This was a long time coming, and expected — but leaves out some key details.
Stewart-Haas Racing announced on its website that Aric Almirola will drive the No. 10 Ford and that Smithfield Foods will be the main sponsor.
“I’ve known Tony Stewart since our time together at Joe Gibbs Racing” Almirola said in the press release. 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.”
But there is this — the release doesn’t address whether the deal is for one or more years, and how many years Almirola has signed for, Typically, teams announce a one-year or “multi-year” deal and in the release, it says that Almirola will join the team for 2018.
Maybe that doesn’t mean anything, and the 33-year-old Almirola will continue his long association with Stewart for years to come. Or, maybe it’s just a one-year deal and he’s keeping the seat warm for someone else.. It’s impossible to tell, and Bob Pockrass of ESPN says Stewart wouldn’t address it.
“I’ve known Aric since 2004 and have always been impressed with him on the racetrack,”Tony Stewart, who co-owns Stewart-Haas Racing with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas, said in the release. “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.”