One of NASCAR's most iconic numbers will not be present this weekend at one of the sport's most historic tracks.
For one race only, Richard Petty Motorsports is temporarily changing its No. 43 car to No. 41 for Sunday's race at Martinsville Speedway. The move is to honor Maurice Petty, who will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in January. Aric Almirola will remain the driver.
Petty, the brother of Richard Petty, was a master engine builder whose motors powered cars to seven NASCAR championships and 212 victories. Maurice is the first engine builder to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and the fourth member of the Petty family to earn enshrinement joining Richard, father Lee Petty and cousin Dale Inman.
Before focusing on building engines, Maurice Petty drove in 26 premiere division races over a five-year span using No. 41 in nine of them.
"It's an honor to see the No. 41 on the side of a Petty Blue machine," Petty said. "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."
Martinsville will mark the first time since Oct. 27, 2003, that the No. 43 will not compete in a Cup Series race. That weekend Jeff Green failed to qualify at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
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