2013 Races  that Smithfield Foods is scheduled to be 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
the rest TBA
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
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: 2013; Primary Sponsors: 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)
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)
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)
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)
Congrats - Aric Almirola: Richard Petty Motorsports driver $43-Aric Almirola and wife Janice welcomed a baby boy, Alex, on Tuesday.(9-5-2012)
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)
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)
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)
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 #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)
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, May 25, 1:00pm/et
Born in MAY
21 Mark Muller, Jeff Meendering, Brandon McReynolds, Rodney Fetters, Cotton Owens
22 Jay Guy, Joey Knuckles, Janice Almirola
23 Harvey Walters, Wally Dallenbach Jr
24 Joey Logano, Ricky Craven, Chip Ganassi, Brent Sherman, Colt Hammond, Tommy Chong, Jack Smith
25 Bud Moore, Paul Andrews, A.J. Foyt IV, Spenny Clendenen, Ross Kenseth, Kevin Hulstein, Smokey Yunick
26 Stacy Compton, Kenny Trout, Adam Gravitt
27 April Horner, Jeremy Mayfield, Dick Berggren, Van Colley, John Bickford, Carol Einarsson
28 Ray Fox, Butch Stevens, Marvin Panch, Dan E. Donnely, Ron Lemasters Jr., David Joy
29 Ken Schrader, Jimmy Means, Al Unser, Todd Berrier, John F. Kennedy, Steve Allen, Kaye Jenkins, Dick Sidenspinner, Jessica Taylor, Bobby Hamilton, Joe Weatherly
30 Clint Bowyer, Gale Wilson, Reagan Page
31 Jerry 'Dad' Adamczyk, Gayle Barnwell, Charlie Lewis, Krista Voda, Jack Baldwin, Faith Anne Yeley, Pat Calkins
Born in JUNE
1 Ryan Pemberton, Jim Sauter, Lance Hooper, Anita Witzke, Brennan Pattie, Darel Dieringer
2 Kyle Petty, Sandy Jones, Scott Brewer
3 Jamie McMurray, Troy Selberg, Barney Oldfield, Mark Smith, Dave Collins, Mark Graves
4 Terry and Jerry Windell, Michael Dokken, Barry Dodson, Brienne Davis, Carl Kiekhaefer
5 Bobby Hillin, Butch Miller, Gary Nelson, Bob Osborne, Ronnie Hoover, Raymond Parks, Jason White
6 Max Jones, Justin Allgaier, Scott Radel, Steve Wilson
7 Robbie Loomis, Rodney Childers, Joe Ewert, Brian Sockwell, Jason Small, Tom Czerwinski, Tim Richmond
8 Kristen Labonte, Tabitha Burton, Tom Schacht, Carlos Contreras, Frank Mundy, Lloyd Moore
9 Billy Bigley, David Hobbs
10 Avery Manion
11 Patti Wheeler, John Hunter Nemechek, Layne Riggs, Tyler Parrott, Matt Crafton, Taylor Elizabeth Schaffer
12 Sue Raines, Joe Pittman, Breanna Garrow, Sandy Kahne, Jennifer Jo Cobb
13 Mark Marco, Harry Melling, R.D. Smith, Bryan Silas, Cory DeMarco
14 U.S. Army , Richard 'Slugger' Labbe, Doug Richert, Angela Styers, Dustin Stanley, Brett Thompson
15 Bobby Leslie, Willie Allen, Cami Parsons, Stefan Parsons, Bryan Clauson, Tabitha Stricklin