Aric Almirola will hang up his helmet at the end of the 2022 season. The 37 year old has three Cup Series victories with his most recent coming at New Hampshire last summer.
Long time sponsor Smithfield Foods will sponsor Almirola for the majority of the 2022 season. Smithfield and Almirola have been partners since 2012 while he drove for Richard Petty Motorsports.
Almirola has 388 Cup Series starts over 14 years. Racking up 26 top five finishes and 84 top ten finishes respectively. 2018 saw Almirola finish a career high fifth in the point standings.
“I truly enjoy driving racecars and I’m excited to race my heart out in 2022 for Smithfield and Stewart-Haas Racing,” said Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang. “But to be the best in this business, you’ve got to be selfish, and for the last 37 years my life has always revolved around me and what I needed to do.
“I want to be present. I want to be the best husband and father, and that to me means more than being a racecar driver. So, it’s one more year where I’m all in on racing, where we’ll do whatever it takes to compete at the highest level. But when the season is over, I’ll be ready to wave goodbye. I’ve loved every minute of it, but it’s time for the next chapter of my life.”
The news of Almirola’s retirement comes after Stewart-Haas Racing announced Ryan Preece would drive for the team in 2022 as a “reserve driver”. Preece is set to run races in all three NASCAR series in 2022.