Petty GMS Race Preview: Martinsville Speedway II

Following the long-standing partnership between Petty GMS and the United States Air Force, the team recently visited the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs to take part in events, celebrate cadets and support the US Air Force as they took on the US Navy for their annual football game. An incredible visit with three days of celebrating and honoring our military heroes has now moved to the race track!

As part of the visit, the team delivered two Chevrolet Camaro’s to the academy and had both vehicles on display for cadets to explore, along with seeing the inside of a race hauler throughout the weekend. Cadets were able to see the No. 43 US Air Force Chevrolet that has been on track for multiple races this season with Erik Jones, but to their surprise, the team also unveiled a US Space Force Chevrolet to honor both military branches. With overwhelming support of the No. 42 car, Petty GMS has opted to run the No. 42 US Space Force Chevrolet this weekend at Martinsville Speedway with Ty Dillon to bring more awareness to the program.

With the addition of the patriotic scheme, this weekend for the Xfinity 500 will mark the first time Petty GMS has represented two military branches on the race track.

Ty Dillon, No. 42 US Space Force Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


– Dillon at Martinsville Speedway: Ty Dillon has made nine career starts at Martinsville during his NASCAR Cup Series career, posting three top-20 finishes with a best result of 13th place in 2019. Earlier this year, Dillon drove the No. 42 Chevrolet to a 23rd place finish.

Dillon has made six career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at Martinsville, earning two top-fives and two top-10 finishes. The veteran has led 18 laps in Truck competition, and finished as high as second place in 2012.

– About US Space Force:  The U.S. Space Force is a military service that organizes, trains, and equips forces which protect U.S. and allied interests in space and provides space capabilities to the joint force. Space Force responsibilities include developing Guardians, acquiring military space systems, maturing the military doctrine for space power, and organizing space forces to present to our Combatant Commands.

Breast Cancer Awareness: As part of a team tradition, Ty Dillon will be honoring several women who have been affected by breast cancer with pink ribbons lining his No. 42 Chevrolet at Martinsville Speedway. The women highlighted are family members of Petty GMS employees directly associated with his team.

– Ty Dillon Sightings: Fans attending Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway will have a chance to see Ty Dillon before the race:

  • No. 42 Petty GMS Chevrolet Merchandise Trailer: Dillon will be onsite at the team merchandise trailer in the fan midway area from 10:55 AM – 11:25 AM local time on Sunday prior to the Xfinity 500. Fans can stop by to purchase new merchandise and get it signed at the same time.

From the Drivers Seat: Dillon’s thoughts on racing at Martinsville Speedway

“Every driver loves coming up to Martinsville! Growing up about an hour away from track, I have plenty of vivid memories going to the races with my family as a kid. We ran ok earlier this season at Martinsville and even Richmond, and we’ve improved with each short track race this season as we’ve continued to build our short track program. This weekend will be so cool for us as we represent the US Space Force on the No. 42 Chevy Camaro. We do such a good job as an industry honoring our military every week and it’s an honor to have the Space Force on our car this weekend as we head to one of NASCAR’s historical tracks. I love the design and I am very thankful for the opportunity. Hopefully we can avoid the typical short track carnage and come away with a solid finish for not only every one at Petty GMS, but all of the Gaurdians that we’re representing this weekend with this special US Space Force scheme.”


Erik Jones, No. 43 US Air Force Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


– Jones at Martinsville Speedway: With only two races remaining in the 2022 season, teams stay close to home this week to compete at Virginia’s short track, Martinsville Speedway. At just the age of 16, Martinsville Speedway is the site of Erik Jones first NASCAR start on April 6, 2013, in the Truck Series. Jones started that race from the 19th position and finished ninth. 

This weekend Jones will make his 12th-career Cup Series start at the .526-mile track. In his previous 11 starts at the track, Jones has a best finish of eighth in the Fall 2021 race. Earlier this season, the No. 43 team started the race at Martinsville Speedway from the 24th position and finished 13th.

Jones has a total of five starts in the truck series at the track with two top-five finishes, four top-10 finishes and a best-career finish of third in 2015.

– Erik Jones Sightings: Fans attending Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway will have a few chances to see Erik Jones before the race:

  • Chevy Stage: Jones will make his way to the Chevy Stage for a Q&A on Sunday morning from 10:25 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. ET. 
  • “Read with Erik”: Following his appearance on the Chevy Stage, Jones will make his way to the Kids Zone where he will read “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” The reading will take place from 10:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET. The first 50 kids will receive a free copy of the book to follow along with Jones as he reads the Halloween classic. 

– Breast Cancer Awareness: The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and all Petty GMS and GMS Racing teams will honor individuals throughout the month who are battling, are survivors and those who have succumbed to the disease. Each vehicle will carry pink ribbons with the names of family members and friends submitted by Petty GMS and GMS Racing employees. During this month, we honor all those affected by this disease. 

– Aim High: The U.S. Air Force will serve as the primary partner for Jones and the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro team for Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway. The 2022 dark green paint scheme, designed by Tech. Sgt. Andrew Brockman, was inspired by the famous B-29 Superfortress with glass up front and riveted panel design.

About Air Force Recruiting Service: The mission of Air Force Recruiting Service is to inspire, engage and recruit the next generation of Airmen and Space professionals. We are looking for America’s best and brightest to fill approximately 30,000 opportunities in more than 200 Air Force specialties, as well as more than 600 space professionals in approximately 18 specific career fields in fiscal 2023. Additionally, our total force partners, the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard are collectively hiring more than 19,000 part-time Airmen. Our military recruits to retain, providing tough, highly technical training that gives our future servicemembers the right skills to sustain the combat capability of America’s Air Force and protect our nation’s interests in space. For more information about Air Force and U.S. Space Force benefits and opportunities, go to

– Seeing Double: This weekend in addition to the US Air Force sponsoring the No. 43 Chevy, the US Space Force will partner with Ty Dillon and the No. 42 Chevy team. 

– From the Driver’s Seat: “Martinsville is another place that we tested a month or two ago and I felt like we learned a ton at that test that got ourselves and our car a lot better there than we were for the Spring race. I’m excited, Martinsville is always a place I’m trying to improve on. It’s definitely been, I’d say as far as tracks we go to in the Cup Series or any NASCAR Series, it’s probably been my toughest track. Just trying to continue to get better there as a driver and continuing to try to learn. I think overall what we learned at the test will pay off. Hopefully we have made the right changes and can go into it with a good race car and can have a good run. We ran top 10 last fall, which was really strong for us, so hopefully we can have a similar, if not a little better, run.”