photos, and candid conversations, relive Lee becoming the face of NASCAR in its earliest years, his son Richard "The King" winning a staggering 200 races, The movie, which is an engrossing and moving documentary about the life and times of NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and his extraordinary family, will be released on DVD September 21, 2010 from Paramount Home Entertainment. Petty Blue will make its cable debut on CMT on October 8th. Produced by NASCAR Media Group and CMT Films and narrated by Academy Award winner Kevin Costner, Petty Blue takes fans beyond the track to examine the Pettys' individual accomplishments, their influences on the sport and the personal tragedies that shaped them into the racing icons they are today. Petty Blue, which refers to the famously distinctive color of Richard Petty's #43 racecar, is an inspirational story of dedication, perseverance and family tradition. The Petty Blue DVD is packed full of special features including deleted scenes, bonus interviews with NASCAR notables such as David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Franklin Graham and Robbie Loomis, archival footage and interviews from the 1960s, Kevin Costner's "Backyard" music video and more. A must-own DVD for any sports fan, Petty Blue will be available in stores nationwide for the suggested retail price of $19.99. This is the third project CMT Films and NASCAR Media Group have partnered on, having previously produced the critically-acclaimed and Emmy Award-nominated Dale, which presented an unparalleled examination of the story of Dale Earnhardt, as well as The Ride of Their Lives, the most comprehensive look at the sport since its inception. More info at CMT.(9-10-2010)
The King to be inducted into High School Hall of Fame MORE: been told that on Friday, August 27th, Richard Petty, the all-time winningest driver in Sprint Cup Series history, will be inducted into the Randleman High School Athletic Hall of Fame during halftime of the Tigers football game. The Randleman High School Athletic Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving the colorful tradition of high school athletics in Randleman. The Hall of Fame seeks to highlight the past in order to insure a promising future for Randleman High School Athletics. Hall of Fame inductees shall receive an appropriate plaque and ring furnished by the Randleman High School Athletic department and shall be formally inducted at the first home football game. Space in the Randleman High School main lobby shall be set aside to commemorate the inductees.(8-26-2010)
MORE: Randleman High School will forever honor five names as its inaugural Hall of Fame class. "Since 1904, Randleman High School has been blessed with a rich athletic heritage. It would be a shame to let this important part of RHS die and never be remembered," said RHS Hall of Fame committee chairman Terry Linthicum, who has been a part of the project which started early this year and will become reality Friday night. "Also, our present athletes need role models and inspirations to reach a higher standard." Charles Gregory, Joe Brookshire, Richard Petty, Don Rich and Shelly Whitaker Barnes will be the first to enter the hall when induction ceremonies formally take place Friday night during halftime of the Tigers' football home-opener against Central Davidson at Charles R. Gregory Stadium.
Richard Petty is arguably Randleman's most famous alum. While not sporting such acclaimed athletic career bestowed with honors as his classmates, the three-sport athlete has maintained his steadfast commitment to his alma mater to this day. And as NASCAR's still-reigning winningest driver since his retirement from racing in 1992, the King is still the benchmark for success, character and philanthropy in sports and life.
Earlier this year, a Hall of Fame committee was formed based on the knowledge of Randleman High School athletics, their years attending RHS - involving different decades - and dedication to the school. A member was named from each decade, beginning with the 1950s and four members were nominated.(Courier-Tribune)(8-27-2010)
Two cars for RPM in 2010 and: [Richard] Petty said Tuesday that the main focus at Richard Petty Motorsports will be on two cars next year. The organization is running four teams this season, but Kasey Kahne is leaving to join Red Bull Racing next year before heading off to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. Also, Paul Menard leaves after this season to join Richard Childress Racing. Richard Petty Motorsports signed #43-AJ Allmendinger to a multi-year contract extension and added Marcos Ambrose [in the #9 Ford] to its lineup for next season. Petty said the organization could add another car "if something falls out of the sky, then naturally we're open.''(Roanoke Times), also Richard Petty says team has left it up to #9 crew chief Kenny Francis on if he returns and that they expect Best Buy back (all but contract done).(Dustin Long Twitter)(8-25-2010)
Allmendinger staying at RPM: UPDATE: Free-agent Sprint Cup Series driver #43-AJ Allmendinger will stay put after signing a contract extension with Richard Petty Motorsports, Sporting News has learned. The contract, signed Tuesday, is a multiyear deal, according to sources close to the situation. The team is optimistic about the prospect of re-signing Allmendinger's sponsor, Best Buy, though sponsorship was not settled before Tuesday's contract signing. A formal announcement will take place Friday at Watkins Glen International. The driver of the #43 RPM Ford is 22nd in the series standings. Now that Allmendinger has decided to remain in the organization's flagship car, RPM will work toward filling the remaining slots on the team. Kasey Kahne and Elliott Sadler have announced plans to depart at the end of the season. Marcos Ambrose, who will leave the #47 JTG/Daugherty Toyota team at season's end, is a leading candidate to fill the seat of one of the RPM Fords. Paul Menard, who drives the #98 RPM Ford, has not announced plans for next year but has talked to other teams, including Richard Childress Racing, according to multiple sources.(Sporting News)(8-4-2010)
UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports announced that driver AJ Allmendinger has signed a multiyear contract extension with the organization. Allmendinger will remain behind the wheel of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford in the Sprint Cup Series. "I am really excited about my future here with Richard Petty Motorsports," said Allmendinger. "It's been such an honor to be behind the wheel of The King's #43 car. I am happy to be able to continue to be his driver and feel for the first time in my NASCAR career I have the chance to build on something. Everyone at RPM and Ford Racing has worked hard to be successful this year and I know we're right on the verge of big things."(RPM)(8-6-2010)
Allmendinger Lends a Hand at Victory Junction: AJ Allmendinger made several young kids' day on Tuesday as he volunteered at Victory Junction with members of his Richard Petty Motorsports Best Buy Racing squad. The visit was not AJ's first to Victory Junction, but the NASCAR racer never leaves the camp without having a deep impression made. "It is amazing how energetic the kids are-it just blows me away," said AJ of the youngsters who get a sponsored opportunity to experience summer camp despite their condition to live and play just like children should. "It always feels good to do something like this away from the race track and I'm always humbled by the attitude of the kids, it just amazes me. It was cool to have my crew guys there with me as well because this is of course such a big part of the Petty legacy, and it was great for us to experience something like this together away from the track."(Allmendinger PR)(7-29-2010)
Silly Season kicking in gear at IMS:
" All signs point to Richard Childress Racing announcing the week of the Watkins Glen Race next month that Budweiser will be on #29-Kevin Harvick's car. Mobile 1 had been courting #24-Jeff Gordon, but HMS ended that by reupping with Quaker State. Don't be surprised to see that sponsor pop up at Stewart-Haas.
" Richard Petty Motorsports' future seemingly hangs on what #43-AJ Allmendinger does. If he and sponsor Best Buy stay, then #98-Paul Menard and his sponsor may hang around, as well. But Allmendinger has talked to several teams, including Penske Racing. Menard is beating the bushes as well, with speculation he'll be in the fourth car at Richard Childress Racing. All we know for sure is Stanley is the only sponsor contractually committed to the organization beyond this season. Odds are RPM will shrink from four teams to three, two or none. The last would be a huge blow to the garage and increase the possibility of fields of fewer than 43 cars next season. It also could end Richard Petty's presence in the garage, which would be sad to see.(ESPN.com)(7-25-2010)
100th start for Allmendinger: #43-A.J. Allmendinger is set to make his 100th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this weekend in Indianapolis. Since he began his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career in 2007, Allmendinger has earned one pole position (Phoenix, 2010), one top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. He has led 43 laps in Cup Series competition.(RPM PR)(7-20-2010)
Allmendinger, Petty exchange words UPDATE: #43-AJ Allmendinger and car owner Richard Petty had a heated exchange in the garage area at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night. Allmendinger pulled away from the seven-time NASCAR champion, turned his back on his boss and then stormed away from The King. Allmendinger declined to talk to reporters, but the executive vice president of Richard Petty Motorsports said his driver was merely frustrated by having a strong car and a poor finish. "I always say the car owner shouldn't talk to the driver anytime after the race, especially after an accident," Petty VP Robbie Loomis said. "I think Richard's been here so many times, he's been through this stuff and he was just trying to get him to loosen up and let the boys do their stuff on fixing the car and getting back out there. Anytime you talk to somebody at the wrong time, it always causes discussion that needs to be worked out. That's all that happened." Allmendinger was still hot when Loomis got to the garage a few minutes after the incident, which happened 66 laps into the 400-mile race. "He's a hard-charging competitor and he's as passionate as anybody out there," Loomis said. "Unfortunately, two Daytona races with great cars and we haven't been able to bring the finish home."(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(7-4-2010)
UPDATE: It was Allmendinger's passion that pushed him to the limit on Saturday night when cameras caught the racer in a heated exchange with his company's namesake, seven-time champion Richard Petty. According to Robbie Loomis, RPM vice president of competition, the King broke one of his own personal rules against approaching a driver during a race. "Richard has been in this position more times than anybody as both a driver and an owner," Loomis said. "He knows the car owner doesn't talk to a driver after a race or after an accident. You never criticize or condemn someone in public. There's nothing you can say to anybody that's going to make them feel worse that they already feel." Loomis went through a similar situation at Martinsville Speedway in 1997 with the late Bobby Hamilton not long after the King had retired from the cockpit. The former crew chief contends, "the longer you're out of the driver's seat the easier it seems to you. And it isn't easy." Loomis feels that Allmendinger is integral to RPM's future. He admits that it's the company's responsibility "to nurture" the driver. He's seen Allmendinger "adapt quickly" to a lot of different tracks, including Daytona, which likely added further to the driver's disappointment. "The King told me, 'AJ has a knack for that place. He's got it figured out,'" Loomis said. "There's not a lot of people that do." Allmendinger is in the final year of his contract with RPM. Although he has been offered a renewal, there are other suitors in the Cup garage as well.(in part from FoxSports)(7-8-2010)
