For five years -- from 1960 to 1965 -- Maurice enjoyed a limited but fruitful driving career at the wheel of a No. 41 entry. Richard Petty Motorsports announced today that driver Aric Almirola will drive a No. 41 Ford Fusion this weekend in the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 Powered by Kroger at Martinsville Speedway, honoring Maurice Petty. The No. 41 Ford will be painted Petty blue and feature the likeness of the 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee.
The car was unveiled at the NASCAR Hall of Fame with Maurice and Richard Petty, Almirola and Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell all present.
“It’s an honor to see the No. 41 on the side of a Petty blue machine,” said Maurice. “It brings back a lot of memories and reminds me of my driving days too. I finally decided that I liked working on the engines and behind the scenes more and that’s where I ended up staying. It worked out for all of us and it’s nice to see the recognition this weekend, especially at a track where we won so much.”
Maurice made 26 starts in his Cup career with seven Top-5and 16 Top-10 finishes.
Maurice built the horsepower that made his brother Richard the winningest driver in the history of NASCAR Sprint Cup racing. He built the engines for 212 Petty Enterprises wins, with drivers Richard Petty, Jim Paschal, Marvin Panch and Buddy Baker. Maurice also helped lead Petty Enterprises to 15 victories at Martinsville Speedway. The Hall of Fame trio of Maurice, Richard and Dale Inman won five consecutive races at the track from 1968 to 1971.
“You can’t say enough about the history of Petty and Martinsville Speedway,” said Campbell. “A large part of the success was due to Maurice. He’s a legend of our sport and we’re going to welcome him this weekend at the track. Like many Petty racing fans we have in our area, this car will help bring back a lot of great memories.”
Richard Petty Motorsports will use the No. 41 this weekend only and collect owner and driver points under the No. 43. The change of car number was approved by NASCAR.
Sunday’s race at Martinsville will mark the first time the legendary No. 43 is not a part of a Cup Series event since October of 2003, when Jeff Green failed to qualify at Atlanta Motor Speedway.