One of the most polarizing figures in NASCAR will have a different primary sponsor for the 2016 season. During an announcement on Tuesday morning, Patrick announced Nature’s Bakery will come aboard for 28 races next year.
This comes after GoDaddy, Patrick’s primary sponsor during her first three Sprint Cup seasons, said it will pull out of NASCAR. Like any good athlete, Patrick found a way to adapt and bring on a new sponsor that fits perfectly to her lifestyle and fan base.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) August 18, 2015
But with the marketability of Patrick, was there ever any doubt? Earlier this season, Stewart-Haas Racing owner Gene Haas noted he had no concerns.
“We expect her to stay with Stewart-Haas Racing,” Haas said. “We have some very good sponsors that are in the process of signing up. But we knew that. … We told her we wanted her to come back. She’s been very flexible about everything. It all has to happen at the same time. You can’t really sign a driver until you have a sponsor.”
Patrick provided a simply “sneaky peaky” at her new ride and it blew up on Twitter. That’s the star power of NASCAR’s only female driver at the Sprint Cup level.
— Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) August 17, 2015
Her profitability for a company isn’t the only selling point, however. Patrick is breaking down barriers in the sport with her sixth top-10 finish at Bristol Motor Speedway—a record for a female driver. Ironically enough, she’ll get a chance to repeat that success on Saturday at Bristol.
Along with her new sponsor announcement, Patrick also signed a multi-year deal with Stewart-Haas Racing for the future. She called the organization “home” for her during her career and was happy she didn’t have to look anywhere else.
GoDaddy might be gone after this season, but it will be going out with a bang. Darlington Raceway will be the site of one of the best looking paint schemes for Patrick with the “Lady In Black” look SHR unveiled in July.
What the future holds for the team and the Nature’s Bakery sponsor will be interesting to watch. With a new sponsor on board and confidence after a strong run earlier this year at BMS, this weekend could start a great end to the season for Patrick.