Mission: ABLE on the #43 at Daytona: The Paralyzed Veterans of America new initiative Mission: ABLE will be featured on the #43 Ford this weekend. The PVA is the nation's leading veteran organization and its national network provides comprehensive support for veterans. In addition to featuring its new Mission: ABLE initiative, which raises awareness and funds to enable veterans to find jobs, secure benefits and receive care and camaraderie, three members of the PVA will attend the race and be guests of RPM.(Richard Petty Motorsports PR)(7-1-2010)
Crew Member Suspended Due To Violation Of Substance Abuse Policy: Chris Moore, a crew member for the #43 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. On June 22, Moore was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2010 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR PR)(6-29-2010)
Allmendinger hopes to decide on future soon: #43-A.J. Allmendinger told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody on Friday that he hopes to make a decision on where he will race next season within the next 30 days. "I've had some great talks with the people at Richard Petty Motorsports, and I've had some great talks with other teams, too. I can't tell you right now how it's going to turn out, but I hope to have this all wrapped up by the middle or the end of July." Allmendinger and teammates #19-Elliott Sadler and #98-Paul Menard are in the final year of their respective contracts, and #9-Kasey Kahne has already announced plans to go elsewhere in 2011.(Sirius Speedway)(6-26-2010)
New Ford engine to run in some cars at Pocono: Robbie Reiser, general manager at Roush Fenway Racing, said that some cars in the organization and at Richard Petty Motorsports will use the new Ford engine next week at Pocono before all the teams for both organizations use it the following week at Michigan. The engine debuted last season but has been used sparingly this season with plans for all the Ford teams to be running the engine this summer. Only the Wood Brothers, who are running a limited schedule, have used the new engine throughout this season. Scheduled to run the new Ford engine at Pocono next weekend are #43-AJ Allmendinger, #17-Matt Kenseth, #16-Greg Biffle and #99-Carl Edwards. Roush and RPM will use the new engine in all the remaining races, Reiser said, except next month at New Hampshire and Infineon Raceway and at Watkins Glen and Bristol in August.(Roanoke Times)(5-31-2010)
Andretti wrecks at Indy:
John Andretti, driving the #43 Indy car in the 94th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, crashed on lap 65, jusr after getting black flagged for blocking. Andretti walked from the wreck ok. The Petty Blue & red Indy car was not so lucky. Andretti finished 30th(5-30-2010)
Petty's Garage opened: On May 26th Petty's Garage will open its doors to the public for the first time. Founded by Richard Petty and operating from the historic Petty facility in Level Cross, NC, Petty's Garage is building high performance street cars infused with over 60 years of NASCAR racing experience. The first production based cars released by Petty's Garage are the 43 sequentially numbered Dodge Challengers and delivery of the first customer cars will take place on the 26th. On the 26th they will have an all day open house from 9:00am till 9:00pm with a Cruiz'in for local car clubs and automobile enthusiasts from 5:00-9:00pm. There will be no formal autograph sessions during this open house. More info at pettys-garage.com.(5-26-2010)
AJ and Best Buy Employees Volunteer at Victory Junction: It's a busy time right now for #43-AJ Allmendinger, and he's making the most of it. After spending time at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the three stars and Best Buy-supported karters from the recently-released "Racing Dreams" this weekend, AJ got busy once again on Monday as he teamed up with over 100 Best Buy employees to make a visit and volunteer at Victory Junction. "It was a really good day at the Victory Junction Camp today," said AJ. "There were a ton of Best Buy employees out and some of my team to help get the camp ready for the campers coming. I did some landscaping and things like that. This is such a great camp and place for these kids and their families to go and find some fun. I'm always happy to lend a hand and really proud of the turn out from my Best Buy team." Allmendinger will see a different set of friends from Richard Petty Motorsports and Best Buy on Tuesday, as everyone gets geared up for the Kings Cup karting race to raise money for PVA.org. More than 30 teams are expected to participate, with a host of NASCAR drivers joining the fun. On Wednesday, AJ will be joining the folks at the Best Buy in Concord for an in-store appearance, with Thursday making for another Sharpie kind of day as RPM throws the doors open for Fan Day on the 27th before he heads to the track for practice and qualifying.(PR)(5-25-2010)
Richard Petty Motorsports To Honor Petty At Dover: As a tribute to team owner and NASCAR legend Richard Petty, the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford will adorn old familiar colors for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The Ford driven by AJ Allmendinger will bring back the "Petty Blue" and "Day-glo Red" colors in honor of "The King," who will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class on Sunday, May 23. The throwback paint scheme will resemble the #43 machine Petty drove in 1984. That season, the driver collected his 199th career win at Dover. Petty holds the record for the most wins in NASCAR with 200. Petty will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, May 16. The seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion won the inaugural race at Dover in 1969. He is also tied with Bobby Allison for the most wins at the one-mile track with seven.(RPM PR)(5-9-2010)
IMAGE see images of the car on my #43 Team Schemes page.(5-14-2010)
Warren back in NASCAR: Dr. Eric Warren will return to the NASCAR circuit starting on Monday. Warren, who worked as an engineer with Evernham Motorsports and Michael Waltrip Racing before joining the fledgling U.S. Formula One effort, will handle simulation projects for Richard Petty Motorsports.(FoxSports)(5-3-2010)
Good news for Lynda Petty: Update on the status of Lynda Petty: Lynda went to Duke today [Monday] for another MRI and the Brain Tumor/Cancer is completely gone, but she will still continue to undergo chemo for the next 6 months. The entire Petty Family is very pleased and would like to thank everyone for the many, many prayers and thoughts as she went through a very difficult time! This is GREAT news! Thanks again to everyone!(Petty Family Foundation Facebook page)(4-22-2010)
Allmendinger has made no decision on 2011: #43-AJ Allmendinger says he's had discussions with management about his future with Richard Petty Motorsports, but no decision has been made for 2011. With Kasey Kahne's defection from RPM at the end of the season, signing Allmedinger, 28, should be at the top CEO Foster Gillett's to-do list - if he can pull it off.. Although Allmendinger's been pleased with the progress the outfit has made this season, there's still work to do. Still, from Allmendinger's perspective, "morale's high."
"It's only race seven or eight but as long as I do my job and make the sponsors happy, I don't think I'll have anything to worry about," Allmendinger said. "Everything will work out. If you talk to Foster or talk to George (Gillett, team owner), there's still a lot we have to talk through. But when it comes to sports, there's the trickle down effect. The first big move was made but no one expected that to start in April. We know every weekend we are getting better as a race team. (Crew chief) Mike Shiplett and my whole group on that (No. 43 team) are learning from each other every week, and I think we're getting better."(FoxSports)(4-19-2010)
Gillette says RPM will recover from losing Kahne: Foster Gillett, the managing partner of Richard Petty Motorsports and son of team owner George Gillett Jr., said Friday the team will recover from #9-Kasey Kahne's decision to leave RPM after this year and sign with Hendrick Motorsports. Gillett said he knows Kahne's departure, along with some financial difficulties his family is experiencing, have caused doubts about RPM's future. "Many people last year were saying the same thing," Gillett said. "You know what? We're still here. We survived and thrived and we'll do it again. When change like this happens, it opens up opportunities for others. We are focusing on the opportunities we have more than what we lose." The move leaves RPM in limbo after losing its star driver. The other three drivers for RPM -- #43-AJ Allmendinger, #98-Paul Menard and #19-Elliott Sadler -- also have contracts that expire at the end of 2010. "It's a work in progress next season for our driver lineup," Gillett said. "That's not a secret. We are working to have the best drivers we can. Richard preaches to us to focus on building the best race cars we can and we'll have sponsors and drivers." Gillett said he hopes to keep Budweiser, which sponsors Kahne's car. "My family has a wonderful relationship with Anheuser Busch," Gillett said. "We will put out a maximum effort to keep them. If they ask me to run through this wall, I'll do it." George Gillett is in the process of restructuring a $90 million debt on a loan that's in default. The Gillett family also is trying to sell its interest in the Liverpool soccer team of the English Premier League. "It's no secret that my family is looking at all our options and doing all we can," Foster Gillett said. "The more liquidity we have, the better it is for NASCAR. This is a process we're trying to go through. We're nearing closure on that and I think good news is ahead. We've made a number of enormous changes to get better. I really believe in what we've done." Gillett had good things to say about Kahne and believes the No. 9 team will race well the rest of the season. Kahne ranks 26th in the standings, but made the Chase last year. "We are focused more on what we can do while we have him," Gillett said. "A lot of teams would take a 30-race contract with Kasey. He's one of the best guys in the sport and we are honored to have him. I know what a gentleman Kasey is. He's a quality person and he has great ability as a race car driver. If you give him great equipment he'll go win, and I believe we have a championship-caliber team in the 9. I know Kasey will do his best to uphold all his commitments." Gillett emphasized that he and his father are committed to NASCAR for the long haul. "My family made a choice to be in NASCAR," he said. "We've learned some hard lessons and I have to take responsibility for how things have gone. We've had some hardships, but we've gone through worse."(ESPN.com)(4-17-2010)
Richard Petty Motorsports in default on loan UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports, the NASCAR team owned by George Gillett, has been in default on a roughly $90 million loan since at least February but expects to soon restructure the obligation, sources said last week. The default on the debt underscores the harm NASCAR suffered from the economic collapse of late 2008 and, in particular, the impact of contraction among Detroit's Big Three automakers on race teams. Gillett, who last year sold the Montreal Canadiens and still owns half of Liverpool FC, lost Chrysler's backing of his race team when that company filed for bankruptcy protection. Ford is now supporting the four-car team. Gillett declined to comment on specifics of the restructuring because of the ongoing creditor talks, but he emphasized the default is technical in nature, meaning that he did not miss a payment but, rather, failed to meet terms of at least one covenant. Loans commonly have covenants that might, for example, require the borrower to sustain a certain level of cash flow. Prior to the economic troubles of late 2008, lenders were relatively lenient with these kinds of defaults, but they since have become more stringent and less forgiving. One finance source, who requested anonymity because of knowledge of the deal, denied Gillett's characterization, insisting the default was payment-related.(Sports Business Journal / Fox News)(4-13-2010)
UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports agreed Monday night to a deal that would restructure the debt of the company, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com on Tuesday. According to the source, the deal is subject to final signatures and that 10 of the 11 banks involved in the restructuring have agreed to terms. This comes on the heels of a report that RPM, owned by George Gillett, has been in default on a loan of about $90 million since February. The source said the loan is closer to $70 million and that it was allowed to lapse with the hope that it would provide leverage with the banks to restructure. Had the banks opted to foreclose on the loan they could have taken possession of team assets and some revenue from sponsors, but none of Gillett's personal assets. Gillett would not comment on specifics of the deal but said RPM has no plans of going under. "I don't think we'll just survive, we'll thrive," Gillett said. Gillett said RPM is operating in the black and making a profit. He said debt incurred over the past few years is the result of trying to survive in a tough economy that saw RPM lose financial support from Chrysler, forcing the move to Ford, and sponsors. "When you look at some of the curveballs thrown at us they're substantial," Gillett said. "Yet we've overcome them. We've overcome the loss of all that revenue from sponsors and Chrysler. Based on everything I know our intention is to restructure the debt, enter into an agreement with banks and buy out the debt with new capital that our family would put into and end up with a company that may end up a few million in debt but end up with a company that is fundamentally debt-free," he said.(ESPN)(4-14-2010)
Valvoline back on the #43: Allmendinger has made three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Phoenix International Raceway. Valvoline returns to sponsor Allmendinger's #43 Ford this weekend. Allmendinger finished 13th in the fall race in Phoenix last season.(RPM PR), see an image of the car on my #43 Team Schemes page.(4-7-2010)
Richard Petty and John Andretti to run Indy 500 again: Andretti Autosport announced it will work in a joint effort with racing legend Richard Petty and Window World, Inc., to field a fifth IZOD IndyCar Series entry for veteran driver John Andretti, first at Kansas Speedway on May 1 and then in the 2010 Indianapolis 500 on May 30. After his debut run at Kansas, John will attempt to make his 11th Indianapolis 500 start behind the wheel of the #43 Team Window World car. A successful qualifying attempt for John on May 22 or 23 will deepen the Andretti family legacy at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as he drives for the team owned by his cousin, Michael. Window World will enjoy its second-consecutive Indy 500 as primary sponsor of the #43. Window World and Petty first teamed together with the #43 driven by John for last year's Indy 500. The car will once again feature Petty's traditional "Petty Blue" and "Day-Glo Red" color scheme made famous by "The King" during his unparalleled career. The car will also sport the marks of Window World Cares, the charitable foundation of Window World, Inc., which supports St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Petty, a racing icon and one of the most-recognizable figures in NASCAR history, will be participating in his second-straight Indianapolis 500. A 200-time NASCAR race winner and seven-time NASCAR champion, Petty witnessed the Indianapolis 500 in person for the first time in 2007 and participated as a co-owner for the first time last year.(Andretti Autosport/Breaking Limits)(4-1-2010)
Different primary colors for Allmendinger: Insignia, a Best Buy exclusive brand will be the primary sponsor/colors for the #43 Richard Petty Racing Ford of A.J. Allmendinger in the 19 remaining scheduled races Best Buy is sponsor the car/team. Insignia was the sponsor at Atlanta and Bristol and Best Buy blue was on the car at Daytona.(DingerWorld), Valvoline was the sponsor at Las Vegas and Charter Communications is the scheduled sponsor for the #43 at Martinsville. See images if the Insignia and Best Buy colors on my #43 Team Scehemes page.(3-24-2010)
Petty updates wife's condition: Richard Petty updated his wife Lynda's condition on Sunday, saying doctors are confident she can defeat cancer. Lynda Petty is being treated at Duke University Medical Center for central nervous system lymphoma, a form of brain cancer. "She's already had a couple of treatments and she went through them real good," Petty said. "Yesterday she looked at me and said, 'Get up and get out of here and get on to Daytona.' So I know she's doing pretty good. They [her doctors] feel like they can completely wipe the cancer out." Petty, who shares the Sprint Cup record of seven championships along with Dale Earnhardt Sr., is the co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. Petty said he hasn't been involved with the team much since Lynda became ill. RPM merged with Yates Racing last month. "Since November I've spent a lot of time with Lynda Gale," Petty said. "After more than 50 years together, I thought that's what I needed to do. I've still been involved in all major decisions [at RPM]. But some of the PR stuff I put on the back burner. She is more important than racing right now." Petty said his wife started showing systems of vision problems a year ago, but it took doctors a long time to diagnose the problem. "It took until December for them to really understand the problem and the way to treat it. They have operated on both her eyes to make sure they are in good shape when the cancer goes away." Petty said he's thankful for all the interest and support his family has received from fans and friends. "Just keep us in your prayers," he said. "We've been real fortunate. We appreciate everybody thinking about her."(ESPN)(2-14-2010)
The King to drive pace car for Daytona 500 Richard Petty will find himself in a very familiar place on Sunday afternoon, leading the field in the Daytona 500. Petty, who holds the NASCAR record with seven Daytona 500 victories, has accepted the role as "Pace Car Driver" for the 52nd running of "The Great American Race," and will pace all 43 cars to the green flag behind the wheel of a special edition 2011 Mustang GT, powered by Ford's all-new 5.0-liter V-8 engine. Petty is back as a member of the Ford Racing family after Richard Petty Motorsports merged with Yates Racing during the recently concluded off-season. "The King" previously drove for the blue oval in 1969 and won nine races that season in a Ford Torino. Ironically, the last and only other time Ford served as pace car for the Daytona 500 was one year later when a Ford Torino GT convertible started the 1970 event. In addition to the special paint, this year's Mustang pace car features a Brembo brake package, Ford Racing suspension, strut tower brace and mufflers, unique 19-inch painted wheels, and summer-only tires. The actual car that Petty will drive recently was sold for $300,000 at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., with all proceeds above the MSRP being donated to The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.(DIS)(2-13-2010)
Get well Lynda Petty UPDATE: Lynda Petty, wife of NASCAR legend Richard Petty, will undergo a medical procedure Friday to determine the underlying cause of an ongoing medical condition. "My family has always been my number one priority. I hate to miss any racing or racing-related event but at this time being with my wife Lynda is where I need to be," Richard Petty said. The Petty family is thankful for the support from family, friends, fans, and all those in the racing community and asks for the continued respect for their privacy during this time. Richard and Lynda Petty celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2009.(NASCAR.com)(1-22-2010)
UPDATE: Richard Petty's wife, Lynda, has been diagnosed with CNS (Central Nervous System) Lymphoma. Mrs. Petty will be treated at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University Medical Center. "We are thankful for the medical team at Duke. My wife Lynda is in good hands," Richard Petty said Thursday in a team statement. "The doctors and our family are very optimistic that the treatment for this cancer will be successful." The Petty family appreciates the support from family, friends, and fans as well as the continued respect for their privacy during this time.(NASCAR.com/RPM)(2-4-2010)
Most NASCAR drivers don't fare well in Rolex 24: Full-time NASCAR drivers were shut out from the winner's circle and even podium finishes Sunday at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The 24-hour race was won by the Porsche of Action Express Racing driven by Joao Barbosa, Terry Borcheller, Mike Rockenfeller and Ryan Dalziel. They finished 50 seconds ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing's car driven by Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas as well as Germain Racing part-time Cup driver Max Papis and IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson. Ganassi's other car - co-driven by his Cup drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray as well as his IndyCar Series drivers Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon - blew an engine while leading less than nine hours into the event at Daytona. About half the field did not finish the race, including four-time defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson as his Bob Stallings Racing car had an oil pump issue and retired with about four hours remaining. Richard Petty Motorsports had two drivers in the field. AJ Allmendinger drove for Michael Shank Racing and was in third when his engine blew less than two hours prior to the finish and the team had to settle for seventh. Paul Menard drove for Spirit of Daytona Racing, which retired before the halfway point and wound up 32nd. Roush Fenway Racing Nationwide Series driver Colin Braun had the best day of the NASCAR contingent as he was part of the fourth-place Krohn Racing team. TRG Motorsports' Bobby Labonte drove one of the team cars and was leading before running out of fuel and having to be towed back to the pits with about five hours remaining. Other mechanical issues plagued the team, which finished 16th overall, ninth in the Grand Touring class. Part-time Cup driver Boris Said was part of a Turner Motorsport team that finished 15th overall, eighth in the GT class.(Scene Daily)(2-1-2010)
Richard Petty Motorsports Merger Now Complete: Rumors of a Richard Petty Motorsports/Yates Racing merger began circulating a few months ago but it wasn't until today that the racing community could stop calling them rumors. "I'm here to announce the best kept secret in all of motorsports, which is that the merger between Yates Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports is officially completed," said Foster Gillette, managing partner of Richard Petty Motorsports, in a press conference Tuesday morning. The merger, which happened in December, brought some big changes along with it. During the 2010 season Richard Petty Motorsports will be running Ford Fusions, ending its long relationship with Dodge. Also, RPM will leave behind its previous home in Statesville, N.C., moving to the Yates Racing facility in Concord, N.C. Filling the four driver positions at RPM will be #19-Elliott Sadler, #9-Kasey Kahne, #43-AJ Allmendinger and #98-Paul Menard. "The addition of a great team, great talent of drivers - we have Elliott, Paul, Kasey, and AJ adding to the fleet of Fords out there on every Sunday," said Jamie Allison, Director of Ford Racing. "That's something to be looking forward to." Richard Petty Motorsports will maintain the alliance that Yates Racing had with Roush Fenway Racing and Doug Yates will be in charge or the Roush Yates engine program.(Charlotte Motor Speedway Sprint Media Tour Notes)(1-20-2010)
2009 Races [?] that McDonald's is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Bud Shootout - 2/7
Daytona - 2/15
Texas - 4/5
Richmond - 5/2, McCafe
