GoDaddy may be gone, but Danica Patrick is still bringing plenty of attention from sponsors, according to Gene Haas.
The Stewart-Haas Racing owner spoke with Lee Spencer of Motorsport.com about where Patrick currently stands with the association and sponsors. Haas said a new deal will be signed “as soon as possible” with quality sponsors set to jump on board.
“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.”
Haas’ comments coincide with previous reports that SHR is certain it will have a new deal for Patrick for next year.
Patrick hasn’t put up the results of fellow SHR drivers like Kevin Harvick or Kurt Busch, but she has certainly still been in the headlines. As the only female driver at the Sprint Cup level, Patrick draws plenty of attention on and off the track. It’s also evident that fans still love her despite the underwhelming results when she won the fan vote for the Sprint All-Star race.
“Even if her performance is taking longer than we’d like, she has so much consumer demand that it balances it out really well,” Haas said of Patrick’s results. “Every year she gets a little better. She’s better this year than she was last year. So I think she’s kind of improving. Statistically, we see that.”
With two top-10 finishes early in the season at Martinsville and Bristol, it looked like Patrick might have a turnaround season. Since that point, the results haven’t been as favorable. She’s gone 12 straight races without a top 10 and has just two top 20s over that span.
Three years in the sport doesn’t make a career, but results have to come soon for Patrick to be taken seriously by all NASCAR fans. Maybe a new contract and a fresh start with new sponsors will do the trick for Patrick.
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