In a series of tweets, Smithfield Foods has announced it will leave Richard Petty Motorsports, and take its sponsorship money to Stewart-Haas racing.
The move had been rumored since this weekend, when a sponsorship deal Richard Petty Motorsports fell apart over RPM’s insistence that Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. drive the No. 43, which could force out Aric Almirola — a driver Smithfield has a sponsored since 2012.
Now, the dominoes will start to fall. Will Almirola follow Smithfield to SHR, and if he does, what car will he drive? There’s already speculation that he’ll take over the No. 10, which would effectively put an end to the very popular Danica Patrick’s career.
This is how that could happen:
Smithfield moves to Stewart-Haas.
Smithfield, as part of its deal, wants Almirola.
Almirola takes the No. 10, which currently has no sponsor for next year — a car that Patrick has already acknowledged she could lose.
Stay tuned. As Smithfield says, it will have more details of the deal soon.