MORE: Learn more about Nature's Bakery Danica Patrick and Stewart-Haas Racing welcomed a brand new sponsor to NASCAR Tuesday, announcing that Nature's Bakery will be a multiyear primary sponsor on Patrick's No. 10 Chevrolet beginning with a 28-race deal in 2016. Not only is it truly a natural fit between the company and Patrick , the partnership announcement ends a very brief sponsorship search -- by NASCAR standards -- for one of the sport's most famous drivers. Patrick , 33, unveiled the No. 10 Chevy's unique bright blue livery Tuesday at the team's North Carolina headquarters, saying that the car color would stand out on track and joking it "is going to look great against my skin tone." Equally as significant, team co-owner Tony Stewart confirmed a multiyear contract extension for Patrick , who has driven for SHR in all three of her full-time Sprint Cup Series seasons. Sitting alongside Patrick and Nature's Bakery executives, Stewart referred to Tuesday's dual announcements as "a great time in our sport." "I feel like our brands align so perfectly, it's kind of amazing," Patrick said. "I think that journey is going to be really fun. I think there's going to be lots of exciting things that we can do together in the future. "Of course, on top of that, being able to re‑sign with Tony and here at Stewart‑Haas is very important to me. I really, really do feel like family here. I feel like there's nowhere else I want to be. I'm just fortunate enough that I didn't have to look anywhere else, that I get to stay, and that I have a great new sponsor." The Nature's Bakery slogan, "Energy for life's great journeys" couldn't be more apropos with its sponsorship of one of NASCAR's biggest stars. The entrance into NASCAR comes as a great new journey for the family-owned company, which makes a healthy assortment of "on the go snacks" including gluten-free, dairy free and kosher baked goods. RELATED: See Danica's paint scheme for Darlington Patrick said she had already been a fan of the product, which has sales in 22 countries with plans to nearly double that in the next two years. "This is a dream come true,'" said Nature's Bakery founder Dave Marson. "We've been NASCAR fans for 20 years. To be able to take what we do, make better‑for‑you foods, combine that with a love of NASCAR, I mean, this is special. I'm really enjoying this." Marson also acknowledged the company's health-conscious philosophy seems like a genuinely "authentic" partnership with Patrick , who has long been a proponent of a healthy lifestyle from her cooking to her love of yoga, which is well documented through her social media channels. "I've always used that as a way to get to know me off the track," Patrick said. RELATED: GoDaddy to end primary sponsorship after this season "I think all you have to do is look at that and that is what lines up perfectly with Nature's Bakery. It's energy for your journey. It's going out on a hike with (her dog) Dallas, doing Yoga at home, doing CrossFit and needing energy for that. "It's traveling. I mean, I'm always on the road. I always need things that are quick and handy. You guys all know that, too. Spending time on the road, you need snacks. Between that and their open‑mindedness to exploring all different kinds of ways we can work together, they have big dreams and they want to align them with me and make them work with me." It will be the start of a new era for Patrick who has six top-10s and has led 27 laps in 105 Sprint Cup Series starts dating back to a 10-race 2012 season. She most famously won the pole position for the 2013 Daytona 500 , becoming the first woman to do so. Her eighth-place finish in that event is also the best ever for a female competitor in the "Great American Race." This season, Patrick has two top-10s, with a best finish of seventh at Martinsville Speedway in March and is ranked 21st in the standings with three races remaining to set the 16-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoff field. Her goals going forward with Nature's Bakery aren't any different than they were with GoDaddy. "It's to continue to improve," Patrick said. "There's not a marker for that necessarily. I mean, the results just have to keep getting better and better. "For instance, there was emphasis after Indianapolis to get better at race starts. That's just what I've done. It's always evolving. You make something else better, something else shows up. But it's a work in progress. I think that for most of your career as a driver, you continue to get better and learn. "But it's always working in that direction. Sometimes it's moving faster than other times, sometimes moving a little bit slow for what I want. But I think that it is going in the right direction, and that's all I can ask for. WATCH: Danica , Nature's Bakery align 'perfectly ' Off the track, Patrick's nine-year relationship with GoDaddy has been mutually beneficial -- helping make the company a household name while helping propel Patrick to crossover fame, thanks to starring roles in the company's national commercials. Patrick has appeared in 13 Super Bowl commercials -- the most of any celebrity. And it's reasonable for Nature's Bakery -- which has 420 employees and manufacturing facilities in two states -- to expect similar big things in its new relationship with one of the most marketable professional athletes in the world in the country's most popular form of motorsport. "You can look at the size of our company and say we're either the up‑and‑coming guy who is going to be the next Fortune 500 company, and that's what we plan on being," Marson said. "We're taking and leveraging this opportunity with NASCAR, the NASCAR fan base, to look at our products and to grow and become one of those Fortune 500 companies. "We thank Stewart‑Haas Racing and Danica for believing us. We came to them with an idea and a dream. We said, 'We are the new up‑and‑coming company. Look at us and we'll show you what we can do.' They believed in us. "We really look forward to the opportunity."
