Smithfield Foods' sponsorship of Richard Petty Motorsports will expire at the end of 2017.
SMITHFIELD, Va. – After being aligned with the Pettys and driver Aric Almirola since 2012, Smithfield Foods Inc. has announced it will leave Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) and join Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) as a primary sponsor at the beginning of 2018. The new driver of the SHR Monster Energy Cup car will be named later.

"Leaving RPM and joining SHR was a difficult decision, but one we believe will deepen our connection to NASCAR. We have enjoyed our relationship with Richard Petty over the past five years, but are excited to join SHR and explore new ways to leverage our NASCAR sponsorship,” said Kenneth Sullivan, president and CEO. “SHR has vast resources, both on and off the track, that will improve our competitiveness and strengthen Smithfield's position as a leading consumer packaged goods company. Smithfield will also benefit from SHR's connections with other food companies."

Almirola missed seven races and finished 30th in the regular season standings after suffering a compression fracture in a serious collision at Kansas Speedway earlier this year. Over the course of the relationship with Smithfield and RPM, Almirola has one win (Daytona 2014), nine Top 5 finishes, 27 Top 10 finishes and one pole.