Almirola locked for No. 10 ride at Stewart-Haas

Kellye Arnign/True Speed PR

By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

KANNAPOLIS, N.C— Stewart-Haas Racing has announced that Aric Almirola will be joining the organization in 2018 to become the driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion, replacing Danica Patrick.

“This is the opportunity every racer wants,” Almirola said. “Stewart-Haas Racing is an experienced organization with a lot of depth, great technical support from Ford, and staffed with racers from top to bottom. They lean on each other, challenge each other and make each other better. I’m really looking forward to being a part of that.

Almirola, current driver No. 43 Smithfield Ford Fusion at Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM), has been in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series full-time since 2012 with RPM. In six full-time seasons, Almirola has only won one race with the organization in the 2014 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. He has 11 top-fives, 31 top-10’s and one pole with RPM.

This could be Almirola’s prime opportunity to show his actual talent. His best finish of 2017 was fourth in the season opening Daytona 500 and the Spring Race at Talladega. Almirola believes this shot at Stewart-Haas is “hands-down” his best opportunity to showcase his talent.

Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, has always saw the potential Almirola has had and believes he is an excellent fit into the Stewart-Haas mold.

“I’ve known Aric since 2004 and have always been impressed with him on the racetrack,” 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.”

Billy Scott will remain as the crew chief of the No. 10. Smithfield will also be on the No. 10 car for the entire 2018 season.

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