Richard Petty Motorsports is putting the traditional Petty Blue and STP Day-Glo Red colors on the Ford Fusion driven by Aric Almirola for the STP 400, part of a weekend celebration surrounding 40 years of sponsorship between the automotive company and one of NASCAR's most famous drivers.
''It brings back a lot of memories,'' said Petty, who drove cars carrying STP's banner from 1972-92. ''Just to see the red and blue, I'm a little prejudiced to those colors.''
Few brands have become more closely associated with a single athlete. Four of Petty's record seven titles came carrying the STP logo, along with four Daytona 500 wins. Almirola pointed out that he'll be making his 43rd Sprint Cup start in the No. 43 car.
''I'm excited about it, to celebrate 40 years,'' Almirola said Friday. ''This is the most iconic car in NASCAR. I grew up watching that car go around.''
As part of the anniversary, STP announced a $43,000 donation to the Victory Junction Gang Camp, which was founded by the Petty family and opened in 2004. The youth camp in Randleman, N.C., provides a place for terminally ill and chronically ill children to spend time.
There are plans to build another camp in the Kansas City area in the next few years.
''I should have had a bigger number, 210 or something. That would have made it even better,'' Petty said with a smile. ''The camp has grown so much bigger than I ever anticipated.''