Almirola, Smithfield Extend Deals with RPM

Aric Almirola

Aric Almirola has signed a multi-year extension to remain at Richard Petty Motorsports. (Photo: Getty Images)

Aric Almirola and sponsor Smithfield Foods have signed multi-year contract extensions with Richard Petty Motorsports, the team announced Wednesday.

The 29-year-old Almirola begins his third full season with RPM. He finished 18th in the points last season with six top-10 results, including a season-best fifth-place finish at New Hampshire.

Smithfield is extending its deal with RPM through 2016. Smithfield and its brands - Farmland, Eckrich and Gwaltney - served as primary sponsor in 25 races last year. Larry Pope, chief executive officer of Smithfield Foods, said the company will sponsor Almirola in 29 races through 2016.

“We’ve got some exciting stuff going on and looking forward to this year,’’ said Almirola, whose extension matches Smithfield's. “They (Smithfield) put a lot into this and they’re really, really committed to both me and the race team. They not only have extended their sponsorship, but they’ve increased their budget as well to help give us the funds we need to go out and perform.’’

It’s been a busy week for Almirola. He took part in the test at Daytona International Speedway last week and his team stayed in Florida to test at New Smyrna Speedway, a half-mile track, afterward.

Almirola has 107 career Sprint Cup starts with three top-five finishes, 12 top-10 finishes and one pole.

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