Richard Petty Motorsports goes back to 1972 for throwback scheme

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Richard Petty Motorsports unveiled Tuesday the throwback paint scheme Bubba Wallace will drive in the Sept. 2 Southern 500, a paint scheme that goes back to the first race Richard Petty ran with the STP logo on his car.

STP debuted on Petty’s car for the 1972 season opener at Riverside International Raceway. Petty won that race on Jan. 23.

The car would look different only days later. It would include more Day-Glo red for sponsor STP. But the car was Petty blue with the only red from the STP logo at Riverside. STP’s Andy Granatelli offered Petty $50,000 more to add Day-Glo red to the car at Riverside but Petty refused. They later worked on a compromise that debuted a month later in the Daytona 500.

Paint scheme Bubba Wallace will drive for Richard Petty Motorsports at the Sept. 2 Southern 500 (Photo: RPM Motorsports)

Wallace’s car will pay tribute to that original STP paint scheme at Riverside.

“When you race for Richard Petty, you learn so much about NASCAR’s history,” said Wallace in a statement from the team. “Richard was there at the start of sponsorship, and it was with STP. He and STP defined what a true partnership is in the sport.

“The same values and principles of that first agreement, they still hold true today over 45 years later. It’s an honor to go back in time to when STP came into the sport and race the very first paint scheme with STP on the ’43’. It’s a cool look and I can’t wait to see it on the track.”

The Southern 500 will begin at 6 p.m. ET and be broadcast on NBCSN.