Stewart-Haas files breach of contract suit vs. Danica Patrick's sponsor

From The Marbles
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nascar/nationwide/drivers/1311" data-ylk="slk:Danica Patrick">Danica Patrick</a> was 24th in 2016. (Getty)
Danica Patrick was 24th in 2016. (Getty)

The sponsorship agreement between Nature’s Bakery and Stewart-Haas Racing isn’t ending amicably.

Stewart-Haas has filed a suit alleging breach of contract vs. Nature’s Bakery, which sponsored Danica Patrick for the majority of the 2016 season and had agreed to a multi-year deal with the team.

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“Nature’s Bakery is in material breach of its contract with Stewart-Haas Racing,” a team statement said. “It is an unfortunate situation as the team has delivered on all aspects of its contract and was prepared to do so again in 2017. Ultimately this is a situation that will be resolved in a court of law.

“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 Xfinity Series team. The litigation with Nature’s Bakery will not impact the organization’s on-track efforts.”

According to the AP, SHR’s $31 million suit claims Nature’s Bakery asked to rework the payment schedule for the sponsorship and said that Patrick wasn’t being a good enough brand ambassador for the company. Nature’s Bakery was signed to replace GoDaddy, which left the team after the 2015 season. When Nature’s Bakery came into NASCAR, it was one of the smallest companies with a primary sponsorship in the sport.

According to the suit, Nature’s Bakery told SHR it was terminating the agreement on Jan. 19.

The company was conspicuously absent from Patrick’s firesuit during media days for the 2017 season in January. Patrick took her season pictures wearing a firesuit branded by TaxAct, which sponsored her in a handful of races in 2016.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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