A throwback conversation wouldn't be complete without the iconic No. 43 STP Ford and neither would the throwback The Tradition Returns weekend at Darlington Raceway. Joining in on the retro paint schemes, Aric Almirola will pilot the 1972 "Petty Blue" and Day-Glo Red No. 43 STP paint scheme, originally driven by "The King" Richard Petty. STP will also have special guests at the track during its return to Labor Day weekend. Members of the 1972 crew will join STP and the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team for the Bojangles Southern 500.
"When you think throwback racing, you think STP and 'The King'," said Almirola. "It's really special to drive a car with so much history and such an iconic car of that time. The 1972 paint scheme was very popular, and it will be really cool to drive in a race that embraces the history of our sport. I know we'll have a lot of fans cheering on that 'Petty Blue' and Day-Glo Red Ford, which is really exciting."
1972 marked the first year for STP and Petty's longstanding relationship and the first year the No. 43 sported Day-Glo Red on the quarter panels. It's only fitting that the company throwback to their first year in NASCAR racing with "The King" during The Tradition Returns weekend.
"STP has been a proud partner of Richard Petty for nearly 44 years now, and all of that started with this 1972 paint scheme," said Jamie Kistner, Vice President of Marketing for STP. "To be able to bring that first year back to the track through this paint scheme and with Aric Almirola has been a lot of fun and has brought back some great memories of STP's storied history in NASCAR for our fans. Darlington Raceway is hosting a great throwback event that's produced a lot of excitement and we're honored to be a part of it."
In a storied history, Petty raced with the STP logo on the hood of his No. 43 race car for 21 years before he retired as a driver and scored 60 of his 200 wins during that time.
"It will be neat to see the car that started our partnership with STP 43 years ago back on track at Darlington," said Petty. "It will be fun to see all the throwback schemes racing at Darlington and on Labor Day Weekend. It just feels right to have the Southern 500 back to Labor Day Weekend and is fitting that we celebrate tradition there with throwback paint schemes."
Petty will be joined by several of his 1972 teammates at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, September 6. Along with crew chief Dale Inman, crew members Richie Barsz, fabricator, Tex Powell, mechanic and Jackman, Les Barsz, mechanic and transporter driver, Billy Biscoe, mechanic and gas man, Jimmy "Zoomer" Kovalchik, fabricator and tire carrier, and Barry Dodson, painter, will return to the track where they finished third in the 1972 Southern 500.
The Bojangles Southern 500 will be broadcast live on NBC on Sunday, September 6 at 7 p.m. ET.