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RPM to honor "Chief" with No. 41 at Martinsville

AP - Sports

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Richard Petty Motorsports will honor Maurice ''Chief'' Petty this weekend by running a car featuring the likeness of the Hall of Fame inductee on the hood.

Aric Almirola's traditional No. 43 Ford will be replaced at Martinsville Speedway with a No. 41 Ford in Petty Blue colors. The number represents the one Maurice Petty used during his driving career.

It's fitting for RPM to run the car at Martinsville, where the Petty organization won 19 races. Maurice Petty built 15 of the race-winning engines.

NASCAR has allowed RPM to change Almirola's car number for the race. Maurice Petty drove the No. 41 in 26 races.

Sunday's race will be the first without the iconic No. 43 in field since October of 2003, when Jeff Green failed to qualify at Atlanta.

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