Stewart-Haas Racing announced plans Wednesday to add Aric Almirola to its Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team in 2018. The 33-year-old will pilot the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion, replacing Danica Patrick.
Almirola will leave Richard Petty Motorsports at the end of 2017. The Florida native earned his lone cup series win with Richard Petty Motorsports in the 2014 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Almirola also has three wins in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and a pair of wins in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
“I’ve known Aric since 2004 and have always been impressed with him on the racetrack,” said Tony Stewart, who co-owns Stewart-Haas Racing with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas. “I’ve raced with him and seen him mature into a really good racecar driver. He can compete for wins here at Stewart-Haas Racing and help our other drivers compete for wins. He’s an excellent fit for this team and for Smithfield.”
Bubba Wallace had been previously announced to replace Almirola for the 2018 season in the No. 43 at RPM.