Aric Almirola’s car will wear a throwback paint scheme, and number, this weekend in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway.
The driver of what’s traditionally the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford will switch to No. 41 this weekend as the team pays tribute to Maurice Petty, who will be inducted into NASCAR’s Hall of Fame on January 29, 2014.
Maurice Petty powered “King Richard’s” 15 of 19 career wins at Martinsville. A win by Almirola on Sunday would be the first of his career and still count for owner points for the No. 43, per a one-race exemption made by NASCAR to allow the change.
The No. 43 last won with John Andretti at Martinsville in 1999. The No. 43 last missed a race in October 2003 when Jeff Green failed to qualify at Atlanta.
“It is kind of weird, but to me it goes back to same thing we did when we first started,” Richard told NASCAR.com regarding the No. 43’s absence this weekend. “Dad’s (Lee’s) number was 42. We just took the two off and put a three on there. We just took the three off my car and put a one on the thing.”