Smithfield Foods leaving Petty Motorsports for Stewart-Haas Racing

Almirola missed seven races and finished 30 in the regular season standings after suffering a compression fracture in a serious collision at Kansas Speedway earlier this year.

Following the news that Smithfield Foods, now sponsoring the Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 Ford Fusion, would be joining Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018, Richard Petty has released a statement.

“Further details of our agreement with Stewart-Haas Racing will be provided at a later date”. Over the course of the relationship with Smithfield and RPM, Almirola has one win (Daytona 2014), nine Top 5 finishes, 27 Top 10 finishes and one pole.

Through a statement on her Facebook page, Patrick says: “It has been my honor to drive for Tony Stewart, Gene Haas and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing for the past six seasons”. The team this year downsized to one Cup auto because of sponsorship.

The new sponsorship agreement Patrick refers to is between Smithfield and the team.

RPM had believed Smithfield would sign an extension to continue as primary sponsor of the No. 43 vehicle and driver Aric Almirola, a relationship that’s been in place since 2012.

Patrick joins a long list of NASCAR drivers without a home for next season, including notable former champions and current playoff contenders Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch.

Petty also confirmed that driver Aric Almirola would not return to the organization in 2018, but the team intends to continue racing, as it has since 1949. Thanks for the memories. “I have the utmost faith in myself and those around me, and feel confident about my future”. The team also said details will be coming on a driver who will be added to SHR’s Cup Series lineup in 2018. In her 170 starts with SHR, Patrick has seven top-10 finishes and one career pole. Prior to her jump to NASCAR, Patrick was the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500 in IndyCar as well as the first woman to race in the series.

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