Almirola and STP Throwback to 1979 at Darlington Raceway

June 9, 2016

Almirola and STP Throwback to 1979 at Darlington Raceway
“Petty Blue” and Day-Glo Red Ford Returns to the Bojangles’ Southern 500

DANBURY, Conn. (June 8, 2016) – The SONY Walkman hit the shelves at an astounding cost of $200. “Saturday Night Fever” by the Bee Gees was the album of the year. ESPN became the first all-sports television network. McDonald’s introduced the Happy Meal. Richard Petty won the Daytona 500 in front of an estimated 16 million viewers watching NASCAR’s first ever flag-to-flag televised race.

STP and Richard Petty Motorsports with driver Aric Almirola are honoring The King’s 1979 NASCAR season, the season that many claim catapulted NASCAR into a household sport, at the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Sunday, September 4 with the throwback paint scheme mirroring Petty’s 1979 Dodge Oldsmobile Cutlass.

Top: 1979 No. 43 STP car driven by Richard Petty
Bottom: 2016 No. 43 STP Ford driven by Aric Almirola

“We started the season really good because we won Daytona to kick off the year,” said Petty. “In 1978, we didn’t win any races, and then we won at Daytona to start the year. That was one of our better years, and we ended up winning the Championship that year, too. That was our last Championship, so it was a breakthrough year of sorts after not winning the year before. Having the car throwback to that year is special because it was a good year for us.”

“I’m excited to run the 1979 STP paint scheme this year at Darlington,” said Almirola. ‘We had a lot of fun with the throwback theme last year, and it should be fun to throwback again this year. It makes the race so special. There are so many great STP paint schemes over the years, which makes it special for our team to run throwbacks. 1979 was definitely a breakout season when it comes to catapulting the sport into the mainstream, so it’s cool to recognize that this year with our throwback scheme.”

The aforementioned televised Daytona 500 is often viewed as the turning point in NASCAR’s modern era as the broadcast had 16 million viewers and brought national attention to the sport. Although ½ lap down at the white flag, a now-famous accident between the leaders saw Petty take the lead down the backstretch and go on to win his sixth of seven Daytona 500 races and break a 45-race winless streak.

Petty went on to win four more events that season at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Dover (Del.) International Speedway and North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, N.C. Petty took the point lead for the first time that season with just two races to go. He fell to second going into the season finale, but finished fifth in the season finale at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway to win his seventh – and final – NASCAR Cup championship by 11 points over Darrell Waltrip. Rising star Dale Earnhardt was named the Rookie of the Year.

“STP, along with Richard Petty, has been the longest running team sponsorship in NASCAR history. Some things just get better with age and this is no exception. STP has been a proud partner of Richard Petty for nearly 45 years, and we are delighted to celebrate another monumental year in the sport with this paint scheme from 1979,” said Jamie Kistner, Vice President of Marketing for STP. “Race fans and STP consumers alike are, without a doubt, our greatest asset, so we hope this brings back some great memories. The second-annual throwback event at Darlington Raceway is just around the corner and we can’t wait for the fans to see the 43 STP car on the track.”

The throwback paint scheme will feature one significant difference from the original in 1979. A dollar amount signifying the amount of money raised by STP customers for Victory Junction will be featured on the rear quarter panel of the No. 43 STP Ford. STP launched the “Giving Kids an Ultra Summer” program on June 1 and will donate $.43 for every bottle of STP Ultra 5-in-1 Fuel System Cleaner sold through August 31. STP has been a longtime partner Victory Junction which was built to honor Richard Petty’s late grandson Adam Petty. Prior to the launch of this year’s “Giving Kids an Ultra Summer” program, STP has donated more than sixty-five thousand dollars to the camp that provides life-changing camp experiences for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.
STP honored its first season with Petty by running a 1972 throwback paint scheme in the inaugural throwback Bojangles’ Southern 500 in 2015. Almirola started and finished 11th in the 500-mile race.

The 2016 Bojangles’ Southern 500 will be broadcast live on NBC on Sunday, September 4 at 6 p.m., ET.

About Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc., parent company of STP®
Spectrum Brands Holdings, a member of the Russell 2000 Index, is a global and diversified consumer products company and a leading supplier of automotive appearance, performance, and do-it-yourself A/C recharge products, consumer batteries, residential locksets, residential builders’ hardware, faucets, shaving and grooming products, personal care products, small household appliances, specialty pet supplies, lawn and garden and home pest control products, and personal insect repellents. Helping to meet the needs of consumers worldwide, our Company offers a broad portfolio of market-leading, well-known and widely trusted brands including Armor All®, STP®, A/C Pro®, Rayovac®, VARTA®, Kwikset®, Weiser®, Baldwin®, National Hardware®, Pfister™, Remington®, George Foreman®, Black + Decker®, Farberware®, Tetra®, Marineland®, Nature’s Miracle®, Dingo®, 8-in-1®, FURminator®, IAMS®, Eukanuba®, Digest-eeze™, Healthy-Hide®, Littermaid®, Spectracide®, Cutter®, Repel®, Hot Shot®, Black Flag® and Liquid Fence®. Spectrum Brands’ products are sold by the world’s top 25 retailers and are available in more than one million stores in approximately 160 countries. Based in Middleton, Wisconsin, Spectrum Brands Holdings generated net sales of approximately $4.43 billion in fiscal 2014. For more information, visit

About Richard Petty Motorsports
A performance and marketing driven company, Richard Petty Motorsports, co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and successful business entrepreneur Andrew Murstein, is one of the most recognized brands in all of motorsports. With a history of over 200 wins and business partnerships with national and global leaders, today the race operation fields two teams in competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with drivers Aric Almirola and Brian Scott. Almirola will return to the iconic No. 43 Ford with partners Smithfield Foods, STP, United States Air Force and the “Fresh From Florida” campaign. Scott will make his debut with the team and drive the Petty Family No. 44 Ford. Albertsons Companies, Shore Lodge, Twisted Tea and will join Scott as he competes for Rookie of the Year in his first full-time season in the Sprint Cup Series. Richard Petty Motorsports will also field the No. 43 Ford Mustang in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The team is headquartered in Mooresville, N.C.


Michigan International Speedway Race Advance

June 9, 2016

Aric Almirola Carrying Momentum from Championship Point Standings Jump to Michigan
Michigan International Speedway in Manufacturer Ford’s Backyard


After a Top-20 finish in Pocono this past weekend, Aric Almirola jumped two positions in the Championship Point Standings to 24th place. Almirola is looking forward to going back to the Irish Hills of Michigan in the No. 43 Smithfield Ford to continue his climb through the standings after a string of disappointing finishes. Richard Petty Motorsports is continuing to strengthen the team’s intermediate track program, and in manufacturer Ford’s backyard, the team is hoping to show the results of hard work and dedication to the program. Almirola’s strongest finish at a mile-and-a-half track this year was a 15th-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Almirola made eight starts at Michigan International Raceway in the Sprint Cup Series. His best finish at the track came last season in the August race when he came to the checkers in the14th position. He has a best starting position of fourth place. Almirola scored a Camping World Truck Series win at Michigan in the 2010 season.


Smithfield will host the Whole Hog Challenge on Sunday morning at the Smithfield display in Michigan International Speedway’s Fan Midway. Pre-selected fans will compete to eat eight Smithfield ribs the fastest. The contest will be judged by Aric Almirola and “The King” Richard Petty. The winner of the Whole Hog Challenge will go to Miami at the end of the 2016 season to compete in the final round of the challenge to attempt to be crowned the champion.

When: Sunday, June 12 at 9:30 a.m.
Where: Smithfield Display in the Fan Midway at Michigan International Speedway

Almirola will stop by the Ford Display in Michigan International Speedway’s Fan Midway to answer fans’ questions. The Q&A will be open to the public. Make sure to have your questions ready!

When: Sunday, June 12 at 10:00 a.m.
Where: Ford Display in the Fan Midway at Michigan International Speedway

Fans can get in the car with Almirola by listening to his live in-car radio feed on SiriusXM Radio Channel 134 during the Firekeepers Casino 400.


