One of NASCAR’s most iconic rides will pay tribute to a fallen friend and one of its most impactful charitable endeavors.
Richard Petty Motorsports has unveiled the throwback paint scheme for its iconic No. 43 car. It will bear the sponsorship of Victory Junction at the upcoming Bojangles’ Southern 500, a camp based in Randleman, NC that, according to their official website, “enriches the lives of children with serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun and empowering, at no cost to children or their families”.
The camp, which opened in 2004, was the lifelong dream of Adam Petty, the grandson of Petty family patriarch and seven-time NASCAR champion Richard. Adam was tragically killed at 19 in a practice session crash at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2000. The No. 43 Chevrolet piloted by Darrell “Bubba” Wallace will aesthetically resemble the car in which Adam won his first ARCA race in September 1998. Adam’s car also carried over the ARCA colors. The ride was affectionately referred to as “The Crayon” by the Petty family due to its variety of colors.
RPM made the announcement in a social media announcement on Tuesday.
Adam partook in a single Cup Series race before his passing. After his death, his father Kyle drove his son’s No. 45 car for the remainder of his NASCAR career. Kyle was on hand for Tuesday’s announcement and will call the Southern 500 as part of NBC’s coverage.
Held annually at Darlington Raceway in Myrtle Beach, SC, the Southern 500 has gained a “throwback” tradition. Drivers and teams will often pay tribute to rides from the past by adorning their cars in retro colors, and occasionally make pop culture references. This Petty tribute is just the latest example.
Wallace has driven the No. 43 Chevrolet on a full-time basis for RPM since 2018. His best finish was a runner-up posting at the 2018 Daytona 500. He currently sits 27th in the Monster Energy Cup Series standings.