Patrick won't return to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018

Hope Soto
September 14, 2017

"Our fantastic partners, such as Aspen Dental and Code 3, stepped up in a big way on short notice this year and I am incredibly grateful". "I believe in certain things like the law of detachment - detaching from the outcomes that I think are supposed to happen and just like letting things go and letting things flow".

Smithfield Foods, which has sponsored the No. 43 auto for Richard Petty Motorsports in the past, said Tuesday that it would be joining SHR in 2018.

Of her seven top 10s, Patrick's best result was sixth at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2014. "Or if I don't feel like that's something that will be possible, then I'm OK with that, too".

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

Patrick, 35, now sits 28th in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings, the lowest in her cup career. The team does not have a deal yet with current Daytona 500 victor Kurt Busch, and Busch, Patrick and Clint Bowyer have all had sponsorship difficulties this season.

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"She could leave right now and she's made a great impact", Larson said.

SHR announced earlier Tuesday that it had signed Smithfield as a sponsor but did not say who will drive that auto.

Close friend Kyle Larson said Patrick has nothing left to prove in racing. Smithfield is a performance driven company and we demand performance from the people we do business with. While she showed promise at the start of her tenure as a full-time driver by taking the pole in the 2013 Daytona 500 and finishing in 8th place, she has been anything but a great driver since. Her previous sponsor's Nature's Bakery ended their previous three-year partnership with Patrick after one year following a court dispute where they claimed she had been promoting rival products via social media. She also finished third in the 2009 Indianapolis 500. Harvick is the only fully sponsored driver, with significant gaps on Bowyer's and Patrick's cars. The team could be in the market to replace just Patrick, or both Patrick and Busch. She says she's being dropped due to a "New sponsorship arrangement" for next year.

Patrick is known for being the first woman to lead the Indy 500 (she did so for 19 laps) and the second woman to win a pole position in the Indy Racing League.

Patrick also has increased her activities off the track, including developing a clothing line, Warrior.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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