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
Charlotte - 10/11, Smithfield / Waffle House
Phoenix - 11/9, Farmland - fan chosen scheme
the rest TBA
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
Beer Decals: Richard Petty has said many times that beer sponsors, such as Coor's Light, Budweiser, etc will not be on the #43 car. It has been a Petty tradition going back to Richard's mother not to have alcohol-related sponsors on the cars. "My mother would come back and haunt us home," Petty said of what would happen if a beer sponsor showed on up the #43. Since there is no sticker to run to get in the Budweiser Shootout and the pole award is given by Coors Light, it will not effect the #43 from running the Shootout. RPM does have the Coor's Light Pole sticker on the #9 car. And now that the Bud Shootout is now the Sprint Unlimited, pretty much a moot point.
Contract Status: Driver: 2016; Primary Sponsor: 2016
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 4˝, 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)
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)
"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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)(2-7-2013)
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, September 20, 2014, 11:30am/et
Born in SEPTEMBER
14 Tony Furr, Dominic Dobson
15 Jimmy Fennig, Wayne Harron, Jim Smith, J.C. Stout, Paulie Harraka
16 Jason Leffler, Doug Taylor, Stan Boyd, Darin Brassfield, Gary Balough
17 Jimmie Johnson, Lee Roy Yarbrough, Stirling Moss, Tony Romit, Norman Koshimizu, Gil Martin, Will Lind, Jessica Leigh Waltrip, Tommy Wallace
18 U.S. Air Force , Boris Said III, Damon Lusk, Tom Powers, Tab Boyd, Johnny Mantz
19 Skyler Rae Smith, Keith Barnwell
20 Juan Pablo Montoya, Carl Long, Lance Norick, Cory Kruseman
21 Richard Childress, Randy Pemberton, Angelique Chengelis, Curtis Markham, Larry Carter
22 Leonard Wood, Colin Braun, Anne M. Edwards, Steve Christman, Marc Reno, Chuck Efaw
23 Regan Smith, Jeff Buice, Gene Black, Oda Green, Ben Leslie
24 Glenn Allen Jr., Allen Bestwick
25 Jack Donohue, Jimmy Florian, Scott Punch, Dan Koozer
26 Bill France Sr., Joe Nemechek, Rob Moroso, Wayne Cloth, Tina Dillon, Marty Robbins
27 Terry Satchell, James Houk
28 Ron Fellows, Anthony Seibert
29 Stanley Smith, Chase Montgomery, Margaret Carol Waltrip
30 Frank Kerr, Bruce Kirkendall, Jeffrey Baker
Born in OCTOBER
1 Neil Goldberg, Fred Graves, Steve Barkdoll, John Krebs, Neil Castles, Mel Larson, Clarence DeZalia
2 John Roberts, Paul Goldsmith, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Semon 'Bunkie' Knudsen
3 Max Papis, Chase Austin, Carolyn Carrier, Bray Pemberton, Sidney Wolfe, Joe Piette Jr., Bobby Santos
4 Sarah Burton, Heather Hammond, Rich Burgess, Liz Clarke
5 J.J. Yeley, Earl Barban, Brian Johnson, Austin Fox, Dave Rezendes, Rick Beebe, Courtney George, J.T. Putney
6 Mike McLaughlin, Dick McCabe, Phillip McGilton, Michael Marks
7 Pierre Bourque, Hank Parker Jr., Tina Yocono
8 Bill Elliott, Johnny Southall, Margaret Hallin, Joe Stella
9 Darian Grubb, Ray Kilgore, Billy Wease, Freda Styers
10 Dale Earnhardt Jr, Coleman Pressley, Connie Larimore, Bill Feeney
11 Jimmy Hensley, David Starr
12 Morgan Shepherd, Ned Jarrett, Tim Sullivan, Lonnie Clouse, Ernie Gahan, Kitty 'Mom' Allison,
13 John Kernan, Michael Ehert, Tim Sauter, David Ifft
14 Jason Jarrett
15 Chris Economaki, Red Farmer, Eddie Gossage, Chad McCumbee, Aaron Johnston, Roland Wlodyka, Gober Sosebee