All-Star Race - 5/16, McCafe
New Hampshire - 6/28, McCafe
Chicago - 7/11, McCafe
New Hampshire - 9/20, McCafe
Kansas - 10/4, McDonald's Monopoly
Martinsville - 10/25, McDonald's Monopoly
2009 Races [?] that Charter Communications is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
California - 2/22
Martinsville - 3/29
2009 Races [?] that Valvoline is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Las Vegas - 3/1
Darlington - 5/9, crew chief tribute
Pocono - 6/7, Valvoline Engine Guarantee
Infineon - 6/21
Bristol - 8/22
Dover - 9/27
Texas - 11/8
2009 Races  that Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Phoenix - 4/18 Auto Value
Michigan - 8/16 Bumper to Bumper
2009 Races  that Paralyzed Veterans of America is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Bristol - 3/22
Phoenix - 11/15
2009 Races  that U.S. Air Force is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Talladega - 4/26
Lowes - 5/24
Dover - 5/31
Daytona - 7/4
Atlanta - 9/6
2009 Races [4?] that Super 8 is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Atlanta - 3/8
Lowe's Motor Speedway - 10/17
2009 Races  that Reynolds Wrap is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Richmond - 9/12
2009 Races  that Rosie's Organic Chicken is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
California - 10/11
2009 Races [1?] that Liberty Medical is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Talladega - 11/1
McMurray & Allmendinger to run Karts at Daytona: Hundreds of go-kart racers from across the country will spend their holidays at the Daytona International Speedway participating in World Karting Association races on three different courses. The Speedway's three-ring circus includes its famous 3.56-mile road course, the Sprint track in Turns 3 and 4 and the newly constructed quarter-mile dirt track outside Turns 1 and 2. For the third straight year, Jamie McMurray, is expected to return to his racing roots during Daytona KartWeek. AJ Allmendinger, who drives a Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, is also expected to compete in the karts. Meanwhile, Volusia Speedway Park is hosting the second day of its Christmas In Dixie dirt racing program. Those races are sanctioned by the American Kart Racing Association.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(12-28-2009)
Rick Russell out at Petty: Rick Russell is the latest casualty in the Richard Petty Motorsports/Yates Racing merger. The president of the team has parted ways with the company. Russell, who had been with Evernham Motorsports since its inception in 2000, came to the company following a seven-year stint with Action Performance (currently Motorsports Authentics) where he served as vice president and general manager. Max Jones, principal of the team formerly known as Yates Racing, will assume Russell's position.(Fox Sports)(12-12-2009)
Petty-Yates Merger supposedly a done deal: Richard Petty Motorsports officially became a Ford operation on Thursday. The merger deal was signed between principals from RPM and Yates Racing and the appropriate paperwork was filed with Ford Motor Company. Richard Petty Motorsports brings three additional teams to the table, the #9, #19 and #43. Ford officials have said repeatedly what a coup it was to gain #9-Kasey Kahne, who finished 10th in the Sprint Cup point standings, into the fold as well as 28-year-old #43-AJ Allmendinger. #19-Elliott Sadler will also join the driver roster which included #98-Paul Menard from the former Yates organization. RPM is currently operating out of Statesville, N.C. The former Yates Racing buildings in Concord, N.C. are currently being remodeled to accommodate all four teams. That move is scheduled for Speedweeks in February.(FoxSports)(12-4-2009)
Dale Inman Named 2009 Buddy Shuman Award Winner: Dale Inman, among the foremost crew chiefs in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history, collected one of NASCAR's most prestigious and longest-running awards today in Las Vegas. Inman received the Buddy Shuman Award during the 2009 NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards. Presented since 1957, the award annually recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to NASCAR racing. It honors the late Buddy Shuman, a pioneering NASCAR driver who died in a hotel fire in November 1955. "Dale is one of the first crew chiefs I worked for and remains a true trailblazer for that position," said NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton. "He's a major reason and inspiration behind many of the current talented people working in the NASCAR Sprint Cup garage." Inman, Richard Petty's first cousin, was responsible for eight NASCAR Sprint Cup championships - one more than his famous relative, also a Buddy Shuman Award winner. The 73-year-old Inman, from Level Cross, N.C., won 298 races. His victory total boasted 27 wins - and 10 straight - in 1967. Inman won NASCAR Sprint Cup titles with Petty in 1964, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1979. His final championship came with Terry Labonte in 1984.
Petty once described his cousin as the sport's first official crew chief. Inman and brothers Richard and Maurice Petty began working on father Lee Petty's cars during after-school hours and on weekends in the 1940s and 50s. When the younger Petty began racing, Inman was assigned engine-building duties and later became crew chief for Petty Enterprises. He was responsible for 192 of the team's victories. From 1986 through Petty's retirement in 1992, Inman handled the business side of Petty Enterprises. Inman worked with the team's drivers in a consulting role until his retirement in 1998. Away from the track, Inman played an integral role in helping the Petty family launch the Victory Junction which enriches the lives of chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.(NASCAR)(12-4-2009)
Sorenson could end up at Braun Racing: Reed Sorenson won't be part of the new Richard Petty Motorpsorts driving stable following the planned RPM-Yates Racing merger. He has driven for Braun Racing in the Nationwide Series, but no deal for next year has been announced. "Reed has a formal offer from a team now that would be a mixture of Cup and Nationwide," said Sorenson's agent, Jeff Dickerson. "I feel really good about Reed and what he can do."(SceneDaily)(11-27-2009)
Best Buy moving to the #43? IMAGE added Team officials familiar with RPM's personnel moves tell The Associated Press that sponsor Best Buy will move from Sadler's car next season to Petty's famed #43 with AJ Allmendinger as the driver. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the changes have yet to be announced. Stanley Tools will become the sole primary sponsor for Sadler. Both Best Buy and Stanley had shared Sadler's car this season.(Associated Press)(10-28-2009)
IMAGE see an image of the Best Buy scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(11-25-2009)
Blue Changes at Yates Shop: The building used by Yates Racing in Concord, N.C., soon will be gutted and prepared to expand into a four-car Sprint Cup garage when the merger with Richard Petty Motorsports is completed. The building was used to field two cars owned by Yates/Hall of Fame Racing in 2009. With the merger it will expand to the #9 of Kasey Kahne, #19 of Elliott Sadler, #43 of AJ Allmendinger and #98 of Paul Menard. The building is expected to be painted the famous Petty Blue since the organization will take on the RPM name.(ESPN Insider)(11-25-2009)
Siemens to sponsor the #43; Sorenson thanks RPM: Reed Sorenson drives the #43 Siemens Dodge at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend. Sorenson is behind the wheel of the #43 for the final time for Richard Petty Motorsports. SORENSON: "I want to thank the Richard Petty Motorsports organization for giving me the chance to race the #43 Dodge this year. I did the best I could and tried to represent the number and company in a way that would make Mr. Petty and our sponsors proud. I learned a lot this year. The opportunity to work with people like Richard Petty and Dale Inman is something that I'll never forget. I also want to thank all of the people that I've worked with this year. I know that everyone put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into getting us to the racetrack every week. I wish we could send them off with a win. They are all first class people and I look forward to hopefully working with some of those people again in the future wherever that takes us."(RPM)(11-18-2009)
Roush's Smith not retiring: Roush Fenway Racing president Geoff Smith has decided to delay his retirement. Smith said because of tough economic times and the merger between partner Yates Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports that he will stay on at least through the 2010 season. Smith is handling a lot of the paperwork in the merger that he said is agreed to on all major issues and should be announced soon. He also plays a major role in bringing sponsors to the cars for the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. Smith has yet to wrap up a full season of sponsorship for the #17 of Matt Kenseth.(see more at ESPN Insiders)(11-17-2009)
Richard Petty says with merger nearing completion: Richard Petty said the Richard Petty Motorsports-Yates Racing proposed merger is still in the hands of the lawyers, but with the likelihood of it happening, RPM had to begin its staff reductions this week. Sources indicated more than 150 people were laid off earlier this week or were told they would be laid off after the season ends next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway. RPM, which fields four teams, and Yates, which fields two, announced in September they planned to merge - and with NASCAR's four-team limit, the staff reductions were anticipated. "If we're going to do what we're going to do, we've got to start somewhere," Petty said Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. "This is basically where we're starting." Many of those laid off were in the engine shop and the car manufacturing department, sources said. The new organization will use Roush Yates Engines and likely will be based in the current Yates shop in Concord, N.C. - about 45 miles from the current RPM shop in Statesville, NC. "I think we're moving there to the [Yates shop near the] airport," Petty said. "As far as I know. Tune in next week."(SceneDaily)(11-14-2009)
Latest on RPM 'layoffs' and switches: The dominos continue to fall at Richard Petty Motorsports. When Keith Barnwell was released on Tuesday, that left #44-A.J. Allmendinger sans spotter. On Thursday, the decision was made to reunite Allmendinger with former spotter Tony Hirschmann, who had been reassigned to #43-Reed Sorenson in the crew chief swap. Sorenson's crew chief Sammy Johns will spot for him this weekend. Kevin Buskirk, who was #19-Elliott Sadler's crew chief earlier this season, is expected to make the calls on the #43 pit box. Pete Rondeau, who served as the director of research and development at RPM since July 2005, was also released on Tuesday. The former crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he's ready to become a road warrior again and is interested in any upcoming crew chief openings.(FoxSports)(11-13-2009)
PVA.org colors on #43 at Phoenix: Reed Sorenson drives the #43 Paralyzed Veterans of America Dodge at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. The Paralyzed Veterans of America and radio station AM570 KLAC - Los Angeles, Calif. are holding a "Help a Hero" radio campaign on Thursday, November 12, 2009 from 3 p.m. - 2 a.m. (eastern). The campaign is designed to raise funds and awareness for the Paralyzed Veterans. Radio Listeners will be asked to call in and make a donation of $45 or more to "Help a Hero". Additionally, there is an online auction site (click HERE) with over 60 prizes that will help raise funds for PVA. Four Star Air Force Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr. - Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, will sit on top of the #43 pit box this weekend as a guest of Sorenson and the Petty team.(RPM). See images of the car on my #43 Team Schemes page.(11-12-2009)
