Stewart Haas Racing announced ahead of this weekend’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Raceway that Aric Almirola will remain in the No.10 Smithfield Foods Ford Mustang in the NASCAR Cup Series after signing a multi-year contract extension.
Speaking about the new agreement, Aric Almirola commented saying:
I’ve learned a lot this year and perhaps the biggest learning was to never say never. “I came into this year ready to soak everything up, and I have. I already knew I had the coolest job in the world, but being with my family and being there for Janice and Alex and Abby was really important. My desire to compete and win never wavered, but I didn’t want it to come at the expense of family. We found a way to accommodate both and I’ve never been happier.
“Smithfield is a big part of that. They’ve been a part of my life for 11 years and, really, my entire NASCAR Cup Series career. They’re family to me. And, of course, it’s always nice to be wanted. Smithfield wanted me to continue representing them. Stewart-Haas Racing wanted me to continue driving their racecars. Everything just aligned and it’s something we all embraced.
“The original decision to step away from fulltime racing at the end of the season was a family one, and so is this decision. Janice, Alex and Abby are just as excited as I am to continue racing the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang.
Shane Smith, president and CEO, Smithfield Foods commented saying:
Aric has been a part of the Smithfield family for more than a decade and we’re very happy to have him back in the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang. “Just as Aric discovered new ways to enjoy this sport, Smithfield did too. I was at this year’s Daytona 500 with him and it was electric. NASCAR is exactly where we need to be. It’s where our customers are, and no one reaches them better than Aric Almirola. He’s an incredibly talented racer and devoted family man who embodies Smithfield’s values. From day one, Aric has embraced our commitment to do good for our customers, employees and communities. This is a reinvestment in Aric, in Stewart-Haas Racing and in NASCAR.”
Stewart Haas Racing team co-ownwer Tony Stewart commented saying:
All of us at SHR are very happy to have Aric back in our Smithfield Ford Mustang,” Stewart said. “I’ve always admired Aric because he’s always working to better himself, to find a better way. This year is proof of that.
“We’re in a tough sport, in terms of the competition and in terms of the commitment it takes to compete at this level. Even with all that, Aric has found a way to compete and enjoy life. That sounds simple, but achieving it is hard, yet Aric makes it look simple. It’s one of his many attributes, and it’s one of the many reasons why he’s such a good fit for Smithfield and for us. I’m proud of him and proud to extend our partnership with Smithfield.”
Aric Almirola starts tonight’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona from 27th.