Longtime Sponsor Returns to Richard Petty Motorsports

Erik Jones

Getty Erik Jones will run U.S. Air Force schemes for three races.

The No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro will have a key partner back for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season. The U.S. Air Force will take over Erik Jones’ stock car for three races.

The United States Air Force Recruiting Service announced the news with a press release and revealed when the No. 43 will feature the special schemes. The U.S. Air Force will first join Jones for the Talladega Superspeedway race on April 24. It will return for Road America on July 3 and the Bristol Motor Speedway night race on September 17.

The announcement confirms that the partnership will continue for yet another year. Jones ran U.S. Air Force schemes for three races in 2021 — both trips to Talladega Superspeedway, as well as the Bristol night race. Two of his schemes honored the Tuskegee Airmen while the third was a Special Warfare scheme.

Jones is not the only Richard Petty Motorsports driver to run U.S. Air Forces schemes. Aric Almirola, Elliott Sadler, and Bubba Wallace have all worked with the sponsor for multiple races while contending for wins in an RPM stock car. This relationship has lasted 14 years, and it will continue with the 2022 season.

U.S. Air Force Members Can Design the Schemes

While the U.S. Air Force’s return continues a longtime partnership, it also marks a significant change. The 2022 season will provide members of the military branch with an opportunity to design the schemes.

The press release announced that Airmen can submit their designs for the No. 43 by December 5 in order to be eligible. They will mostly have free rein to come up with a head-turning design, but they must adhere to some basic rules.

The car has to be Air Force-themed and it cannot have any profanity or trademarked content other than the military branch’s logo. The scheme can’t be white given that the door numbers are the same color. Finally, there are trademark rules for the Air Force logo that they must follow. Those are available at the Air and Space Forces Intellectual Property Management website.

“This car represents all Airmen, active, Guard and Reserve, so we want all Airmen to participate who think they have a winning design to showcase our Air Force,” said Master Sgt. Shawn Emmerling, AFRS national events liaison for the Air Force Reserve, in the press release. “We want Airmen to be a part of this great 14-year partnership we’ve had with Richard Petty Motorsports and the iconic No. 43 car. With 2022 being the 75th Anniversary of the Air Force, we want to see what our creative Airmen come up with.”

The U.S. Air Force Continues a Run of Partner Announcements

The big announcement from the U.S. Air Force continues a significant week for Richard Petty Motorsports. The team also revealed that a new partner will join the No. 43 on a multi-year deal while making its first foray into NASCAR.

Jones and Richard Petty took part in a special announcement video that hit Twitter on Tuesday, November 23. They both provided narration while talking about eliminating distractions and the requirements to win a championship. The video ultimately revealed that that FOCUSfactor, a brain health supplement company, will be the newest partner on a deal that includes 26 races in 2022.

RPM did not provide all of the details about the races that will feature FOCUSfactor. The only specific events listed were the Busch Light Clash weekend at the LA Memorial Coliseum on February 5-6, the Daytona 500 on February 20, and the All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway on May 22.

“I am really happy to welcome FOCUSfactor as a partner with Richard Petty Motorsports,” Jones said in a press release from RPM on November 23. “With 26 races on board our Next Gen No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, it will be great to get behind this program and learn more about how we can support each other. Our team has really gained momentum over the last month of this year’s 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season. We are even more focused on improving those finishes to start the new year strong, and with FOCUSfactor on board, we are guaranteed to be successful. It would be awesome to bring this new partner their first win – I cannot wait to get started with them.”

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