Richard Petty Motorsports and its partner Smithfield Foods announced today 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 No.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 No. 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 No. 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 No. 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 No. 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."