Richard Petty Raceway opens Friday: NASCAR's all-time wins leader Richard Petty and Phoenix International Raceway have teamed up to open Richard Petty Raceway, a 1/16-mile go-kart track on the Midway that is the first such permanent karting facility located within a major NASCAR venue. Petty and Sprint Cup Series driver A.J. Allmendinger will appear at the grand opening of the track, scheduled for 2:00pm on Friday, November 13.(PIR)(11-12-2009)
WIX Filters Inks Deal with Richard Petty Motorsports: WIX Filters has signed on with Richard Petty Motorsports in 2010 as an associate sponsor of the #43 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In addition, WIX is offering their customers the unique opportunity to join the WIX team to cheer the #43 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Banking 500 in October 2010 and the ability to treat their best customers or salespeople to a once in a lifetime race weekend. The associate sponsorship with Richard Petty Motorsports provides WIX secondary brand placement on the #43 car, and driver and pit crew suits, pit box and car hauler for the entire 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. It also puts WIX as the primary sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup paint scheme for the October 2010 NASCAR Banking 500 at Charlotte.(Camp and Assoc)(11-11-2009)
RPM Engine shop to shut down UPDATE: What's left of the original Evernham Motorsports engine shop is expected to shut down on Monday, according to multiple sources. Richard Petty Motorsports will retain the necessary personnel to complete the final two races of the season when engine duties will revert to Roush Yates engines with the move to Ford. With the merger of RPM and Yates Racing, the Petty crew chiefs were told that each team would be able to keep 17 crewmen per team. The overall reduction for the organization is expected to be 200 of 250 employees once the deal is complete.(FoxSports)(11-9-2009)
UPDATE: The NASCAR workforce shrunk by 47 people on Monday as Richard Petty Motorsports took the first steps toward shutting down its engine department in Concord, NC. RPM is making reductions in its staff with the impending merger with Yates Racing. Additional cuts are expected in the car shop in Statesville, N.C. on Tuesday. Sources said on Sunday that the three remaining teams expected to join forces with Yates will retain 17 crewmen per team. But given the move to Ford - which started at Talladega with #19-Elliott Sadler on Oct. 30th and continued this past weekend with #44-AJ Allmendinger at Texas, there's no need to continue building new Dodge cars or engines. The engine department will continue to employ 14 employees through the end of the season to assist in the organization for the final two races. Roush Yates Engines will supply powerplants for the team in 2010.(FoxSports)(11-10-2009)
Sorenson and Mears candidates for #09 ride in 2010: Casey Mears, currently running the #07 Jack Daniel's Chevy for Richard Childress is a leading candidate for the #09 Phoenix Racing ride in 2010. Reed Sorenson, out of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports ride after the 2009 season is also a candidate for the #09 ride.(FoxSports)(11-7-2009)
Liberty Medical on the #43: This November, Liberty Medical is sponsoring #43-Reed Sorenson in observance of American Diabetes Month, to help raise awareness of this dangerous disease that has reached epidemic proportions. Liberty Medical is also a proud sponsor of The American Diabetes Association, which observes American Diabetes Month every November. Liberty Medical Supply, Inc., a Medco Health Solutions Inc., company, is the nation's largest provider of blood glucose testing supplies and related services to people with diabetes, serving over one million diabetes patients. Liberty also offers a full service pharmacy to meet patients' medication needs and provides education to help its patients better manage their health conditions.(RPM PR)(10-28-2009)
Where may some of the drivers looking end up in 2010? Those drivers looking for rides in 2010 - #07-Casey Mears, #96/71-Bobby Labonte, #43-Reed Sorenson and #12-David Stremme - qualified sixth, eighth, ninth and 11th, respectively at Martinsville. How their futures pan out could depend on the status of Jamie McMurray, who remains the top candidate for the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi ride. Mears could stay put in the #07 if sponsorship can be found. Labonte is a strong candidate for one of the two TRG [#71 team] Racing rides. Sorenson is the favorite for the vacancy at Braun Racing [Nationwide Series ride] and Stremme's name has been mentioned for the #34 Front Row Motorsports car[currently a Chevy] (where he would be reunited with crew chief Steven 'Bones' Lane) or in a Nationwide car with Rusty Wallace Inc.(FoxSports)(10-24-2009)
McArdle back at the track: Mark McArdle, former director of competition at Richard Petty Motorsports, was at the track Friday for the first time since departing the team at Richmond in September. McArdle and the team parted ways after a disagreement between McArdle and car owner George Gillett. McArdle is looking for a position with another team in the sport but has to receive approval from Richard Petty Motorsports. Most contracts feature non-compete clauses and require a team's approval to move to another team. McArdle would not discuss details of his departure except to say it was time for a change. "I've always advised those who work under me that if the bus is going somewhere you don't want to go, then maybe you need to get off the bus,'' he said.(Roanoke Times)(10-17-2009)
RPM could use Ford engine this season: Richard Petty Motorsports is exploring the option of using a Ford engine in at least one of its four cars before the end of the season, team co-owner Richard Petty said on Thursday. Petty, whose team will continue to use Dodge engines this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway, said nothing can happen until the merger with Yates Racing is complete. He gave no timetable, saying only that "it's in the hands of lawyers." But Petty said switching at least one car to a Ford before the end of the season is the goal, if the transition can be worked out. He could not say whether #9-Kasey Kahne, who is in the championship Chase for the Sprint Cup, would be that driver. "Right now there are like 400 options," Petty said. "We don't know right now if we'll make the transition before the end of this season or do it all before the start of next season."(ESPN)(10-15-2009)
Roush to visit RPM: Jack Roush is scheduled to take a tour of the Richard Petty Motorsports facility on Wednesday. Other managers from Roush Fenway Racing will join Rosuh on the tour of the Statesville, N.C., shop. There have been ongoing talks since before September of a merger between Yates Racing, a sister organization of Roush Fenway, and RPM. Regardless of whether RPM merges with Yates, majority team owner George Gillett has said his team will be running Fords in 2010. Given that Roush is the principal supplier of Ford engines, RPM will be working directly with RFR in one form or another.(FoxSports), see an image of a real #9 Budweiser Ford for 2010 on my #9 Team Schemes page.(10-14-2009)
Allmendinger in a Ford at Lowe's? Sadler at 'Dega? Richard Petty Motorsports has had a Ford in its possession ready to race since after New Hampshire. It would not be a surprise if AJ Allmendinger is driving a Fusion at Lowe's Motor Speedway next weekend or the week after that. Once the #44 car flips over to Ford, it will remain a Fusion the rest of the season. In addition to Allmendinger, Elliott Sadler is expected to drive a Roush-prepared Ford with a Yates engine at Talladega. Whether or not RPM's proposed merger with Yates Racing goes through, team owner George Gillett has said his team will run Ford's next season.(FoxSports)(10-11-2009)
Sorenson to run chicken scheme at Auto Club: Reed Sorenson drives the #43 Rosie's Organic Chicken [link seems down] Dodge for Richard Petty Motorsports this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. Rosie was the first chicken in the United States to carry a certified organic label. Rosie is free range and humanely raised with no antibiotics on a 100% organic vegetarian diet with no animal by-products or GMOs as independently verified by Oregon Tilt, a third party certifier. Rosie is sold in a styro-foam free package that produces 73% less landfill and a reduced carbon footprint.(RPM Facebook), see an image of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(10-7-2009)
Gillett says Yates-RPM merger on track UPDATE: George Gillett Jr., majority owner of Richard Petty Motorsports [#9,19,43,44], said he hopes to form a stock-car league in Saudi Arabia as part of a contractual agreement he signed this week with Saudi Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Saud, a member of the Saudi Royal Family. But Gillett emphasized that he is not selling the team. He said he hopes to finalize a merger with Yates Racing soon, and that RPM will race Fords in 2010. Gillett felt the need to address many issues about RPM after some reports this week falsely stated Gillett's new deal with the Saudi prince would lead to the prince's sports management team taking over RPM. "I came back from Europe into a maelstrom of massively inaccurate stories," Gillett said Saturday at Kansas Speedway. "So I thought we could correct it and move forward. As part of out conversations [with the Saudis], it became clear we should have aligned interest. We discussed if they had an interest in buying a small interest in RPM. A majority? Heck #It was a very early conversation, but it was completely distorted. I come here today as a man with a clear conscious and potentially a very attractive partner. If he becomes a small investor [in RPM] I can't imagine it would be anything but positive for the sport. That's the story." Gillett said he and the Saudis are in the talks to form some type of stock-car league overseas Gillett said the merged RPM/Yates operation will be at least a three-car team and hopefully four cars. He would not confirm who if those four drivers would be Kasey Kahne, A.J. Allmendinger, Elliott Sadler and Paul Menard, which was reported earlier.(ESPN)(10-3-2009)
UPDATE: "The Yates transaction is on track," said Gillett, whose RPM organization fields cars for A.J. Allmendinger, Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and Reed Sorenson in the Sprint Cup Series. "We're going now from letter of intent to a full contract."(Racin' Today)(10-4-2009)
McDonald's Monoploy scheme for Sorenson: Monopoly is back at McDonald's, starting Tuesday, October 6th. This Sunday at Kansas Speedway, the #43 McDonald's Monopoly Dodge Charger will feature Mr. Monopoly rolling McDonald's dice to promote the new exciting element in this year's event: The $1 Million dollar daily roll. For 29 straight nights, a McDonald's customer has a chance to win as much as $1 million, in primetime on NBC's "The Jay Leno Show" and "Sunday Night Football." An NBC celebrity will roll two dice into a see-through lottery machine. If both show sixes, the contestant wins the top prize. Other combinations are worth $10,000. Go to www.playatmcd.com to enter for the chance to be the one person each day to take part in the roll for $1 million.(McDonalds), see an image of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(10-1-2009)
Petty says merger neogiations still ongoing: Richard Petty Motorsports co-owner Richard Petty says that negotiations on the team's proposed merger with Yates Racing are continuing, and he still expects the deal to be completed. RPM and Yates officials announced Sept. 10 that they planned to merge. At the time, Petty said he thought the deal would close within a few weeks. "It's still in negotiations, and so far they ain't signed nothing," Petty said Wednesday following a news conference to promote the upcoming races at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "I feel like if it went this far, we are going to go forward with it."(SceneDaily)(10-1-2009)
Kahne using R5 Engine at Kansas...and beyond? UPDATE: #9-Kasey Kahne, Teleconference Transcript (in part) from September 29, 2009:
Q: What engine will you run this weekend at Kansas?
