Stewart Haas Racing announced on Wednesday that Aric Almirola will drive their No.10 Smithfield Ford Fusion in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2018.

The 33 year old replaces Danica Patrick who announced earlier this season that she would not be returning to Stewart Haas Racing in 2018. Almirola, who has one NASCAR Cup Series victory, three NASCAR Xfinity Series wins and three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins commented on the announcement saying:

This is the opportunity every racer wants. “Stewart-Haas Racing is an experienced organization with a lot of depth, great technical support from Ford, and staffed with racers from top to bottom. They lean on each other, challenge each other and make each other better. I’m really looking forward to being a part of that.


“I’ve known Tony Stewart since our time together at Joe Gibbs Racing. I know what he expects and he knows my commitment. I can’t thank him and Smithfield enough for believing in me and providing this opportunity.

Stewart Haas Racing team co-owner, Tony Stewart commented on the news saying:

I’ve known Aric since 2004 and have always been impressed with him on the racetrack. “I’ve raced with him and seen him mature into a really good racecar driver. He can compete for wins here at Stewart-Haas Racing and help our other drivers compete for wins. He’s an excellent fit for this team and for Smithfield.

John Pauley, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing with Smithfield commented by saying:

This is a great moment for Aric, and Smithfield is very happy to be a part of it because it’s a great opportunity for our company. “Obviously, we strongly believe in Aric’s ability and that of Stewart-Haas Racing, and those abilities transcend the racetrack. They want to consistently run up front and contend for wins, but they’re also very interested in helping us win in the marketplace. This is a strong partnership with outgoing personalities who are driven to succeed.

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