Richard Petty saluted with new cereal

General Mills salutes "The King" New cereal celebrates Richard Petty's legendary racing career. MINNEAPOLIS - February 4, 2003 - In a fitting tribute to the racing legend known simply as "The King," General Mills introduces a limited-edition ...

General Mills salutes "The King"
New cereal celebrates Richard Petty's legendary racing career.

MINNEAPOLIS - February 4, 2003 - In a fitting tribute to the racing legend known simply as "The King," General Mills introduces a limited-edition cereal honoring Richard Petty. Presented by Cheerios Racing, Richard Petty 43's is a brown sugar sweetened rice and corn cereal shaped in 4s and 3s to commemorate Petty's famous No. 43 racecar. Richard Petty 43's are now available nationally.

"Though I've been fortunate to receive numerous awards and honors through the years, seeing Richard Petty 43's come to life has been a real thrill," said Petty. "I'm proud to be associated with General Mills and truly appreciate this one-of-a-kind tribute."

Richard Petty 43's is available in two collectible metallic package designs. The 1970 Superbird package features a 70s-era picture of Petty along with his famous 1970 Plymouth Superbird. The 1984 Grand Prix package features an 80s-era Petty and his legendary 1984 Pontiac Grand Prix. The two packages fit together to form cohesive front and back panel murals detailing Petty's storied career.

"Richard Petty has given so much to race fans and their communities through the years that it seemed only fitting that Cheerios, primary sponsor of the No. 43, honor him with his own cereal," said Laurie Greeno, vice president of Motorsports at General Mills. "Richard exemplifies everything that Cheerios stands for - excellence, trust, family and giving back to community - and we're pleased to be able to celebrate his legacy in such a special way."

Retired from racecar driving since 1992, Petty remains in the record books as one of stock car racing's most competitive and successful drivers. The King's records of 200 victories, seven championships, seven Daytona 500 victories, 1,185 lifetime starts, 126 career poles, most laps completed, laps led, races led and miles led still stand today.

In addition to a winning performance on the track, The King has been a fan favorite since his rookie season in 1959. He is a nine-time NASCAR Most Popular Driver award winner and is still often seen signing autographs and attending charity events.

Recognizing The King's many charitable endeavors through the years, General Mills is donating $43,000 in honor of Richard Petty 43's to Victory Junction Gang Camp. Founded by the Petty family in honor of Adam Petty, Victory Junction Gang Camp will serve kids with chronic or life-threatening illnesses. Slated to open in 2004, Victory Junction Gang Camp will be a member of Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camps.

Cheerios and Betty Crocker continue to be the primary sponsors of Petty Enterprises legendary No. 43 Dodge for the 2003 season. Other General Mills brands that serve as associate sponsors include Pop Secret, Grands!, Chex, Hamburger Helper and Pillsbury. The 2003 season marks the seventh year that General Mills' brands have been part of NASCAR and the fourth season of sponsorship with Petty Enterprises.

General Mills is a leading global manufacturer and marketer of consumer food products. Its global brand portfolio includes Betty Crocker; Pillsbury; Green Giant; Old El Paso; and more. It also has more than 100 U.S. consumer brands including Cheerios, Wheaties and other Big G cereal brands; Yoplait and Colombo yogurts; Betty Crocker desserts and dinner mixes; Betty Crocker and Nature Valley snacks; Totino's frozen pizza and snacks; and Progresso ready-to-serve soups. General Mills is also a leader in the bakeries and foodservice business as a major supplier of baking and other food products to the foodservice and commercial baking industries. For more information, visit our web site at www.generalmills.com.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Paul Newman , Richard Petty