I come from a time when we did major deals with sponsors like STP on a handshake. This decision is very unexpected, and we are extremely disappointed in this late and abrupt change of direction."Losing a sponsor of this magnitude in September is a significant set-back to Richard Petty Motorsports, but Andy (Murstein) and I are committed to moving forward with the #43 team.We have a lot of great partners who have expressed their continued support, and our fans will rally around the #43.

Danica Patrick has known for at least a month that she will end her career next season at the Indianapolis 500, a decision that will bring her full circle and return her one last time to the storied track that made her famous.

Discussing her decision with The Associated Press, Patrick was giddy with excitement and thrilled at the chance to take one more spin around Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Smithfield Foods, Inc.--- Smithfield Foods Facebook page ---Statement by Richard Petty Regarding Loss of Sponsor Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) was recently notified that its current partner, Smithfield Foods, will not return to the team next season. A statement from Richard Petty:"We have had numerous discussions with Smithfield Foods regarding the extension of our relationship dating as far back as February.

Over the past few months, Smithfield had continually told me they wanted to be with us, and I recently shook hands on a deal to extend our relationship.

Investigators also believe Russell falsely called the DEA to claim Stewart’s plane was carrying drugs, leading to a search.

And she called the media, his sponsors and other NASCAR drivers with anonymous “tips.” With that behind him, Stewart can focus on his wedding plans.

The team also competes in the NASCAR XFINITY Series by fielding a full time entry - the #00 Ford Mustang for Cole Custer - and one part-time entry - the #41 Ford Mustang.--- Stewart-Haas Racing / True Speed Communication ---ORIGINAL POST After a handshake agreement between the sponsor and the King, RPM was informed that Smithfield will not return in 2018.

Negotiations had been ongoing since February but talks cooled after the team proposed Darrell Wallace as the new driver for the #43 car.

Russell did say she would stop the harassment because “she didn’t want to get in trouble.” According to court documents, Russell made dozens upon dozens of unsettling or threatening phone calls to Stewart, his mother and his sister.