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Danica Patrick out at Stewart-Haas Racing

15 September 2017

Smithfield Foods will no longer be the sponsor of the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford as the company announced Tuesday that it will join Stewart-Haas Racing as sponsor from 2018 after five years with RPM.

In fact, she has never even finished in the top 5 and she has just seven career top 10 finishes, with only one of those coming in the last 90 races.

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. What will shake out of Smithfield Foods leaving Richard Petty for Stewart-Haas? "Thanks for the memories", Patrick continued.

"I have the utmost faith in myself and those around me", Patrick wrote in concluding her statement, "and feel confident about my future". It indicated that there would be a new driver on the lineup. "Our wonderful partners, such as Aspen Dental and Code 3, stepped up in a big way on short notice this year and I am incredibly grateful". Tony Stewart also won a championship in 2011. Patrick never backed down was never a shrinking violet.

Patrick is the only woman racing at NASCAR's top level, and she's also the most accomplished. Her eighth-place finish in the Daytona 500 in 2013 is the best of any woman.

Since her announcement Tuesday, her auto owner Tony Stewart released a statement saying he is supportive of her, and her teammate Kevin Harvick said Wednesday that he hopes she can continue to drive. "My support for Danica is unwavering".

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Patrick has struggled with sponsorship issues recently.

"Quite simply, I just have faith what is meant to be will be", Patrick said August 16 at SHR. "I don't know what's going to happen in 2018, but there's a lot to worry about in 2017 with 10 races go and being in the playoffs". "In NASCAR, you're better off with a group of guys or girls that are working day and night and diligently for you. There's nothing good can come from letting things spiral".

But if 2017 is her past year in NASCAR, and it looks as if it could be, Patrick can find a happy place. In some ways, she's handled the ups and downs of racing admirably.

"I want to continue racing if I have an opportunity to do well", Patrick said August 16.

"I've said for a year or two now, that if running 20th to 25th is something that is going to happen on a regular basis, that's not fun to me, and I don't want to just fill field".

For at least a year, ratings would soar and IndyCar gets what it's been saying it wants all along: A chance to show as many people as possible why it's the world's most competitive racing circuit. And she won't miss the weekends when the auto rolls off the truck, is a beast to drive and doesn't get any better through Sunday.

Danica Patrick out at Stewart-Haas Racing