Kahne: I'm using the R5 again this weekend, the same as what we had last week.
Q: Do you anticipate going back to the R6?
Kahne: I think it will be all about reliability. If they think they can get it back where it's really reliable like the R5, then I would think we would probably go back to it. What I told them was that we have some points to make up and if we have anymore issues where we fall outside of the top 35, we're screwed...we have no chance. The very little power that you gain with the R6, it's not nearly enough power for me to say let's take a chance. We definitely want it to be reliable. Maybe we're down a couple horsepower, but that's it. At the end of the day it's not a big deal.(Dodge Motorsports NASCAR PR )(9-30-2009)
UPDATE: Kahne will be using the old R5 Dodge engine this weekend for the second consecutive race, and Richard Petty Motorsports co-owner Richard Petty said time will tell if he gets an R6 back in the car. Teammate #19-Elliott Sadler will have a developmental R6 in his car at Kansas. "Until it proves its reliability, we feel like it's already got us behind, so we don't want to take that chance," Petty said.(SceneDaily)(10-1-2009)
Gillett, RPM partnering with Saudi Prince UPDATE2 Petty comments: In what could turn out to be one of the oddest pairings in the history of American stock car racing, Richard Petty Motorsports' primary shareholder George Gillett Tuesday signed an 'exclusive commercial collaboration' agreement for his stake in the team to Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Saud, a member of the Saudi Royal Family. The agreement signed Tuesday forms a partnership that will see the development of a NASCAR racing circuit and Richard Petty racing schools in the Saudi Kingdom and elsewhere in the Middle East. "The Middle East sport market has immense growth potential as eager fans in the region demand access to more diverse, higher caliber competition. I am delighted, enthusiastic, and honored to have the opportunity to partner with such a visionary in His Highness Prince Faisal," said Gillett after the signing. According to many however, the agreement signed Tuesday is the first step to Gillett selling his stake in the team. As the two were publicly confirming the agreement, behind the scenes, Gillett and Prince Faisal acting on behalf of the Saudi sports investment group F6 he chairs, have begun a process of 'due diligence', the examination of financial records, with the goal being that Gillett would be bought out by the end of the year. The primary deal in the works actually centers on British football club Liverpool that Gillett owns a 50% stake in, but the deal would also include Richard Petty Motorsports. The Prince was at Anfield Stadium in England on Saturday as a guest Gillett, who confirmed that he has secured funding from the Saudi prince for his NASCAR team and an agreement to build Liverpool-branded football academies in the Middle East. The entire deal is reportedly worth up to $560 million.(NASCAR Examiner)
UPDATE Foster Gillett has confirmed there are no major ownership changes contemplated at Richard Petty Motorsports. The Gilletts are the majority owners of Richard Petty Motorsports and plan on being so for a long time.(RPM)(9-29-2009)
UPDATE2: Richard Petty Motorsports co-owner Richard Petty said he didn't know much about the business relationship formed between RPM majority owner George Gillett and Saudi Prince Faisal bin Fahad bin Abdullah Al Saud to explore commercial opportunities with Gillett and his soccer and motorsports properties. "That's one of George's deals," Petty said. "You'll have to talk him on that. That's purely his deal. He'd been meeting with these guys for a pretty good while about his [English] football team."(SceneDaily)(10-1-2009)
Petty-Yates deal still pending: The two big unknowns about the pending merger between Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing can be summed up in two words: "When?" and "If." The two sides have executed a letter of intent and are working toward finalizing the deal. The new organization will continue under the Richard Petty Motorsports name and will switch from Dodge to Ford next season. According to a joint release two weeks ago at Richmond, the team's lineup will include current RPM drivers #9-Kasey Kahne, #19-Elliott Sadler and #44-A.J. Allmendinger as well as Yates driver #98-Paul Menard. Team co-owner Richard Petty estimated Sept. 12 at Richmond that the deal could be concluded within two weeks, but that projection now appears optimistic, as the parties are still ironing out the details. Menard is a key element, in that he brings with him sponsorship from Menards, the Midwestern home-improvement chain founded and owned by his father, John Menard. Though Paul Menard affirmed his commitment to the deal Friday at Dover International Speedway, his assessment of the merger was frequently qualified by the word "if."(Sporting News/NASCAR.com)(9-27-2009)
Back to Nationwide for Sorenson? ESPN reported during Nationwide Series qualifying that #43-Reed Sorenson is talking to Braun Racing about running the #32 Toyota a majority of the races next season in the Nationwide Series.(9-26-2009)
Allmendinger drove for free earlier; could be in a Ford by Talladega: Richard Petty Motorsports' Executive Director of Race Operations Robbie Loomis says the team could field a Ford before the end of the 2009 season. Loomis told FoxSports.com's Lee Spencer, "I don't want to talk about things that are pure speculation, but I don't think it would surprise anybody if we did." A spokesperson for RPM told Sirius Speedway today that there are no plans to field a Ford before 2010, but off the record, sources inside RPM say that the team has already built at least one Ford Fusion, installing a Ford powerplant in an existing RPM chassis. Initial plans were to have #44-AJ Allmendinger debut the car at Kansas Speedway next week, but that timetable was pushed back when Roush-Fenway Racing's Jack Roush expressed reservations about the quick ramp-up. Now, tentative plans call for Allmendinger to drive a Richard Petty Motorsports Ford at Talladega Superspeedway on November 1, with additional outings possible -- though not certain -- at Texas, Phoenix and Homestead-Miami Speedways. Calls to Richard Petty Motorsports seeking comment were not immediately returned. Loomis also confirmed today that #43-Reed Sorenson is not the first RPM driver to race for free, saying that Allmendinger also waived his paycheck for a time, in order to remain on the racetrack. "AJ and all the employees at Richard Petty Motorsports made sacrifices in order to continue being a four-car team," he said. "When those guys stepped up, it really said a lot to me about the character of Reed Sorenson, AJ Allmendinger and everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports."(Sirius-Speedway)(9-25-2009)
Sorenson currently racing for FREE: When Richard Petty Motorsports announced last week a merger with Yates Racing, most considered #43-Reed Sorenson the big loser, since it appeared he was left out of the 2010 driver lineup as a result. He in fact wasn't. He was already gone by that point. Multiple RPM sources confirmed to ESPN.com that team executives approached Sorenson during the summer with a pair of options: (1) Race the remainder of the season for no salary; or (2) take a buyout and go away. Conflicted, frustrated, shocked and confused, Sorenson chose the former. In NASCAR, out of sight is out of mind. And out of mind is out of work. "The decision I made was to keep racing. The reason I did that is I thought it would help me find a job next year," Sorenson said. "And any race car driver that has the choice to sit at home or race is probably going to choose to race, unless they're at the end of their career. I'm 23 years old. I want to have a long future in the sport. I didn't figure sitting at home was a good option to do that." Sorenson would not divulge specifics of his agreement with RPM but did say he was never given a true reason for the development. "They didn't really have much justification for it," he said. "They basically just said, 'This is the deal we have, but you've done nothing wrong. We feel bad.' But it sucked. I don't really get it. It never made sense when it was going down, and it doesn't make sense now. I definitely didn't envision them coming to me halfway through this year and saying this. I felt like I was moving to a team where I could make a home and work with new teammates and maybe be there for five years or whatever it might be. I didn't even get halfway through the year, and this comes up. Then I was told I haven't done anything wrong at the same time. So that's the most sickening thing about it."
