Danica Patrick out at Stewart-Haas; NASCAR ride in limbo

DAYTONA FL- FEBRUARY 26 Danica Patrick during driver introductions for the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona

"Sponsorship plays a vital role in our sport, and I have been very fortunate over the course of my career, but this year threw us for a curve". Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs.

Patrick, whose participation in NASCAR has always been polarizing given the attention she receives despite her lack of success, closed the post by writing: "I have the utmost faith in myself and those around me, and feel confident about my future". The #10 driver cited sponsorship arrangements as the reason for the departure and did not confirm any plans for next year as of yet. On debut, she took pole position for the Daytona 500, but that would end up being the highlight of her Cup series career.

The sponsorship arrangement that Patrick was eluding to is the deal between Stewart-Haas Racing and Smithfield Foods, who announced today that they would be switching to SHR having previously sponsored the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports vehicle of Aric Almirola since 2012.

RPM had believed Smithfield would sign an extension to continue as primary sponsor of the No. 43 vehicle and driver Aric Almirola, a relationship that's been in place since 2012. She has seven top-10 finishes in 180 career starts and is now 28th in the standings, the lowest in her Cup career.

Patrick burst onto the scene in May 2005 when she stunned the world by leading for 19 laps to become the first woman to score a top-five finish (fourth) in her first Indianapolis 500. SHR landed fig-bar company Nature's Bakery to sponsor Patrick from 2016-18, but the company terminated the deal, SHR sued Nature's Bakery, and they eventually settled.

Petty ripped the company and suggested he was blindsided. "Over the past few months, Smithfield had continually told me they wanted to be with us, and I recently shook hands on a deal to extend our relationship". I'm sad to see this is where we are now. Soon we should know who will claim the seat, and add to this years silly season. He did make NASCAR's playoffs, in 2014, after he won at Daytona in July.

Patrick has struggled this year, and sits 28th in the standings, which would be the worst of her NASCAR Cup career.

RPM is a single-car operation owned primarily by Andrew Murstein, with seven-time Cup champion Richard Petty a minority owner.

"We have had numerous discussions with Smithfield Foods regarding the extension of our relationship dating as far back as February", Petty said.

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