Aric Almirola to replace Danica Patrick at Stewart-Haas Racing next season, report says

Smithfield Foods will make the move to Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) next season and it appears Aric Almirola will too. 

According to Motorsport.com, Almirola will replace Danica Patrick in the No. 10 SHR Ford next season. An official announcement will be made Wednesday and it’s expected Smithfield Foods will be Almirola’s primary sponsor as they have been the past six seasons at Richard Petty Motorsports. 

With Almirola moving on, Darrell Wallace Jr. will drive the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports car next season. Patrick’s future in NASCAR remains unclear. 

Patrick never won in the No. 10 car at SHR, leading 64 laps with seven top-10 finishes in just under five full seasons. Almirola hasn’t fared much better, recording one win in 241 Cup Series races but does have a better average finish than Patrick this season (19.3). 

SHR is in a bit of limbo sponsor-wise for next season. While the team didn’t pick up Kurt Busch’s 2018 option, it expects him back, hopefully with Monster Energy as the sponsor of the No. 41 team. Clint Bowyer still needs a primary sponsor.

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