RELATED: Danica inks deal with new sponsor Nature's Bakery Not to be lost in a week of highly emotional and impactful news of the sport, is the encouraging and positive outcome from the reigning Sprint Cup champion Stewart-Haas Racing . Because what's good for Danica Patrick and good for that team is actually also good for all of NASCAR. Tuesday's announcement that Nature's Bakery will begin a multiyear primary sponsorship of Patrick's No. 10 Chevrolet beginning in 2016, is a significant sign for the sport. It's a fresh start and prime opportunity for this young and ambitious company, and a real indication that NASCAR is considered a thriving destination and viable option for a diverse group of potential corporate partners -- not just for the petroleum, tire and tool brands that have historically laid the foundation. "To have somebody new to this sport, that's a victory on top of a victory, just getting a new partner," Stewart-Haas Racing owner Tony Stewart said Tuesday after the team's formal announcement. "To bring somebody new into the sport, I think that shows the sport is still solid, it's still marketable and we have a lot of good things going on in this series." Even the way this partnership materialized feels serendipitous. The bakery's two production facilities in St. Louis and Nevada use products supplied by Haas Automation, SHR co-owner Gene Haas' company. The company executives are longtime NASCAR fans and ... one relatively innocuous conversation between a bakery representative and a Haas representative led to another, which led to a Patrick "taste test," which rather quickly led to a multi-million dollar sponsorship deal between an up-and-coming company and one of the country's most marketable professional athletes. "Roughly about 100 days from beginning to end," said Nature's Bakery co-founder Dave Marson, who called it a "kind of a crazy idea that we've made reality here today." Marson explained, "We flew out, we met with Tony and Danica and instantly we knew that this was right. We were honest with them and said, 'Hey, we're not Coca-Cola. If you're looking for Coca-Cola, if you're looking for General Mills, you've got the wrong people, but if you believe in an up-and-coming brand in a category that's growing, we're your guys.' "They believed in us." MORE: Herman Unplugged: Danica deal proves sport's strength In many ways Nature's Bakery -- which started as a family-owned bakery and now bakes and sells healthy snack bars in 22 countries -- embodies exactly the kind of spirit and fundamentals that NASCAR fans embrace. The fact that it's a family-owned American company with 420 employees -- not 50,000 -- is a concept well received. This is a sport whose fans appreciate the underdog and cheer for those putting in the hard work. "This is the next natural level and evolution of our brand," said Marson. "It brings us to the forefront. It lets us play with the big boys now, so we're ready for it." On a practical level, this buoys Patrick's confidence in her pursuit of NASCAR success and it allows SHR to continue its focus on defending its 2014 championship run with one less major distraction. And for Patrick and Stewart, sealing a deal between them was the only option considered. "I just think it makes everything seamless to where we're just continuing business as usual," Stewart said. "There's no change; she just gets to keep building on what she's been doing up to this point with us. For us, it's the same deal, too, we don't have to worry about a transition." Added Stewart, "We continue to see progress in her. "Everyone puts so much pressure on her that everything that she does -- or if she makes a mistake -- it's magnified by everybody, so I think considering that, she's done a pretty damn good job up to this point."
RELATED: Watch the press conference here on Tuesday Stewart-Haas Racing driver Danica Patrick will have a press conference at 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday, the team announced Sunday in a press release. The event will also be live streamed on NASCAR.com. See the link above to bookmark the location. On Monday, Danica offered a sneak peek at a paint scheme on Twitter . Through 23 races this season, Patrick has two top-10s in her No. 10 Chevrolet. Earlier this year, she earned her sixth career top-10 finish, the most by a female driver in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history. RELATED: Learn more about Danica's SHR team
NASCAR.com’s Jonathan Merryman gets you Up to Speed with Danica Patrick as she announces Nature's Bakery as her primary sponsor for 28 races in 2016.
Danica Patrick and team owner Tony Stewart announce a contract extension and a new primary sponsor for the #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet.
Danica Patrick describes how her personal lifestyle matches with her new sponsor, Nature's Bakery. Team owner Tony Stewart aslo reacts to the impact the deal has had on Stewart-Haas Racing.
