Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 1/12/12

CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 23: Hall of Fame inductee Richard Petty speaks during the 2010 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Charlotte Convention Center on May 23, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Richard Petty Motorsports announced Thursday that Smithfield Foods, Inc., has entered into a multiyear partnership with the NASCAR Sprint Cup organization. The company will use a variety of its brands on the No. 43 entry of Aric Almirola as part of a primary sponsorship program for 15 Cup races, including the Daytona 500. In that race, the company's Helping Hungry Homes brand will appear. The program is Smithfield's initiative focused on alleviating hunger across America. "We had been in discussions internally about entering NASCAR with the Petty's as so many of our customers are true blue fans of the sport and of the Petty's," said C. Larry Pope, Smithfield's president and chief executive officer. "However, with the recent events that have affected the Petty organization, we felt it was only right to step up our efforts now to support them, as well as dedicate time and resources to bring some exciting initiatives with our brands to NASCAR fans," said Pope. Team owner and seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Richard Petty said that the partnership is part of a new era for the team. "This partnership with Smithfield Foods is part of the beginning of a new chapter for the No. 43 team," Petty said. "We appreciate that they saw something special in the Petty family and in Richard Petty Motorsports as a whole and made the decision to take the partnership to a higher level right out of the box."
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