Three times Cup series champion Matt Crafton has broken NASCAR legend Richard Petty’s record that has been unrivaled for decades. Crafton is one of the most decorated drivers in the sport’s history though he never made it at the Cup or Xfinity series.
The No: 88 ThorSport Racing Ford F-150 driver has extended his partnership with primary sponsor Menards. The Truck season opener at Daytona on Friday, February 17, will mark the 20th anniversary of the partners. The Midwest home-improvement store chain has been a long-term partner of ThorSport and has won 4 championships with the company logo on the hood. Three of them are Crafton’s Truck championships, and the 4th one is an ARCA championship won by Frank Kimmel in 2013.
Richard petty held the record for the longest NASCAR partnership. He was sponsored by STP for 19 years. Their collaboration started in 1972 when Petty approached the firm for the first time and ended in 1992 when he retired. The deal signed by Petty and STP marked the first national-level sponsorship deal in NASCAR. It cost STP $250,000 to feature in the No:43 car’s hood.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would still get to be doing what I love so many years after my career started. I especially could not have imagined being lucky enough to have a sponsor stand by my side through all of it. Between ThorSport and Menards, I have truly found a family that I am so grateful to have been a part of. Looking forward to a strong season together,” Matt Crafton said on the sponsorship.
“We’ve had an outstanding partnership with ThorSport through the years. The success we’ve had both off and on the track with Matt Crafton and ThorSport has proven to be legendary. To be able to have NASCAR’s longest-running partnership with a driver and team says it all!”
Richard Petty and STP partnership pioneered nationwide sponsor’s NASCAR entry
Richard Petty, the first NASCAR racing superstar, has been a pioneer of many things in NASCAR that the later generation benefited from. Establishing nationwide sponsors was one of them, as Petty’s partnership with STP influenced other premier brands to do the same in the Cup series.
“STP was the first nationwide sponsor in Cup racing, You’d always have mom and pop’s grocery store or somebody’s garage or somebody’s dealership, but that was done mostly on a local basis. Nobody had a nationwide deal,” Richard Petty said.
“ That was the first-time bringing Cup racing into the nation. Once STP did it, then I think Purolator came along, and then many others followed,” said Petty on how he and STP pioneered a national-level sponsorship,” Richard Petty added.
Justin P Joy is a Motorsports writer and editor at FirstSportz. He has been a motorsport journalist since 2020 and has published over 2000 articles. Justin has extensively covered two NASCAR, Formula One, and Moto GP seasons for FirstSportz. He has invested more than a decade of his life on Motorsports, first as a fan and later as a dedicated writer. Justin’s in-depth knowledge of Motorsports and his experience as a fan make his writing resonate with most racing fans worldwide.
Justin's love for racing started when he discovered Moto GP at the age of 8. That love later guided him into the world of Formula 1. He fell in love with NASCAR after watching Tom Cruise’s “Days of Thunder” and has been an avid follower of the premier stock car racing series since. He has also been investing his time to exploring WEC, WRC, Formula E, Extreme E, and IndyCar in a bid to deeply understand the culture and history of Motorsports to present a unique perspective to the fans.
FirstSportz is the First Stop for all sports fanatics. Starting in 2019, we initially covered Olympic Sports, but in 2021 we added every other sport which you might be looking for, like NFL, Golf, MLB, WWE Cricket, Football, Tennis, Esports, NBA, MMA and more.