Danica Patrick Leaving Stewart-Haas Racing

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Patrick has 180 Cup Series starts on her resume, with at least 10 more coming with SHR as the 2017 season concludes. Clint Bowyer and Kurt Busch both need sponsorship on their cars, too.

"She has never backed down from a challenge", Stewart wrote on his Facebook page.

"It has been my honor to drive for Tony Stewart, Gene Haas and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing for the past six seasons", Patrick stated on Facebook Tuesday afternoon". She is the only female competitor to start on the pole for the Daytona 500, NASCAR's season-opening and most prestigious event. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs.

Winning the IndyCar race in Japan in 2008 and becoming the highest-finishing woman in Indianapolis 500 history with a third-place run in 2009, Patrick began her transition to stock cars in 2010. "She loves the competitiveness of it and has been doing it for a long time, so I think if it was up to her she would try getting in a competitive auto and keep going out and competing", Stenhouse said Wednesday.

Patrick, 35, is still searching for her first top-five finish after five seasons behind the wheel of the No.10 Ford.

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"I wish SHR the best of luck with their new sponsorship and driver". Smithfield's numerous discussions with RPM over the past several months focused exclusively around one issue: RPM's inability to deliver on the track and the organization's repeated failure to present a plan to address its lack of competitiveness.

Kevin Harvick noted Wednesday that Patrick's performance likely played into her current predicament. 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. The two are teammates at SHR and Harvick has tried to help Patrick over the years. She will likely, once again, finish last among drivers who drive for top-tier teams this season. However, SHR's comment on the announcement later hinted that there will be a new driver within the four-car team next year.

While SHR got Aspen Dental to increase its number of races with Patrick, the team found itself this summer trying to sell races for Patrick for just 2018 because it appeared there was little chance of Patrick and SHR wanting to continue racing together beyond next season.

Matt Kenseth, meanwhile, said he's not a candidate to replace Patrick and he believes SHR already has a driver in line for the No. 10 Ford.

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