Smithfield shifts racing sponsorship to Stewart-Haas

Danica Patrick Statement on Leaving Stewart Haas Racing

Stewart-Haas didn't announce Patrick's replacement for 2018, though it was also announced Tuesday that the team signed Aric Almirola's current sponsor, Smithfield Foods, for next season. "The decision to leave Richard Petty Motorsports and join Stewart-Haas Racing was hard but we feel this move will improve our competitiveness on the track and strengthen our position as a leading consumer packaged goods company".

The company has been alined with Petty since 2012, winning one Cup race - the 2014 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

SHR did not reveal which of its four cars Smithfield will sponsor.

"Details of the agreement, including the driver who will be added to SHR's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series lineup in 2018, will be provided at a later date", SHR said in a statement. If he moves from the 43 to one of the Stewart-Haas rides - and it could be either the 41 or 10, as Kurt Busch is already in contract limbo and Danica Patrick might be out as well - he could slide right in with a sponsor in tow. Only Harvick has solid sponsorship, and the team has been piecing together backing on its other three cars all season. Both drivers need full-time gigs for next season, so you can't count them out for any potential opening. "Sponsorship plays a vital role in our sport, and I have been very fortunate over the course of my career, but this year threw us for a curve". "Although we're not ready to announce the full details of the program, we look forward to this new endeavor while remaining focused on the upcoming playoffs and putting forth the best effort possible to win more races and contend for another championship".

"We have enjoyed our relationship with Richard Petty over the past five years, but are excited to join SHR and explore new ways to leverage our NASCAR sponsorship", said Kenneth Sullivan, president and CEO. It caused him to miss seven races, and the team is now 25th in the standings.



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