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Aric Almirola Departing SHR After 2023

Aric Almirola will leave Stewart-Haas Racing after the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, he announced on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Saturday, Oct. 28.

“After much prayer, consideration and conversations with my family, I’m ready for my next adventure,” he wrote.

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Almirola has driven the No. 10 Ford at SHR for the past six seasons. During his tenure with the organization, he has two wins, 18 top fives, 63 top 10s and a best points finish of fifth in 2018, his first year with the team.

But Almirola’s performance slowly declined ever since while the driver expressed a desire to get off the road and spend more time with family. The 39-year-old initially announced a plan to retire in January 2022 only to change his mind months later and sign a new contract. Unfortunately, both SHR and Almirola continued to struggle and with two races remaining, he has just one top five, four top 10s and sits 22nd in the Cup standings.

Almirola did not specify what his plans are for the 2024 season. He becomes the second driver to leave SHR after the 2023 campaign, joining Kevin Harvick. Although Noah Gragson is rumored to be the favorite to replace Almirola, SHR has not yet named a driver for its No. 10.

Smithfield Foods, Almirola’s longtime sponsor, also announced on Saturday that it is departing NASCAR after this season as well.

Smithfield is the second major sponsor to depart SHR after 2023. Anheuser-Busch, which had backed Harvick, will move to Ross Chastain’s No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet in 2024.

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Mark Kristl joined Frontstretch at the beginning of the 2019 NASCAR season. He is the site's ARCA Menards Series editor. Kristl is also an Eagle Scout and a proud University of Dayton alum.

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Echo

And there goes Smithfield. Wonder when Tony and Gene will sell. I bet talks have been going on already.

Carl D.

As much as I dislike Noah, Tony Stewart is probably the perfect boss to settle Noah’s brash ass down. I like that idea; I think despite Gragson’s immaturity, he has tremendous potential. Of course, with Smithfield’s departure, there may be no #10 car next year.

michael hornung

SHR already said they will run 4 cars next year.

TiminPayson

With Smithfield’s departure, it seems like SHR needs a driver to attract sponsorship. I don’t think Noah is that guy.

Skyler

SHR should sell. I think they will lease the #10 charter for a year, then race the #4, 14 and 41 in 2024.

Gene Haas is getting older, Tony Stewart is at the drag strip with his team, so SHR need to sell. RFK and Penske (and FRM and Wood Bros) will be the Ford flag carrier in 2024. I think in 2025, SHR will go back to Chevy.

Echo

If they can get a sucker to pay 40 million, I say go for it. Sell all 4.

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