American Icons of Racing\r\n\r\nThrough its partnership with Ford Performance, Richard Petty Motorsports is accelerating towards victory lane. The two American racing icons joined forces in 2010, and the winning tradition of the “King” continues in 2012 with the No. 43 Smithfield Ford Fusion driven by Aric Almirola and the No. 9 Ford Fusion driven by Sam Hornish Jr.\r\n\r\nRacing Roots\r\n\r\nFord Performance has a historical and proud connection to the heart of racing. From 1901 to 1913, pioneer Henry Ford was actively involved in racing. He entered and won the 1901 race against Alexander Winston as a means to promote his name and reputation as well as to attract investors for Ford Motor Company, which would be founded 2 years later in 1903.\r\n\r\nFord continued to shape the sport into the twentieth century with cars named 999 (painted yellow) and Arrow (painted red, also known as the Red Devil), two-cylinder Model As, six-cylinder Model Ks, and the renowned Model T, which finished first in the ocean-to-ocean New York-to-Seattle race which Robert Guggenheim sponsored.\r\n\r\nFor decades, Ford cars and engines have led the way to victory for amateur grassroots racers and professionals drivers alike. The automaker’s racing dynasty continued with the Miller Mustang, Thunderbird, Taurus, Focus, and Fusion. Ford Performance’s mission statement expresses its unwavering commitment to fans and consumers: “Racing must ultimately help improve our products, people, and processes in support of corporate customer satisfaction goals.”\r\n\r\nBuilt to Win\r\n\r\nFord Performance currently boasts 599 Cup wins, 9 of which belong to “The King.” Other landmark achievements include:\r\n\r\n-Red Byron winning the very first NASCAR-sanctioned race in1948;\r\n\r\n-Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson winning 13 races apiece as Ford won 48 of 55 races overall in 1965;\r\n\r\n-Mario Andretti winning the 1967 Daytona 500;\r\n\r\n-Bill Elliott becoming the first driver to win the coveted “Winston Million” in 1985 by capturing the Daytona 500, Talladega 500, and Southern 500;\r\n\r\n-Ford introducing the Zetec R V-8 Formula One engine, and Michael Schumacher winning the 1994 F-1 World Championship, Ford Racing’s first since 1982;\r\n\r\n-Ford launching the Taurus NASCAR Winston Cup car for competition in 1998 and beyond;\r\n\r\n-Jeff Burton registering Ford Motor Company’s 500th win at Las Vegas on March 5, 2000;\r\n\r\n-Dale Jarrett winning at Rockingham, N.C., to clinch Ford Motor Company’s 14th manufacturer’s championship on Oct. 22, 2000; and\r\n\r\n-Ford celebrating its 100th year of racing in 2001.\r\n\r\nRacing is Richard Petty’s DNA, and Ford’s roots are in racing. With the leadership of “The King,” the steady hands of Almirola and Ambrose, the precision performance of Ford cars and engines, and support from partners such as Smithfield and Stanley as well as loyal fans, Richard Petty Motorsports and Ford Performance are positioned to win.\r\n\r\nVisit www.FordPerformance.com for more information.