Smithfield extends deal with Stewart-Haas Racing

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Smithfield Foods has extended its deal with Stewart-Haas Racing to sponsor Aric Almirola, the team announced Thursday.

The 2020 season will be Almirola’s and Smithfield’s third season with the team and Almirola’s ninth-full time Cup season. Smithfield has sponsored Almirola since 2012, his first full-time season.

Almirola confirmed Friday at Talladega Superspeedway that he has extended his deal with Stewart-Haas Racing as well. Almirola declined to reveal if the deal matches Smithfield’s extension or the length of his extension.

The announcement comes ahead of the playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway (2 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC), where Almirola earned his first win with SHR last year.

Smithfield has been the primary or co-primary sponsor of Almirola in 25 of 30 races this year.

“I said when I first came to Stewart-Haas Racing that this is the opportunity every driver wants, and I’m obviously very proud to have it continue,” Almirola said in a press release. “Our relationship with Smithfield is strong. From the customers, to the retailers and all of the employees, we take a tremendous amount of pride in representing the Smithfield brand. They’re our biggest supporters and it’s what drives us every time we hit the racetrack.”

Said team co-owner Tony Stewart: “Aric is one of the most focused and determined drivers I’ve ever met, and he’s got the skills to match. He’s taken the opportunity here at SHR and seized it. Keeping him as the driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang was a priority and we’re very happy to have it continue.”

Almirola made the playoffs this year but was eliminated after the first round. He enters Talladega with one top-five finish and 10 top 10s.