Richard Petty Motorsports and STP have released a statement
Smithfield Foods have backed out on a handshake deal with Richard Petty Motorsports.
Earlier today it was announced that Smithfield Foods would depart Richard Petty Motorsports. Indirectly, that announcement also leaked the info that Aric Almirola would be replaced at the team.
The domino effect… It was also announced today that Danica Patrick would not return to Stewart-Haas Racing.
Richard Petty Motorsports has now released a statement. Read the words from Richard Petty himself.
Richard Petty Statement
“We have had numerous discussions with Smithfield Foods regarding the extension of our relationship dating as far back as February. 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.”
“I come from a time when we did major deals with sponsors like STP on a handshake. I’m sad to see this is where we are now. This decision is very unexpected, and we are extremely disappointed in this late and abrupt change of direction.”
“Losing a sponsor of this magnitude in September is a significant set-back to Richard Petty Motorsports, but Andy (Murstein) and I are committed to moving forward with the No. 43 team. We have a lot of great partners who have expressed their continued support, and our fans will rally around the No. 43.”
“We’ve been around since 1949, and we’ll be around a lot longer.”
Sponsor STP Statement
STP has also released a statement regarding the departure of Aric Almirola.
“STP has had the privilege of calling Aric Almirola our driver, STP representative and friend for six years. Aric brought STP back to Victory Lane and into the NASCAR Playoffs and we are grateful for the class has has shown along the way.”
“We wish Aric, Janice and their family the best in the future.”