Smithfield Foods splits with RPM to join Stewart-Haas Racing for 2018

Again, not promising and not exactly the results sponsors want to get behind. In her 170 starts with SHR, Patrick has seven top-10 finishes and one career pole. Patrick denied the product was a competitor to anything Nature’s Bakery sold.

“It takes people”, Patrick said. She launched a clothing line in January and has a book coming out next year. It has her positioned for a second career at the age of 35 if she chooses. She competed part time in the Xfinity Series in 2010 and 2011 while also competing full time in IndyCar before going full time in NASCAR racing with JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series in 2012. 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. The law of least resistance – just let it go, stop trying to force and have in your heart what you want and just work really hard at what you’re doing. It’s fun to get to see her away from the track. “Have come to accept that mankind never knows or appreciates what it has until its gone. She loves the competitiveness of it and has been doing it for a long time, so I think if it was up to her she would try getting in a competitive auto and keep going out and competing”, Stenhouse said Wednesday. From what she has said in the past, she would miss the competition and the challenge. She has a lifestyle brand that can expand into countless media properties once she’s done with racing.

But there is more to the SHR story. Smithfield may want Aric Almirola, now driving the iconic No. 43 at Petty Motorsports, along for the ride.

The news is a blow to RPM, which is also losing driver Aric Almirola.

Further details of Smithfield’s agreement with SHR will be provided at a later date.

If SHR were to bring in a new driver, it would have no shortage of options.

In the past few months, Patrick has hinted at the possibility of not racing full-time next year.

The immediate impact of the Patrick/Almirola put more dominos in play for NASCAR’s silly season. Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne are notable free agents who could replace Busch or Patrick. According to RPM, Smithfield Foods – Almirola’s sponsor – “continually told me they wanted to be with us, and I recently shook hands on a deal to extend out relationship.[and] we are extremely disappointed in this late and abrupt change of direction”.

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