Sorenson's agent, Jeff Dickerson from Mooresville, N.C.-based Motorsports Management, also would neither confirm nor deny that Sorenson was given an ultimatum. He did agree, though, that when he speaks with other team owners and managers about Sorenson's future, the driver's level of desire to compete is often broached. "If people knew the sacrifices he has made to stay on the racetrack, they wouldn't ask that question anymore," Dickerson said. "He's been a great teammate both on and off the track. He stood up for the guys that work on these cars and their families and refuses to let that team be shut down. People think a guy that drafts with you is a good teammate. I think Reed rewrote that definition in this situation."
Asked for comment for this story, RPM spokesman Drew Brown wrote in an e-mail that "it wouldn't be fair to comment on internal matters relating to Reed's contract. I will say that all of us have had a blast with Reed this season and wish he could be part of us next season, but it's a numbers game." Sorenson will use the final 10 races of the season as an audition for 2010. There are few Sprint Cup rides available, so the hope for Sorenson is a part-time Cup program to supplement a full-time Nationwide ride. "If I have to run full-time Nationwide and part-time Cup to wait until the economy gets better and I get a good full-time ride again, then that would be the best-case scenario," he said. "I just want to race. I don't want to sit around and wait."(in part from ESPN.com)(9-18-2009)
RPM & McArdie part ways UPDATE: The deal between Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing already has cost one top official his job. Richard Petty, the minority owner of RPM, said on Saturday that Mark McArdle, the vice president and managing director of competition at RPM, was fired on Friday after a heated confrontation with team co-owner George Gillett Jr. at Richmond International Raceway. Petty would not speculate on how many others in the engine and chassis department might lose jobs if RPM uses Roush-Yates engines and Roush Fenway chassis as planned. Petty said RPM is moving from Dodge to Ford because Dodge could not offer financial support for 2010 and beyond. Yates already has a financial commitment for two Ford teams, and Petty hopes that will increase once the economy is restored.(ESPN.com)(9-13-2009)
UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports today announced the departure of Mark McArdle, the team's vice-president and managing director of competition. "The company and Mark have decided to go in different directions. It was an amicable departure and we are finalizing some details with him," said Rick Russell, team president. "We appreciate all of Mark's many contributions and wish him well in all future endeavors he may pursue." McArdle said his departure comes after achieving his goal of restoring the team to championship contention. "We have all worked really hard to get Richard Petty Motorsports back in the Chase and we accomplished that goal Saturday night," McArdle said. "Everyone at the team should take great pride in that. I wish the company nothing but success in the future. There will be nobody rooting harder for the #9 to win the championship than me."(RPM)(9-17-2009)
Petty would like to put Allemndinger in the #43: Richard Petty, the minority owner of RPM, said no decision has been made on who will take over the famed #43 that he drove to seven championships, but added that he would like to see Allmendinger in the car if all sponsors agree.(ESPN.com)(9-13-2009)
More details on the Petty 'buyout' of Yates: The deal that brought together Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing for next season is more of a buyout than a merger, minority owner Richard Petty said on Friday. "We're basically taking over their deal," the seven-time Sprint Cup champion said before qualifying at Richmond International Raceway. "As far as I know all of that whole operation will be Richard Petty Motorsports." Petty said George Gillett Jr., who declined to comment earlier Friday, would remain the controlling owner. He said Robbie Loomis, the executive director of race operations at RPM, will continue to run day to day operations. He was unsure what role Max Jones, who co-owned Yates Racing with Doug Yates, would take but speculated that he would stay on as the general manager. Jones declined to comment. Sources close to the situation said Yates would continue to run the Roush-Yates engine program that will supply engines to RPM's four teams -- Paul Menard from Yates and Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and A.J. Allmendinger from RPM. Petty said plans are to move from RPM's Statesville, N.C., shop to Yates' facility in Concord, N.C., to be closer to Roush Fenway Racing, which will continue to supply parts, pieces and technical support as it did with Yates. Because engines will come from Roush-Yates, RPM will have to shut down its engine department that employed more than 40 people. Petty said the potential of letting more people go during tough economic times was the tough part of the deal.(in part from ESPN.com)(9-12-2009)
Sorenson discusses Petty-Yates merger: Thursday, September 10, 2009 on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, host Dave Moody spoke with #43 RPM Dodge driver Reed Sorenson after the announcement that Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing have signed a letter of intent to merge for the 2010 season and race a four car team in Fords:
Host, Dave Moody: "When did you first learn of this?"
Reed Sorenson: "Well, to be honest with you, I've heard rumors and things like that and whatnot of something going on with a merger but as far as knowing exactly what's going on, I haven't really paid too much attention to it. I've just been working with my team and when I've been to the shop this week I really didn't talk to anybody in upper management or anything. I was hanging out with my guys and working with my crew chief there so I didn't know when this was going to happen or what they were working on but obviously it came along this week."
Moody: "So in terms of actually having a face-to-face conversation or even a telephone conversation with somebody in upper management to tell you that you're not apparently a part of the plan for next year, have you or have you not had that conversation as of yet?"
Sorenson: "Well, not really pertaining to this I haven't got any conversation but there have been some conversations in the past few weeks just discussing next year and I've kind of known for a few weeks now that I'm looking for a job next year. I think everything for the rest of this year is set as far as what our plans are and what our goals are but as far as next year for me as a driver, just looking to the future and looking for a ride."
"This is a tough time to not only get a ride but get a good ride. And that's probably the toughest thing about it is trying to put yourself in a position where you can get yourself in a car where you can see yourself having a future at. That's the toughest thing right now. I'm only 23 years old and I thought this was going to be a place where I could get down with a team and start a long future but obviously that hasn't worked out. The sponsors I've worked with this year have been great and we've had zero problems with them. All the sponsors, they've wanted to work with me again next year so I don't think that's a problem. I just think it's the circumstances of the economy and what everybody's having to do to get through it."
"At the end of the day it is a business but I think the most depressing thing about it is I like everybody that I work with including my teammates and all the guys at the shop. So that's probably the most depressing thing about it all is just not being able to set up long term goals with the guys at the shop and [not] being able to work with them again next year. You know, our cars have gotten a lot better throughout the year and it would be awesome to go through the offseason and build something up to start next year but that's not going to happen."
Moody: "Are there any irons in the fire for you for 2010 as of right now?" Sorenson: "Still working on it, man. As we talked about, it's not a good time to be looking for a ride, especially a good one. The one good thing I have is that I am young and I'm going to work my butt off the rest of this year to try and find a job and just keep doing the best I can. That's all you can do. Just like I said, the sad thing is just everything was going really well here with all the team members and with all the sponsors so that's probably just the worst thing about it all is just how well everything was going and now it's all coming to an end."
"SIRIUS Speedway" airs every weekday (3-7 pm ET) exclusively on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio 128.(SIRIUS XM Radio)(9-11-2009)
Gillett about finalizes Montreal Canadiens sale: George Gillett, tears in his eyes, announced Thursday that the sale of the Canadiens to the Molson family is all but finalized, saying his eight years as owner of the historic team were the best of his family's life. He says his one regret was not to have won a Stanley Cup during his tenure with the Canadiens. The sale confirmation comes on the same day Quebec announces a $75-million loan to facilitate the transaction. The government loan hinges on a guarantee the hockey club stays in Montreal. Closing is expected to take place in the next few weeks, subject to ultimate approval by the National Hockey League, according to a statement released by the partnership purchasing the team. In addition to the Molson brothers and members of their family, the partners include Bell, the Woodbridge Company Limited, the QFL Solidarity Fund, Michael Andlauer and Luc Bertrand. Two thirds of the capital is invested by Quebec-based partners.(Montreal Gazette), Gillett is co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports [#9, #19, #43, #44 teams](9-11-2009)
Richard Petty Motorsports to run Fords in 2010, merge w/Yates: Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing announced today they have signed a letter of intent to merge operations in time for the 2010 season. The four-car team will race Fords under the Richard Petty Motorsports banner.
Richard Petty: "This is a pretty big deal for us. We're thrilled to partner with Ford. We've talked with a lot of folks, but in the end it came down to the success the Gilletts and I think we can achieve with Ford Racing. Right now this deal is real new. There are lots of details still left to be ironed out so we don't have a lot of answers for anyone right now. We'll be working on all that in the coming days, weeks and months, but we do intend to have everything in place before the start of next season. I've won races with Ford and plan to again."
Team Managing Partner Foster Gillett: "Richard and Kasey (Kahne) showed us Sunday night in Atlanta that they like winning quite a bit and Ford is going to provide the support that we need to go to victory lane more often. If you are going to compete with the other teams in this sport you need a lot of support. We bring a lot to this relationship as well. We've won twice this season and the power of Richard Petty is hard to beat, plus we have the support of some of the biggest names in corporate America."
Yates Racing Co-owner Max Jones: "This is certainly a great opportunity for both Yates Racing as well as Ford Racing. I have had a long-term relationship with Ford and look forward to continuing that relationship at Richard Petty Motorsports. Over the coming weeks we will continue to work with Ford and Richard Petty to lay out the best plan for Paul Menard and all of the employees at Yates Racing. We will continue to field both the #98 and #96 Ford Fusions for the remainder of the season and look forward to continued success on the track with Paul, Bobby Labonte and Erik Darnell."
Yates Racing Co-owner Doug Yates: "This plan is clearly in the best interest of the Ford Racing community. On a personal level, I am excited about the opportunity to focus my full energy on building Ford horsepower. We look forward to working with Richard Petty Motorsports to produce power second to none. There are many details to be worked out with Richard Petty Motorsports and as we finalize those details we will keep everyone informed."
Director of Ford North America Motorsports Brian Wolfe: "I am very pleased that Richard Petty Motorsports has made the decision to switch to Ford for the 2010 season. They had choices to consider other than Ford and it's gratifying to us that they have enough faith in the Ford Motor Company and what we're doing to make the switch. We believe we can provide them with superior analytical tools and powertrain, and we will work with them closely on the technical front to help them become even more competitive than they are. What's also really cool to me is the chance to have someone with the class and the legacy of Richard Petty involved with Ford. Combine that with the chance to work with the Gillett family, who we have great respect for, and add some great drivers to the Ford camp, well, it's hard not to be excited about this opportunity."