“I’m really looking forward to heading back to Michigan International Speedway. Last year, when we raced there, we had higher downforce and higher drag. That package really didn’t do what we were hoping for though. Everyone was hoping that we would run side-by-side, be able to draft more and make slingshot passes. But, we didn’t do any of that. It just created a big hole in the air and made it incredibly difficult to drive behind other cars. So I’m really hoping that by NASCAR reducing the dowforce even more for this trip to Michigan that the cars will be able to drive a whole lot better in traffic or at least the car that’s leading the race isn’t going to be running perfectly. He’s not going to be running wide open and just hauling the mail while the guys behind him have to let off the gas because they’re in dirty air. At least now if we all have to let off the gas because we don’t have the downforce to make the car grip through the corner, then it’ll create opportunities to pass because we have a variation in speed. Our team participated in the tire test there a couple of weeks ago, and it went well. So I’m looking forward to getting our No. 43 Smithfield Ford Fusion out on the track this weekend.”


Pocono Raceway Race Report

June 9, 2016

Richard Petty Motorsports
Pocono 400 Race Report
Pocono Raceway

Pocono 400 Results:
1: Kurt Busch
20: Aric Almirola, No. 43 Smithfield Ford

Richard Petty Motorsports battled the “Tricky Triangle” during a rain soaked weekend. With very little practice time, both teams worked to get their cars handling on the three, very different turns for the race on Monday morning. Aric Almirola raced as high as 12th but a crowded track found the No. 43 Smithfield Ford in the 20th spot when the checkered flag dropped.

Aric Almirola, No. 43 Smithfield Ford

After a long weekend of both XFINITY and Sprint Cup Series racing for Aric Almirola, the Pocono 400 saw the green flag on Monday afternoon with Aric Almirola rolling off in the 16th position. The No. 43 Smithfield Ford was tight in all three corners to start the race, and Almirola adjusted the trackbar from the cockpit to try and loosen the car. He was in 20th place when the Competition Caution came out on Lap 15. Crew Chief Trent Owens brought the Ford Fusion down pit road for four tires and wedge adjustments. He restarted in the 26th position and had reached the 21st position by the time another caution came two laps later. Staying out on the track to better his position, he restarted in 19th place and worked his way up to as high as the 12th position. Almirola reported that the balance of the car continued to get better and better as the run went on.

When a caution flag flew on Lap 60, Almirola was in 19th place and happy with how well the Ford Fusion was running through Turns 2 and 3. But, when he came down pit road for four fresh tires and a wedge adjustment, NASCAR flagged the team for jumping over pit wall too early. Almirola restarted at the rear end of the field as the last car on the lead lap. The next caution came on Lap 89 during the middle of green flag stops, but Almirola had not yet gone to pit road and benefitted from the timing. He restarted in 17th place after visiting pit road.

Committing to the track position game, Almirola stayed in the Top 20 until a restart on Lap 114 saw cars going five-wide into Turn 1 and he was shuffled back to 25th place. With Owens managing the team’s fuel strategy well, Almirola was able to race hard to try and get back to the front of the field at the end of the race. Almirola brought the No. 43 Smithfield Ford to the checkers in the 20th position. He jumped up two positions in the Championship Point Standings to 24th place.

“That was definitely one of the best handling cars that I’ve ever had in Pocono,” said Almirola. “It’s a shame that we didn’t have the speed we needed. But, considering this is not a track that I’ve performed well at in the past, I think this is definitely a step in the right direction. My team worked hard to keep me up in the Top 15 for a good portion of the day. It’s a short week for us since we were pushed to Monday racing, but we’ll quickly get focusing on Michigan and be ready to go next weekend.”

At Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 5, 2016. CIA Stock Photo

Pocono Raceway Race Advance

June 3, 2016

Aric Almirola to Put His “Tricky Triangle” Experience to the Test
Almirola Running Double Duty at Pocono Raceway


Aric Almirola will double his usual amount of seat time this weekend at Pocono Raceway as he will race in both Saturday’s inaugural XFINITY race and Sunday’s Sprint Cup race. Almirola is hoping that the extra experience from competing with the XFINITY Series will work to his advantage when he takes to the track in Sunday’s Pocono 400. He needs a strong finish in the No. 43 Smithfield Ford to begin the climb back up through the Championship Point Standings after falling to 26th place.