Eight tweets from around the NASCAR Twitterverse Editor's note: Every Friday, "Tweets you might have missed" will present eight of the best NASCAR-related tweets from the week. 1. Before I put this old thing under lock and key, I just had to try it on. Dads 2001 IROC uniform. pic.twitter.com/SQtUSdGmWG — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) August 23, 2015 2. Cartman went on a diet @Blaney pic.twitter.com/Rbuz70eg1W — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) August 21, 2015 3. Paddle boards have so many uses! ☀️ pic.twitter.com/CLFhGiq94w — Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) August 25, 2015 4. . @KevinHarvick 's little fan wanted to bring him a cupcake from her brother's birthday party. So sweet! pic.twitter.com/07z5DVgBDM — JR Motorsports (@JRMotorsports) August 20, 2015 5. Oh, by the way you may want to invite some friends for dinner! #TeamMcD pic.twitter.com/oQLKIE5Dgg — Jamie McMurray (@jamiemcmurray) August 21, 2015 6. Amen. Goodnight ✌️ pic.twitter.com/Nd2hesmKiq — Michael Waltrip (@mw55) August 21, 2015 7. Warning- I've officially graduated into one of those annoying parents that's telling everyone about their baby's first laugh today. — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) August 27, 2015 8. How fake driving is made, starring @Keselowski https://t.co/9CXOyMnRr8 — Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) August 26, 2015 FAN TWEET OF THE WEEK: If Nature's Bakery made beef jerky. I'd buy it. #NASCAR — Rick Kaufman (@RickKaufman1) August 26, 2015
See the special paint scheme for the Labor Day weekend race MORE SHR DARLINGTON PAINT SCHEMES: Harvick " Stewart " Busch BUY: Tickets for Darlington " Danica die-casts Leading up to the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, Stewart-Haas Racing has been revealing the paint schemes for its four Sprint Cup Series drivers. On Tuesday, SHR revealed what Danica Patrick 's No. 10 Chevrolet will look like at "The Lady In Black." . @DanicaPatrick to honor businesses @GoDaddy keeps "in the black" with special paint scheme for "The Lady in Black." pic.twitter.com/h6SzOWQzXQ — Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) July 21, 2015 In three career starts at the South Carolina track, Patrick has an average finish of 27.0, with her best run coming in 2014 when she finished 22nd. The Bojangles' Southern 500 is set for Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. ET with TV coverage on NBC and radio coverage on MRN and SiriusXM.
Sprint Cup star to work Michigan race, Saturday, 1:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1 RELATED: TV schedule for June 8-14 " BUY: Patrick gear Q: Danica , you will be making your first appearance in the booth during the NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, June 13 (1:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). You are so accustomed to getting ready to drive, any nerves as you prepare to join the broadcast team on FS1? DANICA PATRICK : "I wouldn't really say I'm nervous. I enjoy trying new things, and I'm looking forward to getting in the booth and sharing my perspective with all the fans watching at home." Q: Fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers -- Clint Bowyer , Jeff Gordon , Kevin Harvick , Brad Keselowski -- have already joined the broadcast team as guest analysts this year. Any key takeaways from watching those guys? DP: "Those guys have definitely done a great job so far this year, and it's been great to hear their insight each week as I watched the XFINITY races. I think there are definitely a few things I've picked up from watching each of them, and we'll see how well I can put that to use on Saturday." Q: Your teammate, Kevin Harvick , has been in the booth a number of times this year, has he given you any tips? DP: "Kevin and I talked a bit at Dover a couple weeks ago. I went up to the booth while he was there for the XFINITY race just to see what it was like so I know what to expect this weekend. He showed me a few things and gave me a few pointers." Q: You will be joining the booth with another former driver in Michael Waltrip . What can you expect when working with him this weekend? DP: "Michael is always a fun guy to be around so I expect we'll have a good time up in the booth." Q: Is working in television something that may interest you in the future? DP: "One lesson I've learned is to never say never, and it's always good to explore different things to see what you might like doing so we'll see." Q: The NASCAR XFINITY Series is off to a great start, and has been coined "the series where names are made." Are there any young drivers that you are looking forward to watching? DP: "There's definitely a lot of great talent in the XFINITY Series. I watch most of the races, but I wouldn't say there's any one particular driver that I'm focused on watching -- I'm usually more focused on watching how the race as a whole plays out." Q: The race will be run at one of the fastest races on the circuit, Michigan International Speedway . Are there any specific challenges that track presents for NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers? DP: "Michigan is a wide, fast track. There's lots of room to move around and try different lines. I think it's a momentum track, and you have to focus on being smooth. At the end of the day, the car has to handle well. It has to feel good. It has to be a fast car. I think those are the challenges -- getting your car to handle well and being smooth and consistent, lap after lap, at such a fast track." Q: You started your NASCAR career in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (once called the Nationwide Series). How important was your experience in the series before you made the jump to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series? DP: "Racing in the XFINITY Series was very important to the development of my NASCAR career. Moving over to stock cars from the IndyCar Series was a huge jump for me, and having that time at the XFINITY level really helped prepare me for the move up to the Sprint Cup Series." Q: Can you give an early assessment of your team's performance throughout this season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series? DP: "It's been an interesting year so far. We've had a few tough weekends, and we've also had some races that started out rough, but then we were able to turn things around and ended up finishing pretty well. Daniel (Knost, crew chief) and I are both still relatively green in our current roles and we're still continuing to work on our communication and how we work together as a team." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
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