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Fueled by Bacon: Smithfield Foods Moving to Stewart-Haas Racing

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It’s official: Next year, Stewart-Haas Racing will be fueled by bacon.

The team announced Tuesday morning that it has signed Smithfield Foods Inc., longtime sponsor of the Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 Ford, to instead support SHR next year.

No details yet on what car or what driver Smithfield will sponsor for SHR in 2018. Those announcement will come later. There are plenty of options: SHR driver Kurt Busch is a free agent as are playoff talents like Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne.

Danica Patrick said last month she won’t be back at SHR unless the team can find sponsorship for 2018. So the team has some decisions to make.

“We’re very proud to have Smithfield Foods join the Stewart-Haas Racing family,” said Brett Frood, president, SHR. “Smithfield has activated heavily and successfully within the sport, and we’re honored to be a part of the brand’s forward initiatives and strategy. Although we’re not ready to announce the full details of the program, we look forward to this new endeavor while remaining focused on the upcoming playoffs and putting forth the best effort possible to win more races and contend for another championship.”

The big loser in this announcement is Richard Petty Motorsports, which now must find some sponsor or sponsors to replace Smithfield. The team has already put its shop in Mooresville, N.C., up for lease as it looks for smaller shop space.

Tom Jensen

Tom Jensen is a veteran motorsports journalist. He spent 13 years with FOXSports.com, where he was Digital Content Manager. Previously, he was executive editor of NASCAR Scene and managing editor of National Speed Sport News. Jensen served as the president of the National Motorsports Press Association and is the group’s former Writer of the Year.