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NASCAR Cup: Smithfield to dump Richard Petty Motorsports at season’s end

No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford of Aric Almirola (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford of Aric Almirola (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Richard Petty Motorsports’ contract negotiations with sponsor Smithfield have fallen through, according to a report from Motorsport.com on Sunday morning. As a result, Smithfield will not be on the hood of the No. 43 RPM Ford entry in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series next year.

According to the report, negotiation talks between race team and sponsor slowed when Richard Petty Motorsports suggested a driver change for the No. 43, replacing Aric Almirola with Darrell Wallace Jr. Wallace filled-in for Almirola behind the wheel of the No. 43 in four races earlier this year when Almirola was sidelined by a back injury. Wallace finished 11th in the fourth of those races at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, his fourth-career start in the series.

Speculation has Smithfield heading to Stewart-Haas Racing for 2018. That currently-four-car race team is searching for sponsorship for multiple cars and the futures of two of its drivers — Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick — with the team are in doubt.

Smithfield became a sponsor of Richard Petty Motorsports the same season Almirola joined the team — 2012. In that time, Almirola has one win. Some of the same speculation that has had Smithfield going to SHR also has Almirola landing there.

Several other drivers’ plans beyond 2017 are unknown. Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne also are without confirmed rides for 2018.

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on September 10, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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