Bizarre Twist Resurrects Danica Patrick’s Sponsorship After $31 Million Lawsuit

Sean Gardner / Stringer

Caught up in a legal battle since the early months of the year, her former sponsor is making an unexpected return to the sport just a day after her team filed a new court document.

Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), the team Danica Patrick races for (and co-owned by Tony Stewart), issued a statement earlier today that sealed the fate of their former $31 million lawsuit against her former sponsor, Nature’s Bakery.

The two had tangled in court over an alleged ‘breach of contract’ lawsuit in which SHR accused Nature’s Bakery of pulling out their partnership prematurely and not paying up for the remainder of the contract. The food maker fired back with a counterclaim stating that they didn’t see the return expected from being Patrick’s main sponsor. Their agreement was just one year old at the time.

Just this week, SHR filed a notice with the court stating they had reached an agreement with Nature’s Bakery, which many believed would just be an out-of-court settlement and Patrick would continue on with her current sponsors, but in a surprising twist SHR released a statement that announced Nature’s Bakery was coming back to NASCAR.

In the statement, SHR revealed that both parties had agreed to come back to the sponsorship table and re-negotiated a new agreement that puts the snack maker back on Patrick’s car for some of the Monster Energy Cup races this year, but also pulls in fellow driver Clint Bowyer and will sponsor him for several races. The exact races in which Nature’s Bakery will make its official comeback as sponsor have not been revealed, but there will be a total of four Cup Series races featuring the snack food company.

Because of this agreement, both lawsuits between the sponsor and racing team have been dropped and the companies seem excited to explore this new partnership.

Read the full statement below courtesy of Jeff Gluck, and watch Danica Patrick’s statement on the conflict in the video.