Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Ford team plan to mow down the competition at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway this week with a new partner: Gravely Professional Mowers. The maker of commercial lawn and garden equipment will see its bright red paint scheme on the team’s Sprint Cup Series car for one of NASCAR’s most historic races – Saturday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500.
The NASCAR partnership is the first for Gravely, which has been a power equipment workhorse since 1916. Gravely is part of Ariens Company, a fourth-generation, family-owned company based in Brillion, Wis., and sells a complete line of professional mowers and outdoor power equipment, including the legendary Sno-Thro, through a national dealer network.
The company’s partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports will also include endorsements of Gravely products by team owner and racing legend Richard “The King” Petty in sales displays and advertisements.
“We love working with companies like Gravely,” said Petty. “The company started small but grew through a belief in ingenuity, family values and pride in American craftsmanship. Now it’s a big company with top-of-the-line products that help the working man do his job. That’s what this sport’s all about and the kind of people that come to the races every week.”
The Southern 500 is a legendary race on the Sprint Cup schedule, dating back to 1950 when it was first run as NASCAR’s only 500-mile race. Petty himself won the event in the famed No. 43 in 1967. Almirola hopes to follow suit.
“What a great moment that would be, to earn my first Sprint Cup win with Gravely in one of the most historic races in the sport,” Almirola said. “That red paint scheme is going to look great under the lights on Saturday night, and it would look even better in Victory Lane.”
The Darlington race will air May 12 at 6:30 p.m. (ET) on FOX.