Maurice Petty used his engine-building skills to earn a spot in the NASCAR Hall of Fame, but Sunday he will be honored for his short, but successful career as a driver.
For five years, from 1960 to 1965, Maurice enjoyed a limited, but fruitful NASCAR Cup career driving a No. 41 car much of the time.
Richard Petty Motorsports announced Tuesday that driver Aric Almirola will race a No. 41 Ford Fusion this weekend in the Goody's® Headache Relief Shot® 500 Powered by Kroger at Martinsville Speedway, to honor Maurice, replacing the traditional No. 43. The No. 41 Ford will be 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, his brother Richard, 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-five and 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 wins for Petty Enterprises, not only for Richard, but for drivers Jim Paschal, Marvin Panch and Buddy Baker.
Maurice helped lead Petty Enterprises to 15 wins 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.
TRUCK SERIES AUTOGRAPHS: Fifteen NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers will sign autographs Friday afternoon from 3 to 3:45 in front of the Martinsville Speedway ticket office.
Drivers scheduled to appear include Max Gresham, Ryan Blaney, Ross Chastain, Brendan Gaughan, James Buescher, Brandon Jones, Timmy Hill, Darrell Wallace Jr., Miquel Paludo, Caleb Holman, Ty Dillon, Joey Coulter, Chase Elliott, Jeb Burton and Jennifer Jo Cobb.
Driver participation and number of autographs is subject to change and without notice. Neither NASCAR nor any of its affiliates are sponsors of this promotion.
Anyone coming through the line must have a wristband, which will be distributed before the session begins.
TICKET INFO: Good tickets remain for the Goody's® Headache Relief Shot® 500 Powered by Kroger starting at just $37. Advance tickets for the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, Oct. 26 are just $30 and $35 on race day. Tickets for Pole Day, Friday, October 25 are $15. Youth 12 and under are admitted free on both October 25 and 26. To purchase tickets for the Goody's® Headache Relief Shot® 500 Powered by Kroger weekend, call 877.RACE.TIX or visit www.martinsvillespeedway.com.