One more piece of the silly season puzzle has fallen into place with the announcement that Aric Almirola will return to drive the number 10 Stewart-Haas Racing car in the Monster Energy Cup Series next season with Smithfield Foods as the sponsor.

Smithfield has been the primary sponsor for Almirola since 2012 and when Almirola moved over to the number 10 team last year, the food company who specializes in pork products came along.

Since joining the four car team of SHR in 2018, Almirola has been a part of the playoffs.

Speaking on the partnership between Smithfield and Almirola, Senior Marketing Director Michael Merritt said, “the Smithfield brand has enjoyed great success with Aric Almirola and Stewart-Haas Racing. It’s a true partnership that performs on the racetrack, with retailers and our consumers. Aric resonates well with them because he’s genuine and, overall, a great ambassador for the company. He has worked incredibly hard to get to where he is today and we’ve been a part of that journey for nearly a decade, and the payoff from all that hard work has been amplified by Stewart-Haas Racing.”

Speaking on his extension with SHR, Almirola said, “I said when I first came to Stewart-Haas Racing that this is the opportunity every driver wants, and I’m obviously very proud to have it continue. Our relationship with Smithfield is strong. From the customers, to the retailers and all of the employees, we take a tremendous amount of pride in representing the Smithfield brand. They’re our biggest supporters and it’s what drives us every time we hit the race track.”

SHR co-owner Tony Stewart spoke on Almirola saying,

Aric is one of the most focused and determined drivers I’ve ever met, and he’s got the skills to match. He’s taken the opportunity here at SHR and seized it. Keeping him as the driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang was a priority and we’re very happy to have it continue.”