When Aric Almirola confirmed Saturday what had been rumored for weeks that he wouldn’t return to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2024, he didn’t rule out competing on a limited basis.
“I’d like to not quit cold turkey,” said Almirola, who confirmed he is done racing full-time in NASCAR after this season. “I’d love to still scratch the itch, but just don’t want to do it like I have been doing it for the last 12 years where it’s 38 weeks. I’m not complaining that it’s a grand because I’ve loved it and I signed up for it, but I think, for me, as I look toward the future and what my life looks like, I would like to find a better work-life balance than what I have currently.”
“For 40 years of my life, I’ve focused on just me. I’ve served myself and worried about what’s best for me and what’s best for my career … so as I look to the future, I want to make sure that I’m focusing on trying to help others achieve their goals.”
Almirola raced 16 years in the NASCAR Cup Series and has three wins in 458 starts. He finished top-10 in the championship one time his career—fifth in 2018.
Almirola, who announced in January of 2022 that he was going to call it a career at the end of 2022 before signing on to race for SHR this year, plans to race Late Models “like I used to do when I was a kid.”
“If there’s an opportunity to run a handful of truck races … or run some Xfinity races, I think the door is open,” Almirola says. “I want to stay involved in the industry. The industry has afforded me and my family a wonderful life and I don’t want to just walk away from it.”
Almirola’s sponsor Smithfield is also leaving SHR.