Patrick to part with NASCAR team

Almirola pic

Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced today it will join Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) as a primary team sponsor beginning in 2018.

"Will likely take decades to see anyone even challenge her legacy", Brad Keselowski posted on Twitter. "Making the jump from IndyCar to NASCAR is not easy, yet she had the courage to do so and put up better numbers than a lot of other drivers who have tried to make that same transition".

The 35-year-old Patrick, the only woman to sit on a pole for a NASCAR Cup Series race (the 2013 Daytona 500), has seven top-10s in 180 career starts, all with SHR. One of NASCAR's venerable organizations, RPM has struggled to remain consistently competitive and a lack of funding prompted the team to downsize from two cars to one this season.

Patrick's contract with Stewart-Haas was up at the end of this season, and sponsorship issues - her scheduled sponsor, Nature's Bakery, has been in dispute with the team- have been a concern throughout the year.

"I'm sure they're saying everything from really great to really very bad, and that's just part of my daily life", she said.


"It has been my honor to drive for Tony Stewart, Gene Haas and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing for the past six seasons", Patrick said. This is season is season number five for Danica Patrick in the Monster Energy Cup 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.

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. She earned her way to race IndyCar and proved her worth with a win in Japan and a third-place finish in the Indianapolis 500. But the question remains if she can pull enough partners together to fund a ˜$20 million Cup program. She said Wednesday that she found out earlier this summer that SHR would not field a vehicle for her in 2018 if it could not find sponsorship. She is discussed more than most any other driver not named Dale Earnhardt Jr.

"It's nice to hear, but I've also driven for him for a long time", Patrick said. "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 vehicle and keep going out and competing", Stenhouse said Wednesday.

IndyCar career when she decided to make the jump to NASCAR's top level in 2011.

"I don't deny that I've always been in a good situation", Patrick said.

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