Danica Patrick out at Stewart-Haas Racing after 2017 — NASCAR breaking

Danica Patrick writes heartfelt Facebook message announcing departure from Stewart-Haas

Danica Patrick writes heartfelt Facebook message announcing departure from Stewart-Haas

Patrick posted a statement on her Facebook page Tuesday saying her time with Stewart-Haas "had come to an end" due to a new sponsorship arrangement for the team next season.

There had been plenty of speculation that Patrick, who had lost her primary sponsor at the start of 2017, would not be able to fulfil sponsorships heading into the 2018 season.

It's been a tough season for Patrick, who is ranked 28th in points aftter 26 of 36 races.

"We're very proud to have Smithfield Foods join the Stewart-Haas Racing family", said Brett Frood, president, SHR.

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Her victory in the 2008 Indy Japan 300 made her the lone woman to win an IndyCar race, and her third place finish in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 is the highest finish in America's premier race by a woman. "Our unbelievable partners, such as Aspen Dental and Code 3, stepped up in a big way on short notice this year and I am incredibly grateful".

Which SHR driver Smithfield will sponsor in 2018 was not announced, though the company indicated in a statement that the team may be changing its driver roster. Right now, my focus is on the remainder of the 2017 season and finishing the year strong. Over the course of the relationship with Smithfield and RPM, Almirola has one win (Daytona 2014), nine Top 5 finishes, 27 Top 10 finishes and one pole. "I have the utmost faith in myself and those around me, and feel confident about my future".

Smithfield had a handshake agreement with RPM for 2018, but has ultimately decided to make the switch to Stewart-Haas Racing.

Petty, the Hall of Fame driver and seven-time NASCAR champion, is no longer the primary owner of his race team. "Over the past few months, Smithfield had continually told me they wanted to be with us, and I recently shook hands on a deal to extend our relationship".

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We are extremely disappointed that Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) has chosen to disparage Smithfield - its lead sponsor - after five years and tens of millions of dollars of unwavering financial support, despite years of subpar performance on the track. I'm sad to see this is where we are now.

"Losing a sponsor of this magnitude in September is a significant setback to Richard Petty Motorsports, but (Murstein) and I are committed to moving forward with the No. 43 team".

If Patrick is done, she will leave a conflicted legacy in the sport.

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