Richard Petty was already “The King” in 1984. Past being the game’s most approachable and in style driver, Petty’s 198 wins was probably the most of any driver, by ninety three over David Pearson. He was already “The King”, however he needed extra. In July of 1984, Petty scored his two hundredth, most historic, and last, NASCAR victory at Daytona Worldwide Speedway.
This September, STP and Aric Almirola shall be honoring Petty’s document-setting two hundredth win on the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Sunday, September three with the throwback paint scheme mirroring Petty’s 1984 STP Pontiac.
“All the 200 wins have been particular however the two hundredth undoubtedly stands out,” stated Petty. “We would have liked each win earlier than to get to 200 however to have the President there was fairly particular. It was a narrative guide win on the final lap, in Daytona, on the Fourth of July with the President of the USA there. I take pleasure in seeing the Throwback offers in Darlington, and this a fantastic one to have on our automotive this yr.”
The race was historic for a mess of causes. Not solely was the fortieth President of the USA, Ronald Reagan, the primary appearing United States President to attend a NASCAR occasion, however he additionally gave the command to start out engines from a phone on Air Pressure One because it flew over the backstretch of the monitor. Reagan stayed for the occasion, greeting Petty within the press field earlier than Victory Lane ceremonies. And, following the race, the President handled drivers and groups to a picnic dinner.
Almirola, who was slightly below 4 months previous on the time of Petty’s two hundredth win, understands the historic significance of his throwback paint scheme.
“Whenever you consider Richard Petty, one of many first moments you consider is his two hundredth win at Daytona Worldwide Speedway,” stated Almirola. “It was like a storybook being on the Fourth of July and with President Reagan there. That race is much more particular to me with my first Cup Collection win coming 30 years later to the weekend in the identical Victory Lane. I actually benefit from the throwback weekend, and will probably be very particular to throwback to such a considerable second in NASCAR historical past. I all the time wish to have somewhat enjoyable with it off the monitor. Though, I am unsure I am going to be capable of prime the Fu Manchu this yr. We’ll work on it although.”
Past the paint scheme, Almirola, his crew chief, Drew Blickensderfer, and the Richard Petty Motorsports No. forty three group will even put on throwback firesuits and uniforms all through the Bojangles’ Southern 500 race weekend.
STP’s tribute to Petty’s two hundredth win will prolong previous the throwback paint scheme. As a mixture with Petty’s eightieth birthday, STP’s Director of Advertising Katina Wall, introduced on the unveiling that STP will donate engraved benches to every lively monitor the place Petty has recorded considered one of his report-setting wins. The benches shall be engraved with Petty’s profession-wins at every particular monitor.
“If you look again on the prime moments in NASCAR, it will be onerous to not put Richard Petty’s two hundredth win on the prime of the listing,” stated Wall. “STP’s relationship with Richard has now surpassed forty six superb years. We have been honored to be part of his profession and on the well-known No. forty three for therefore lots of NASCAR’s necessary, historic moments.
“Richard has all the time been concerning the followers. Once we have been taking a look at the right way to have fun his birthday, we thought a present that followers might take pleasure in and recognize was applicable.”
Petty’s profession continued for eight extra seasons, encompassing a complete of 1,184 profession begins. He continues to carry the report of 200 wins. Pearson stays second with a hundred and five. Fellow seven-time NASCAR Cup Collection champion Jimmie Johnson is the very best lively driver on the all-time win listing with eighty three.
Lively tracks the place Petty has earned a win and can obtain a bench embrace: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Richmond (Va.) Worldwide Raceway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Daytona Worldwide Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Dover (Del.) Worldwide Speedway, Michigan Worldwide Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
STP honored its first season with Petty by operating a 1972 throwback paint scheme within the inaugural throwback Bojangles’ Southern 500 in 2015. Final yr, STP and Almirola paid tribute to Petty’s document-setting seventh NASCAR Cup Collection championship season in 1979.