SMITHFIELD, Va. – Starting this racing season, Smithfield Foods will be a primary sponsor for Richard Petty Motorsports in 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup series events. This year marks the first in a new multiyear partnership recently reached between Smithfield and Richard Petty Motorsports.

Smithfield Foods has a multiyear, integrated partnership with the Richard Petty Motorsports. Smithfield will be using a number of its core brands, as well as promotional initiatives throughout this racing season, to communicate its products as part of its agreement.

Smithfield brands, such as Farmland, Eckrich and Curly’s, will be featured on the No. 43 Ford Fusion, as primary sponsor in 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events — including the February’s Daytona 500, which is the first event of this season. Aric Almirola is the driver and will make his debut in the Richard Petty Motorsports-owned entry at Daytona International Speedway.

Smithfield is no stranger to professional auto racing. One Smithfield initiative, Helping Hungry Homes, is already the primary sponsor for the Daytona 500.

“We had been in discussions internally about entering NASCAR with the Pettys as so many of our customers are true blue fans of the sport and of the Pettys,” said C. Larry Pope, Smithfield president and chief executive officer. “However, with the recent events that have affected the Petty organization, we felt it was only right to step up our efforts now to support them, as well as dedicate time and resources to bring some exciting initiatives with our brands to NASCAR fans.”

Almirola will be driving car No. 43, according to Richard Petty Motorsports.