Almirola will race the No. 98 Carroll Shelby Engine Ford for Biagi-DenBeste Racing in the XFINITY Series. This will be his seventh start in the series this season.

The “Tricky Triangle” has not always been kind to Almirola. In his eight starts at the Pennsylvania track, he has tied his best finish of 18th place twice. The first 18th-place finish came in the fall of 2012 and the second in the fall of 2015.


Fans can get in the car with Almirola by listening to his live in-car radio feed on SiriusXM Radio Channel 134 during the Pocono 400.


“I’m hoping that what I expect from the new lower-downforce package at Pocono will align with what will actually happen once we get cars on track. Back in the day when the cars were sliding all over the place and the track’s pavement was old, Pocono put on some really awesome races. I hope with the new downforce package and the cars not being glued to the racetrack that we’ll be able to slip and slide and see some great racing action again. Because it will be significantly less downforce than what we had last year, I’m eager to get there to see how the cars react. But, all we can really do is wait and see how it plays out. It will definitely be interesting.”

At Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina on May 29, 2016. CIA Stock Photo

Charlotte Motor Speedway Race Report

May 31, 2016

Richard Petty Motorsports
Coca-Cola 600 Race Report
Charlotte Motor Speedway

Coca-Cola 600 Results:
1: Martin Truex Jr.
26: Aric Almirola, No. 43 U.S. Air Force Ford

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series headed to their backyard of Charlotte Motor Speedway for the series’ longest race of the season. In a race that is both tough on equipment and driver, it was not the showing that Richard Petty Motorsports had hoped for. Both Richard Petty Motorsports teams battled ill-handling race cars throughout their race and had limited time to work on their cars as the race had very few cautions.

Aric Almirola brought home a 26th-place finish while battling a tight and snappy loose No. 43 U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion that honored Staff Sergeant Forrest Sibley.

Aric Almirola, No. 43 U.S. Air Force Ford

With fallen U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Forrest Sibley’s name adorning the car for Memorial Day weekend, it was a special day of racing for the No. 43 U.S. Air Force Ford team. Although 600 miles of tough racing didn’t work out in their favor, the team battled hard though the longest race of the season with Sibley’s family watching on. Aric Almirola rolled off in the 20th position on a green race track to get the night started. Immediately jumping to 19th place, Almirola adjusted the trackbar from the cockpit to wrangle a Ford Fusion that was tight in the center and snappy loose on exit. During a competition caution on Lap 25, Crew Chief Trent Owens brought Almirola down pit road from the 21st position for four fresh tires and a wedge adjustment. During the stop, the No. 43 U.S. Air Force Ford was angled tightly in the box, and Almirola was slow to get out of his pit stall. Difficulty on pit road had him restarting in the 30th position on the restart.

The same on-track trouble of tight in the center of the corners and too loose on exit continued for Almirola in the next run, but he drove his way up to 23rd place. Continuing to battle with an ill-handling race car, Almirola went one lap down to the leader on Lap 90, and the fight was on for the Lucky Dog position began. The issue persisted for Almirola throughout the night, and in a race with many green-flag stretches without cautions, Almirola struggled to keep the car under control during long runs.

He eventually fell four laps down to the leader, and bad luck struck the team in the final quarter of the race when Almirola was penalized for speeding on pit road during a stop after a Lap 341 caution. Almirola fell five positions to restart in 30th place at the back of the field. He fought hard to get back through the field in the closing laps and rallied to a 26th-place finish, five laps down to the leader. Almirola fell one position to 26th in the Championship Point Standings.

“We definitely have a lot of work to do,” said Almirola. “Our No. 43 U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion was just difficult for us to get a handle on tonight. And, it was hard for me to run consistent laps when it was all over the place and so snappy loose on exit. It was definitely a tough 600 miles for our team tonight, but we’ll continue to work hard and do what it takes to get our Ford Fusion back to the front of the pack. Our guys will analyze what we need to from tonight, but we’ll put this behind us and set our sights on Pocono next weekend.”

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