The U.S. Air Force will once again join Richard Petty Motorsports and the iconic No. 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 No. 43 for the entirety of the 2014 season. The Air Force will continue their experiential marketing at NASCAR races, bringing 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 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."
"To be a part of the DEPper swear-ins on race weekends is such an honor," he continued. "To look into those faces and know how important the promise the young men and women are making and see their bright future never gets old. Walking around 'Hangar 43' reinforces the parallels of technology in NASCAR and in the Air Force. It's cool to see fans walk through and make that connection."
This season marks the Air Force's 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 No. 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."