Aric Almirola to join Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018
CONCORD, N.C. -- Stewart-Haas Racing announced Wednesday that Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series veteran Aric Almirola will join the four-team organization in 2018.
Almirola will replace Danica Patrick in the No. 10 Ford, replacing Danica Patrick, and will bring sponsor Smithfield Foods over from Richard Petty Motorsports. In 212 starts behind the wheel of Petty's iconic No. 43, Almirola has one career victory, which came in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona in 2014.
"I've known Tony Stewart since our time together at Joe Gibbs Racing," Almirola said in a release. "I know what he expects and he knows my commitment. I can't thank him and Smithfield enough for believing in me and providing this opportunity."
The Tampa, Florida native has three top-five finishes in 2017 with a best finish of fourth at Talladega Superspeedway. Almirola missed seven races due to a back injury he suffered at Kansas Speedway in May. Since returning at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July, Almirola has one top five and one top 10.
"I've known Aric since 2004 and have always been impressed with him on the race track," said Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Tony Stewart. "I've raced with him and seen him mature into a really good racecar driver. He can compete for wins here at Stewart-Haas Racing and help our other drivers compete for wins. He's an excellent fit for this team and for Smithfield."