Aric Almirola announced that he will be retiring from the NASCAR Cup Series following the 2023 season. Aric’s long-time primary sponsor Smithfield will also be exiting the sport.
Aric has collected 3 wins in 12 full-time cup series seasons. He will be leaving the number 10 Stewart-Hass racing Ford open for other prospects next season.
You Need to Know:
- Almirola’s retirement has been rumored for much of the 2023 season.
- Long-time sponsor, Smithfield Foods, considered to play a pivotal role in his decision-making, will also be leaving the sport with Almirola.
- There are still many unanswered questions, including his replacement in the SHR No. 10 (Noah Gragson is the rumored replacement), as well as the funding behind the car.
Aric made the announcement on X (formerly known as Twitter). Aric mentions that this decision took a lot of prayer and consideration. He also thanked his racing team SHR and his primary sponsor Smithfeild. Lastly, Almirola explains how grateful he is to have lived out his dream and formed so many friendships along the way.
The Main Characters
Aric has driven for Stewart-Hass Racing full-time since 2018. Aric won 2 of his 3 races with SHR and finished 5th (a career-high) in the point standing in 2018. SHR will need to find a replacement for Aric next season. SHR thanked Almirola for all the memories and accomplishments over the past 6 years.
Smithfield has been the primary sponsor for Aric for his entire cup series career starting in 2012. Adam Stern posted an announcement from Smithfield that they will also be leaving the sport following the 2023 season. Smithfield also thanked him for being a great ambassador and wished Aric and SHR the best of luck moving forward
Around the Garage
49-time NASCAR Cup winner Tony Stewart talked about how proud he was of his driver and mentioned that Aric made everyone around him better. Tony also explains how he had a great relationship with Smithfield and how the company has been a great contribution to NASCAR for years.
Kelly Crandall posted Stewart’s statement on X.
Ford Performance also thanked Almirola for always being a class act.
In the Stands
Daniel Kriete on X thinks that Alimrola has been a very solid driver throughout the years.
Darian Gilliam mentions how Noah Gragson is likely to return to the cup series driving for SHR
Jordan Bianchi also believes that Gragson will most likely be driving for SHR next season.