The unmistakeable shade of bright blue named after racing legend Richard Petty will return to NASCAR tracks during select Sprint Cup Series races in 2013.

Richard Petty Motorsports and one of its sponsors, Smithfield Foods, announced that each of the 25 times the food company sponsors the No. 43 Ford car in 2013, it will be painted 'Petty Blue.' The hue was made famous by Petty as he won seven points championships in his 35-year career.

Aric Almirola's Ford Fusion will bear the signature color and Smithfield's Farmland Foods logo on the hood of the No. 43 car during this Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona.

"Maybe I'm just old-school, but I like it simple," Petty said of the shade that he 'invented' by mixing blue and white paint. "I like consistency. Now, no matter what week it is, you can spot that 43 car as soon as you start looking."

After Petty's retirement in 1992, the recognizable blue paint continued to be used, but it took on reduced prominence as the car's sponsors rotated. Most recently, it was used only on the numbers. Sponsor STP's bright red also was used to accent the No. 43 car after 1972. The day-glo color will return atop the Petty Blue at Martinsville on April 7.