Teams, Drivers Turn Back The Pages At Darlington
The Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 car and its driver are among those sporting throwback looks this weekend in Darlington. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Garry Eller)
By Deb Williams | Senior Writer
DARLINGTON, S.C. – With the Southern 500 returning to its traditional Labor Day weekend date at Darlington Raceway and the track promoting a “throwback” theme, of the 28 teams using throwback paint schemes on their cars, perhaps Richard Petty Motorsports has taken the biggest step back in time.
Aric Almirola has adopted a Fu Manchu mustache similar to the one Petty wore in the early to mid-1970s when his Plymouths and Dodges carried the iconic STP paint scheme. Almirola said Friday at Darlington Raceway that Petty had seen it and he liked it.
“He said he won the Daytona 500 with a mustache that looked just like this,” Almirola said. “I have about five days with this. I wasn’t fully committed. I shaved last week on vacation when I went to dinner with my wife and I got cleaned up. After that, I kind of just let it go crazy and I had a few drinks out on the beach and thought it would be cool to grow this. I got a late start. I would like for it to be a little fuller, but this is all I’ve got for now.”
When asked about Petty’s cowboy hat and sunglasses, Almirola noted Petty didn’t wear them then and he was trying to be traditional.
“I have the bill of my hat square like he did when he would shove it in his back pocket,” Almirola said. “I am trying to be as original as I can. It is really neat to walk through the garage area and see the cars and pit crew guys. It really makes you realize how far our sport has come and just the appreciation of what all the teams and everybody has for the guys that came before us.” Read the full story »