Danica Patrick to quit Stewart-Haas Racing team after six seasons

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In fact, just once in her previous four seasons driving for Stewart-Haas Racing has she finished higher than another driver who was driving for a top-tier team, and that was in 2015 when she finished higher than Tony Stewart in the final championship standings. A Wisconsin native who grew up in IL, she is in a long-term relationship with fellow driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who will make his debut in the playoffs this weekend at Chicagoland. "It definitely makes her really happy doing that, so if she didn't have all those other things going on that she enjoyed, I think I would be a little concerned because nobody wants to just quit racing". Will she, however, be back as a full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver in the 2018 season with another team? 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. I'm proud of how hard Danica has worked during her time at Stewart-Haas Racing, and she continues to work hard. "She has never backed down from a challenge", Stewart wrote on his Facebook page.

Early Tuesday morning, Smithfield Foods made it official that the longtime Richard Petty Motorsports sponsor would swap teams and work with Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018.

"She could leave right now and she's made a great impact", Larson said. It is unclear whether Smithfield could sponsor Almirola - sponsorship contracts in NASCAR sometimes contain clauses that prohibit a sponsor to move with a driver - but SHR also has open inventory on the Clint Bowyer auto in addition to the cars now driven by Patrick and Busch.

"I want to continue racing if I have an opportunity to do well", Patrick said August 16. In her 170 starts with SHR, Patrick has seven top-10 finishes and one career pole. RPM's claims of a "handshake deal" to extend our sponsorship are unequivocally and patently false.

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Kevin Harvick noted Wednesday that Patrick's performance likely played into her current predicament. "The impact and the footprint that she has brought to our sport is big".

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. It is possible that Patrick doesn't return to the sport as a driver after this season ends.

That means Smithfield could end up on the auto Patrick has driven. Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne are notable free agents who could replace Busch or Patrick.

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