Danica Patrick revealed on her Facebook page Tuesday that she will not be returning to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018. Her post came just hours after S-H-R announced that Smithfield Foods would be joining the organization next season to sponsor an unnamed driver and team. Smithfield Foods is currently sponsoring the Number-43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford for Aric Almirola. Team owner Richard Petty was not pleased with the day’s developments. A statement from Petty was released late yesterday afternoon, confirming that Almirola would not return in 2018 and reading, in part:
"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 come from a time when we did major deals with sponsors like S-T-P on a handshake. I'm sad to see this is where we are now. This decision is unexpected, and we are extremely disappointed in this late and abrupt change of direction."