Smithfield Foods is moving its primary sponsorship from Richard Petty Motorsports to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018, as announced by both sides Tuesday morning.
The news comes at a good time for SHR, who appears to be in a state of flux when it comes to its drivers and sponsors for next year.
The 35-year-old Patrick had one season left on her contract.
Patrick has spent her entire NASCAR Cup Series career with SHR after racing for seven years in the Verizon IndyCar Series. RPM this year downsized to one Cup auto because of sponsorship reasons, and talks on a contract extension with Almirola stalled when Smithfield began looking at other options. 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. It is very unfortunate and disheartening that RPM has chosen to disseminate false statements regarding our communications to NASCAR fans who we have supported wholeheartedly with more than a $100 million investment in the sport over the last several years. Her eighth-place finish in that race was also the best by a female competitor.
"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", Smithfield said in a statement.
The new driver of the SHR Monster Energy Cup vehicle will be named later. The following season is when she got a full-time ride in the Cup Series driving for Stewart-Haas Racing in the #10 Chevrolet, which is now the #10 Ford. She is now 28 in points with 10 races remaining.
She has not addressed the announcement on other social media outlets.
With Danica Patrick out, who's in?
"I have no interest, as I've said for years now, to run 25th". "I believe in certain things like the law of detachment - detaching from the outcomes that I think are supposed to happen and just like letting things go and letting things flow".
Danica Patrick has driven for one of the top NASCAR Cup Series teams over the past half-decade, and she has still failed to perform at even a somewhat decent level. "Give it your best all the time, every day, don't be too anxious about how it's all going to go and, if it's going to happen, when it's going to happen and just let it go".