Danica Not Returning to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018

Danica Patrick revealed on her Facebook page Tuesday that she will not be returning to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018.  Her post came just hours after S-H-R announced that Smithfield Foods would be joining the organization next season to sponsor an unnamed driver and team.  In nearly five full seasons behind the wheel of the Number-10 Monster Energy Series entry, Patrick has failed to qualify for the post-season playoffs and never finished higher than twenty-fourth in the point standings.  She ended the 2017 regular season twenty-eighth with a best finish of tenth in her twenty-six starts … And speaking of the Smithfield Foods announcement from earlier in the day on Tuesday, the Virginia-based company is currently sponsoring the Number-43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford for Aric Almirola.  Team owner Richard Petty was not pleased with the day’s developments.  A statement from Petty was released late yesterday afternoon, confirming that Almirola would not return in 2018 and reading, in part: “Over the past few months, Smithfield had continually told me they wanted to be with us and I recently shook hands on a deal to extend our relationship.  I come from a time when we did major deals with sponsors like S-T-P on a handshake.  I’m sad to see this is where we are now.  This decision is unexpected, and we are extremely disappointed in this late and abrupt change of direction.”


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