SMITHFIELD, Va. – Smithfield Foods announced plans to expand its partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports to include primary sponsor of the No. 43 Ford.

The sponsorship will cover 25 events during the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Smithfield Foods and its Eckrich, Farmland, Gwaltney and Smithfield brands will participate as primary sponsors throughout the year, according to the company. Aric Almirola will drive the No. 43 Ford.

"We are thrilled to come back as a partner of Richard Petty Motorsports, Aric and the No. 43 team this season," said Joe Luter IV, executive vice president of Smithfield. "We were very pleased with the value that the partnership provided us and our customers in our first year together. We are already working hard to make our race program better this year."

The season will begin with Smithfield Packing aboard the No. 43 Ford at Daytona International Speedway for The Sprint Unlimited Feb. 16 and the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24.