Richard Petty Motorsports began the build-up to this weekend's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway by unveiling a paint scheme with historical significance for the #44 Valvoline Dodge.
The newly-formed team will run a tribute to winning history with a replica paint scheme of the Valvoline Dodge that Kyle Petty drove to an ARCA victory for Petty Enterprises at Daytona 30 years ago, as AJ Allmendinger drives the #44 during Daytona Speedweeks.
“The Valvoline retro paint scheme is awesome," Allmendinger noted, "It's great to be a part of the winning history that both Petty and Valvoline enjoy, and I'll be working hard to get the #44 Valvoline Dodge into the winner's circle.”
The replica paint scheme will make its racing debut during Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, where Allmendinger - in his first race for the team - will roll off from 18th position on the select 28-car grid.
“Richard Petty is a natural partner for Valvoline”, said brand motorsport manager Rob Clendening, “Both names embody sustained excellence, tradition and winning innovation. The Petty return to Valvoline partnership is more like a family reunion. And, let's face it, the car looks great!”
Richard Petty, a seven-time Daytona 500 winner, would also like some déjà vu for his team's #44 Valvoline entry.
"Just looking at the Valvoline #44 car brings back pleasant memories," he admitted, "It was Kyle's first race and we won. It's really neat to be reunited with Valvoline and, hopefully, we can deliver another victory for them here at Daytona."
Allmendinger endured a tough rookie campaign with the Red Bull team last season, before a move to Michael Waltrip Racing and then GEM kept him in the frame for a drive in 2009. Now he hopes to benefit from linking up with a legend.
“The King has been awesome and supportive and, obviously, has a lot of experiences we can learn from," he acknowledged, "You don't win 200 races without knowing what you are doing. He's been someone I have always admired and it will be neat to have him in our meetings. When he speaks, you listen....."