This shows that nasty words and hard feelings can be overcome.
Just about six weeks after Smithfield Foods left Richard Petty Motorsports — resulting in a nasty war of words on both sides — Smithfield is returning to RPM in 2018.
Smithfield issued a statement to the Sports Business Journal (subscription required) that said:
We’re pleased that there has been a resolution to this misunderstanding. Smithfield has enjoyed its six-year relationship with RPM and like any NASCAR supporter, we want to continue to see the No. 43 car on the track for years to come. Richard is truly a legend in NASCAR — a sport and community of fans that we love and are proud to continue to support in 2018.
That tone is far different from September, when both sides exchanged harsh words.
Petty said he had a handshake agreement with Smithfield to continue sponsorship of the No. 43, but instead, Smithfield announced it was moving its sponsorship money to Stewart-Haas racing. Petty said, at the time, “I come from a time when we did major deals with sponsors like STP on a handshake. I’m sad to see this is where we are now.”
Smithfield fired back, saying it couldn’t stay with Petty because of poor results on the track and that he lied about a handshake deal.
Apparently, that’s now all in the rear view mirror. Adam Stern of the SBJ, in a series of tweets, said the Smithfield-RPM relationship will take a new form, and will still become a major sponsor for Stewart Haas,