Danica Patrick's sponsor deal with Nature's Bakery not confirmed for 2017
Danica Patrick caused a bit of a buzz at the NASCAR Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway when she showed up without the name of sponsor Nature’s Bakery on her racing uniform.
As it turns out, Nature’s Bakery has not yet been confirmed to return to Patrick’s No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing entry for a third season.
A team spokesman confirmed that SHR and the sponsor do not yet have a deal finalized for this year.
“Nature’s Bakery and Stewart-Haas Racing are in discussions about how the sponsorship might look in 2017. Both sides have options, and it’s a matter of determining what is best for both parties,” the team said in a statement.
“Stewart-Haas Racing remains focused on its preparation for the 2017 NASCAR season where it will again field four entries in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series while also introducing a full-time NASCAR XFNITY Series team.”
Patrick has pushed the Nature's Bakery brand and often posted photos of herself eating gluten-free fig bars as snacks. The Nevada-based food brand replaced Patrick's longtime sponsor, GoDaddy, and used its signature tagline, "Energy for Life's Great Journeys," on Patrick's car.
Patrick has 154 starts at NASCAR's top level, with six career top-10 finishes. She won the pole for the Daytona 500 in 2013, and finished 24th in the standings the last two seasons. She led a career-high 30 laps last year.
She's twice led laps in the Indianapolis 500, finished a career-best third in that race in 2011, and won her only IndyCar race in 2008, in Japan.
Nature's Bakery is one of the smallest primary sponsors in NASCAR, with fewer than 500 employees in the United States. The company's products are sold in all 50 states and 22 countries.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.