Almirola, 37, will full the 2022 season driving the No. 10 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing with longtime sponsor Smithfield Meals after which step away following the No. 6 season finale at Phoenix.
“I really get pleasure from driving race automobiles and I’m excited to race my coronary heart out in 2022 for Smithfield and Stewart-Haas Racing,” Almirola mentioned. “However to be one of the best on this enterprise, you’ve bought to be egocentric, and for the final 37 years my life has all the time revolved round me and what I wanted to do.
“I wish to be current. I wish to be one of the best husband and father, and that to me means greater than being a race automotive driver. So, it’s yet one more 12 months the place I’m all in on racing, the place we’ll do no matter it takes to compete on the highest degree.
“However when the season is over, I’ll be able to wave goodbye. I’ve cherished each minute of it, however it’s time for the subsequent chapter of my life.”
Almirola made his Cup Collection debut on 11 March 2007 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, three days earlier than his 23rd birthday. He teamed up with Smithfield in 2012 whereas at Richard Petty Motorsports for his first full 12 months in Cup.
The Smithfield/Almirola partnership is now one of the crucial tenured in NASCAR, and because the duo joined SHR in 2018, Almirola has represented Smithfield within the NASCAR playoffs yearly and scored two wins – 2018 at Talladega Superspeedway and 2021 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure to have Aric as a part of our Smithfield Household for greater than a decade now,” mentioned Shane Smith, president and CEO, Smithfield Meals. “Along with being an extremely proficient racer and devoted household man, Aric embodies Smithfield’s values and has embraced our dedication to do good for our clients, staff and communities. He’ll all the time be household.”
Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Smithfield
Picture by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images
Almirola and his spouse, Janice, have two youngsters and determined it was time to focus extra on their household.
“Janice and I’ve spent many nights speaking about it and the questions are the identical as anybody else would have while you’re going to cease doing one thing. Can I afford it? The reply I saved developing with is that I can’t afford to not. Will I remorse it? I believe I’ll remorse it if I don’t,” Almirola mentioned.
A winner throughout all three divisions
Almirola’s greatest seasons have include SHR. He completed a career-high fifth in factors in 2018 and scored a career-best 18 top-10 finishes in 2020.
All through his NASCAR careers, Almirola has received three Cup races, three Xfinity Collection races and has two wins in Vans.
“I’ve watched Aric become a very good race automotive driver and it was a proud second after we had been capable of convey him to Stewart-Haas Racing,” SHR co-owner Tony Stewart mentioned. “He’s actually delivered for our race group and for Smithfield, all the time placing in most effort. I do know he needs to exit on a excessive notice and we’re going to present him all of the sources to succeed.”
Almirola mentioned he has “no regrets” from his NASCAR profession.
“Do I want I might’ve received extra races? Certain, and there’s nonetheless a chance this 12 months. Do I want I might’ve received a championship? Certain, and I’ve bought loads of drive to make that occur this 12 months. I’m a aggressive individual,” he mentioned.
“I wish to win and I wish to be a champion, however on the finish of the day, I do know that these issues imply approach lower than being there for my household. I made it to the best degree of American motorsports as knowledgeable race automotive driver.
“It’s been wonderful, with loads of ups and downs and all the things in between. I wouldn’t commerce it for the world. However I’m prepared to return to being a fan.”