September '18

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SEPTEMBER 2018 THE SHOP 55 was so important to him. The reason was, many years back, Petty and his brother Mau- rice had invented the color, sort of by accident. Their father Lee was out of town and told them to paint the family race car. There wasn't enough white paint in the shop, and there wasn't enough blue paint either, so the brothers dumped both cans together and mixed it up. It became the Petty trademark and no sponsor was going to take that away. Granatelli convinced Richard to stay overnight in Chicago before leaving for the West Coast. Somehow or another there was a spark that came to the conversation in the morning, and the two agreed to combine both colors—part of the Plymouth would remain Petty Blue, and the rest would become STP Red, and the rest is history. The combination of the two colors became more famous than either one of them would have separately. There was no time to do any painting for the first race at Riverside, so the car had huge STP markings on the quarter panels for that race, which Petty won. Granatelli was in Victory Lane with the Petty Team and the sponsorship was a huge plus for all parties. When President Reagan was at Daytona Speedway for the 1984 Firecracker 400 to witness Petty's record 200th win, it was a huge deal with media coverage unlike anything ever seen in American motorsports. STP was plastered all over the car, the driver, the helmet and the uniforms in all the press coverage. Petty even had a small STP logo on his sunglasses and he was always wearing those sunglasses, including during his interview with the president on live TV after the historic win. MARKETING MACHINE There were more sponsorships from STP. Sweden's Ronnie Petersen challenged the Formula 1 world in 1971 with STP markings, Niki Lauda ran an STP car in Formula II, STP dominated the Australian/New Zealand Tasman Series with Graham McRae, and wins for STP came again at Indy—Gordon Johncock in 1973 and 1982. Richard Petty wasn't injured in this spectacular accident at the 1988 Daytona 500, and the image became great prod- uct placement for STP. This was the 1965 Kurtis Novi STP Special entry at the Indy 500, driven by Jim Hurtubise. It qualified 10th on the grid, but the transmission expired on the first lap. Team owner Andy Granatelli and his "STP pajamas" crew were optimistic during quali- fying runs prior to the start of the event. (The car was repainted STP red for race day). 800.264.9472 • DEALER & DISTRIBUTOR INQUIRIES WELCOME UNIVERSAL CATALYTIC CONVERTER SHIELD UNIVERSAL CATALYTIC CONVERTER SHIELD COST EFFECTIVE OPTION TO REPLACING ENTIRE CONVERTER UNIVERSAL FIT WITH STAINLESS STAND-OFFS MAKES IT EASIER TO PASS INSPECTION COST EFFECTIVE OPTION TO REPLACING ENTIRE CONVERTER UNIVERSAL FIT WITH STAINLESS STAND-OFFS MAKES IT EASIER TO PASS INSPECTION

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