Note: Paul Menard will be one of the drivers in the Petty team joining #9-Kasey Kahne, #19-Elliott Sadler and #44-AJ Allmendinger.(Richard Petty Motorsports)
and the PR doesn't mention Reed Sorenson or what car number Menard will run and with this merger, looks like the #26 Roush Fenway Racing team may now go away as they it not merge with Yates Racing now, since Yates and RPM merging is at the four car limit mandated by NASCAR. So unless something changes, two more cars/teams are lost: would expect RPM to run the #9, #19 and #43 so either the #44 team or the #98 team would go away and the #26 Ford that was rumored to be going to Yates.
UPDATE: on Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 128, Sirius Speedway radio show, Reed Sorenson, current driver of the #43 RPM Dodge, was interviewed and said he knew a few weeks ago that he would not be back with Richard Petty Motorsports in 2010 and he is looking for a ride in 2010. Sorenson says he has enjoyed working with all his current sponsors in 2009 and a few would like to stay with him.(9-10-2009)
Petty staying with Dodge? It appears Richard Petty Motorsports will not move from Dodge to Toyota next season. At least that's the impression that Lee White, who heads Toyota Racing Development, gave last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. White said he believes that Mike Accaviti, the president of the Dodge brand, is doing all he can to keep RPM in the fold. He also said that would be a good thing, that the sport needs all four manufacturers to be strong. He actually seemed to wish them luck and didn't seemed bothered that Toyota will not be welcoming in another organization. It makes sense -- Toyota's interest in RPM was tweaked when Red Bull Racing appeared set to leave the fold for General Motors and an association with Hendrick Motorsports. Now that Red Bull is set to re-sign with Toyota, there is not the urgency to get another organization. Having said that, there are no guarantees that RPM will be back with Dodge even if Toyota is out of the picture. The organization has had talks with General Motors as well. But all signs point to Dodge fielding cars for RPM and Penske Racing moving forward.(ESPN Insider)(8-27-2009)
Richard Petty to be honored at Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance: The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance Foundation, Inc. announced that NASCAR legend Richard Petty will be the honoree at the 15th annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, scheduled for March 12-14, 2010 at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and The Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach. Petty will serve as the key note speaker at the Concours' annual Gala Dinner Saturday, March 13, 2010. In addition to Petty's presence, this year's Concours will honor the 40th anniversary of Porsche's inaugural victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona and Le Mans and showcase a number of influential 917s, a model that is widely considered to be one of the most significant racecars of the modern era. This year's Amelia will also honor Sir Stirling Moss, OBE and the 50th Anniversary of Moss' victory in the last Cuban Grand Prix. The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance is one of the nation's most innovative vintage auto events featuring over 250 rare classics from seldom-seen private collections nationwide. For more information, visit ameliaconcours.org.(Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance)(8-12-2009)
RPM Still Talking To Toyota: Multiple sources at Richard Petty Motorsports tell Sirius Speedway that RPM is still mulling the possibility of moving its entire operation to the Toyota camp in 2010. RPM spokesmen have downplayed reports of a possible manufacturer switch in recent weeks, but sources say that talks are ongoing with both Dodge and Toyota. No decisions have been made, but in an attempt to cover all their bases, the team recently had a series of publicity photos taken of Kasey Kahne and a Budweiser-sponsored #9 Toyota Camry.(Sirius Speedway)(8-12-2009)
#43 and #44 Crew Chief and Crew Switch official: Crew Chief Mike Shiplett and the crew that fielded the #43 Dodges for Reed Sorenson will begin working on the #44 Dodge with A.J. Allmendinger at Michigan and the rest of the 2009 season. Sam Johns and his crew that worked on the #44 will begin working on the #43 with Sorenson at Michigan. At Michigan, the #44 will sport a Super 8 scheme while the #43 Dodge will have Bumper to Bumper colors. Says Allmendinger:" I'm pumped about working with Mike (Shiplett) and his crew again. We went testing at Dover last week and worked real well together. Sammy Johns and those guys did a heck of a job getting us ready to go racing right before the season and we had some really good runs. They are going to go over with Reed (Sorenson) and we'll pool the information and improve our teams. We're here to win and get a jump on 2010. Mike and I want to work on everything that will make us a contender the rest of the season and hit the ground running in Daytona in February."(Richard Petty Motorsports)(8-12-2009)
More on possible changes within RPM UPDATE 2: Despite recent rumors that Richard Petty Motorsports would be a three-car team by Watkins Glen next weekend, the King said Sunday at Pocono Raceway that there will be four cars through the end of the season. "We're going to have four cars, but we're going to do some changing around," Petty said. "We're looking to finish up this season (and) preparing for next season. We've got one car, hopefully, that's going to be in the Chase and the other three we've got to get squared away and anticipate for next year. There will be some swapping around with different personnel and stuff like that to put in motion this year the opportunity to see how it works in preparation for next year. Then if it doesn't work, we've still got time to make changes for next year." Don't be surprised if there isn't a crew chief change among the non-title contending teams - #19, #43 and/or #44 - before the Chase begins.(FoxSports)(8-3-2009)
UPDATE The #43-Sorenson and #44-Allmendinger teams at Richard Petty Motorsports will change crew chiefs and crews following the race at Watkins Glen. According to team sources, drivers Reed Sorenson and AJ Allmendinger will remain with their respective car numbers and sponsors. However, Mike Shiplett will now oversee the #44 Dodge with Allmendinger and Sammy Johns will be the crew chief for Sorenson and the #43 squad. The cars and equipment will remain with the crew chiefs.(Foxsports)(8-3-2009)
UPDATE: it has reported a few times on TV coverage this weekend that the #43 and #44 crew chief's and crews have made the swap BUT have been told by RPM reps that the change has not been made yet and that Mike Shiplett is still crew chiefing the #43 Dodge of Reed Sorenson and Sammy Johns is still crew chiefing the #44 Dodge of A.J. Allmendinger. And see image of the #43 McDonald's Angus Third Pounders scheme.(8-8-2009)
Villeneuve was offered the #43 for Watkins Glen UPDATE2 not happening: Dominic Fugère of Rue Frontenac reports that Jacques Villeneuve will run the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International. Villeneuve said "It's already qualified a car, a good car" [meaning a car/team that is in the top-35 of owners points, looking thru the list a few stand out as possible teams: #12-Stremme, #6-Ragan, #34-Andretti]. But no team is mentioned in the article.(Rue Frontenac - translated)(8-5-2009)
UPDATE: Jacques Villeneuve will be back in Sprint Cup this weekend at Watkins Glen. Villeneuve, who is currently in Europe, has received an offer from Richard Petty Motorsports replace Reed Sorensen at the wheel of the #43 Dodge [for Watkins Glen]. Villeneuve, said that in talks with the new team USF1 for a possible return to Formula 1, and said that other proposals to run in NASCAR by the end of the season.(Translated from monvolant.cyberpresse.ca)(8-5-2009)
UPDATE 2: Jacques Villeneuve came close to a return to Sprint Cup this weekend at Watkins Glen. Villeneuve received an offer from the Richard Petty Motorsports team to replace Reed Sorensen at the wheel of the # 43 Dodge. Sorenson, injured last weekend [had not heard this] at Pocono, had agreed with his team to skip the demanding road race circuit and be back in the #43 for the remainder of the season.(translated from monvolant.cyberpresse.ca)(8-5-2009)
Petty says all four teams will stay...for now: Richard Petty shot down rumors that Sorenson was in danger of being yanked from the #43 Dodge for #44-Allmendinger for performance and financial reasons. "We're going to run all drivers the rest of the year," Petty said. "We'll sort of see what happens after this season and we'll make our decisions on next year." All four drivers are signed through 2010, but Petty said there are no assurances the team can keep all the drivers. "The economy is going to dictate to us what we need to do," he said. "Right now, we're just trying to keep our head above water, hoping that the economy comes around so that we can continue to run four cars." RPM laid off employees and sliced salaries earlier this year in the fallout from Chrysler's Chapter 11 filing. Petty's first choice is to run all four cars in a full Cup season, but economics may decide otherwise. "We can't sacrifice three to try and run a fourth car," Petty said. "Right now, we're still breathing air and we're able to run four cars the rest of the season."(in part from the Associated Press)(8-2-2009)
RPM downsizing? Sorenson out? UPDATE2 denied: Rumors persist that Richard Petty Motorsports will shrink to three cars in the next few weeks, with A.J. Allmendinger moving to the #43 Dodge, replacing Reed Sorenson, and the #44 team being shut down.(Ford Racing)(7-29-2009)
UPDATE: An internet report claiming that Reed Sorenson will be released by Richard Petty Motorsports as part of a downsizing of the team's Sprint Cup roster appears to be premature. The Ford Racing website reported on rumors that Sorenson will be replaced by former Champ Car star A.J. Allmendinger when Allmendinger's #44 Dodge is mothballed within the next few weeks. However, a source close to the team -- speaking on the condition of anonymity -- said today that while the move is being discussed, Sorenson's release is not yet a done deal. "No one is sure that it's going to happen," said the source, "but it's definitely being talked about. The team is working on the details right now." If RPM does indeed decide to trim its roster from four cars to three, Allmendinger's current sponsors would transfer to the #43 Dodge. Calls to Richard Petty Motorsports seeking comment were not immediately returned.(Sirius Speedway)(7-29-2009)
UPDATE: a Richard Petty Motorsports representative says that the team will remain a four car team and Sorenson will stay with the #43 team.(7-31-2009)