Danica Patrick is probably the most famous sports loser in the world, but now she’s lost something other than the 36 NASCAR races she will almost certainly yield to superior drivers this year. Patrick’s primary car sponsor, Nature’s Bakery, has decided they don’t give a flying fig about NASCAR racing anymore and left Patrick and her team on the hook for $15.2 million to field a car this season.
And “this season” begins on Feb. 26, exactly 19 days from now. So this is some bad news.
I know what you’r thinking. “Nature’s Bakery? How can a company I’ve never heard of who makes products I would never eat feel suddenly reticent to spend more than $30 million over the next two years advertising to a TV audience consisting mainly of the toothless mutant family from The Hills Have Eyes?”
I know that watching automobiles go quickly in a circle makes me want to smash a non-GM, cholesterol-free, dairy free, kosher, whole wheat and gluten free fig and grain brownie into my face hole. I mean, dammit. I’m an American.
But Nature’s Bakery evidently didn’t feel it was getting a return on its raspberry fig investment and hasn’t made a payment to the team this year. Patrick’s Car owner, Stewart-Haas Racing, has sued for the $31.7 million Nature’s Bakery still owes them for the two years left on the deal.
Stewart-Haas has filed a $31.7 million dollar lawsuit against Danica Patrick's primary sponsor Nature's Bakery https://t.co/fHlCsH8f3C
— Racing News (@RacingNewsCo) February 4, 2017
Nature’s Bakery claims they can get out of the deal because Patrick promoted other healthy foods from other companies on her Instagram page. Foods that Nature’s Way doesn’t actually make, like protein powder and spinach smoothies. Neither of which are bars or contain figs and, without figs, can’t produce that giant toilet full of turds Nature’s Way is all about.
When Patrick was posting about her protein power choices and grilled cheese lunches, Nature’s Way put the Instagram “like” on all of them, presumably while playing with their phone on the shitter.
Ford Motor Company has stepped in to ensure Patrick will be able to field a car while the suit is in place.
“…We’re going to let that unfortunately play out through the court system and see how it works out,” Ford’s Dave Pericak said Monday. “I’m hopeful that we’re going come to a resolution on that, but at the end of the day what I can say is that you have my commitment and the commitment of Stewart-Haas Racing and everyone that’s involved that it is not going to affect our ability to hit the track and run that car and run it the way that it needs to be run. …But one way or another I can just tell you that you will have that 10 car (Patrick) on the track and it will be ready to perform.”
— Nascar World (@NascarWorldNews) February 8, 2017
Nature’s Bakery is one of the smallest companies to ever sponsor a big-time NASCAR team. According to Fox News, they have less than 500 employees in the United States. Stewart-Haas Racing alleges in their suit that one of the reason Nature’s Bakery is trying to back out of their agreement is recurrent mold issues with their product. So it’s not just the figs giving you diarrhea.
Patrick has never won a NASCAR race, but she’s a decent enough driver. Her lone major racing win came in 2008 in the IndyCar Circuit, and in 2009 she finished fifth in the standings. She hasn’t run IndyCar since 2011.
Patrick had a pole in 2013 in the Cup Series and finished last season ranked No. 24, with two Top 10 finishes. She’s finished in the Top 10 six times with the big dogs of NASCAR and seven Top 10s in the Xfinity minor league series.
So she’s good enough to race and deserves a car and a better sponsor. Obviously famous because she’s a woman and a legitimately attractive woman at that, but sponsorship is all about marketing and it shouldn’t be too much trouble to find some kind of product that would appeal to Trump Country to paint onto her car and emblazon across her boobs.
That’s why Ford is footing the bill while SHS and Patrick are in litigation with Nature’s Bakery. Some other sponsor will come in, buy Patrick off Nature’s Bakery and solve this whole problem. It could be as soon as next week. I’d all but guarantee it will happen before the Daytona 500.
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