With Smithfield Foods and Richard Petty Motorsports settling their differences, it looks like announcements for the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Fusion will happen next week. Aric Almirola is rumored to be the No. 10 driver for 2018.
Almirola makes sense with his existing connection to Smithfield Foods at RPM. RPM has already made an announcement for their 2018 plans, putting Darrell “Bubba” Wallace in the No. 43 for 2018.
The Florida native, Almirola, 33 has one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career victory — winning the July 2014 Daytona race. Almirola currently has 241 Cup starts. He also has three career victories in the Xfinity Series and two in the Camping World Truck Series.
SHR has scheduled a press conference for the morning of Wednesday, November 8. The race team also has scheduled an appearance with owner Tony Stewart, the new driver, and sponsor Smithfield Foods at their Kannapolis, NC facility for select fans at 4:30 the same day.
That event is being called the “Smithfield Meet and Eat,” and includes a fan Q&A with Stewart and the new driver, a photo opportunity and autograph session with Stewart, and the new driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford. Attendees will also get the opportunity to pre-order the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion die-cast from Lionel Racing that will be autographed by both Stewart and the new driver, projected to be Almirola.
Announcement of the No. 10 driver will partially solidify the 2018 driver lineup at SHR. Drivers Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer are both back for the 2018 season. But Stewart-Haas Racing has yet to finalize its plans for the No. 41 and Kurt Busch.
Source: ESPN.com – Aric Almirola to replace Danica Patrick at Stewart-Haas Racing