By Kenny Bruce | NASCAR.com
Smithfield Foods, the primary team sponsor for the Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 Ford with driver Aric Almirola, will not return to the organization in 2018 and instead join Stewart-Haas Racing, according to a post Tuesday morning on the company’s Facebook page.
“We are excited to announce today that Smithfield Foods will join Stewart-Haas Racing as a primary team sponsor beginning in 2018,” the post stated. “The decision to leave Richard Petty Motorsports and join Stewart-Haas Racing was difficult but we feel this move will improve our competitiveness on the track and strengthen our position as a leading consumer packaged goods company.
“Further details of our agreement with Stewart-Haas Racing will be provided at a later date.”
Smithfield has been affiliated with RPM in a sponsor role since 2012.
SHR officials confirmed the addition of Smithfield to its sponsor lineup for the four-team organization. According to a team release, 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 fields Ford entries for drivers Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer and Danica Patrick.
“We’re very proud to have Smithfield Foods join the Stewart-Haas Racing family,” SHR President Brett Frood said in the statement.
“Smithfield has activated heavily and successfully within the sport, and we’re honored to be a part of the brand’s forward initiatives and strategy. 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.”