Almirola had originally planned to retire at the end of last season but decided to remain at least one more year in SHR’s No. 10 Ford. He has been mulling over a return for the last several months.
Almirola announced Saturday morning on a social media post that he would not return to SHR next season. “After much prayer, consideration and conversations with my family, I’m ready for the next adventure,” he said. “As for the future … Proverbs 19:21.”
Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
The 39-year-old driver did not elaborate on his next adventure but Motorsport.com has learned that Almirola is considering at least one Xfinity offer in 2024 from a top-level organization.
Shortly after Almirola’s post, Tony Stewart, co-owner of SHR, issued the following statement:
“I’m proud of everything Aric has accomplished and am especially proud that his last six years have been with Stewart-Haas Racing. He and Smithfield formed an incredible partnership that resonated on and off the racetrack, and a lot of that is a testament to Aric.
“He always puts forth maximum effort and he makes everyone around him better. Simply put, he’s a great person – an awesome dad to Alex and Abby and an exceptional husband to Janice. I know all of them really well and am genuinely happy for their next steps together as a family.
“Smithfield has been an outstanding partner and a NASCAR staple for more than a decade. Their platform with Aric was a model for the sport and it was an honor to represent them.”
Stewart also confirmed that SHR would remain a four-car Cup program in 2024 and the organization would announce a new driver as well as new sponsors at a future date.
Almirola has made 458 career starts in the Cup Series and driven for SHR since 2018. He has three wins and finished a career-best fifth in the series standings in 2018. He also has four Xfinity wins and two in Trucks.
Almirola missed the playoffs this season and is currently 22nd in the series standings with one top-five and four top-10 finishes and won two poles. His best effort this year was third at the summer Daytona race.