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."
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
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 Holly Cain hosts live chat with Danica Patrick
In the painful initial minutes after hearing Monday night's news that his good friend and former teammate Justin Wilson had died of injuries suffered in an IndyCar Series racing accident, NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger shared his raw and emotional reaction on social media . "Life isn't fair. We lost one of the great ones today.'' Allmendinger said on Twitter. He accompanied his tribute with a wonderfully telling old photo of himself -- at 5-feet, 6-inches -- standing on a racing tire alongside a smiling 6-foot-4 Wilson. It was so appropriate because Wilson, 37, was a person that Allmendinger -- and so many others -- looked up to figuratively, literally, on-track and off. "Justin was such a quiet guy, and the general public probably doesn't know much about him, so I want to let them know he was such an amazing person,'' Allmendinger said. "I want people to know he was a badass race car driver that, I felt, never got the credit he deserved. But the most important thing is as good as he was on the race track, he was so much better off it." "I truly looked up to him,'' Allmendinger added, acknowledging the pun. While the quiet Brit may not be a super familiar personality to many NASCAR fans, there are plenty of stock car connections to Wilson. Sprint Cup drivers Danica Patrick and Allmendinger competed alongside Wilson in Champ Car and later the IndyCar Series, where Wilson was a seven-time winner. RELATED: Drivers mourn the loss of Justin Wilson Cup driver Michael McDowell and former Cup racer Marcos Ambrose teamed with Wilson in Rolex 24 at Daytona sports car races as did former Camping World Truck Series competitor Max Papis , who also raced against Wilson in the open-wheel ranks. Allmendinger shared a seat with Wilson in five Rolex 24 races, and they were teammates as the long-shot small team Michael Shank Racing won the 50th anniversary edition of the Rolex 24. Wilson finished runner-up in Daytona's 24-hour race in 2010 driving for Cup owner Chip Ganassi. Of course, you didn't have to have know Wilson to appreciate the kind of racer and the kind of person he was. That's evident in the racing community with all the supportive social media tributes and well wishes sent by NASCAR drivers past and present many who never even met Wilson. In the hours immediately after Sunday's accident, three-time Cup champ Tony Stewart sent his plane to transport Wilson's younger brother Stefan to be at his brother's side in the hospital. RELATED: Stewart lends support to Wilson's family In many ways, Wilson's racing career -- and the way he went about it -- spoke much more loudly than the reserved Wilson ever needed to. Allmendinger recalls that he and Wilson were rookies together in Champ Car, except that Wilson was four years older than the young Californian at the time and fresh off a season in Formula One. "I was intimidated by him,'' Allmendinger said. "This guy was badass. It messed me up because I was so intimidated by it that all I wanted to do was beat him, because I knew if I beat him I was doing something pretty special." And Allmendinger considers his first major race win (2006 at Portland, Ore.) all the more special because it came after an intense duel with Wilson. "Here he had just finished second place and yet he was the first to come into Victory Lane and hug me,'' Allmendinger said. "It happened to come down to me and him battling for the win. I had just beat him and as I'm getting out of the car, he runs up and hugs me. That's the type of guy he was.'' It's a recurring theme when people speak of Wilson. He was one of those rare and exceptional individuals whom you never heard a harsh word spoken about. He was well respected as a person and a competitor, the latter sometimes under-appreciated. Despite the impressive resume Wilson brought to America, he mostly drove for underfunded, smaller teams. But he succeeded against the odds and always provided the underdog a legitimate shot. His win in 2012 at Texas Motor Speedway came for the small Dale Coyne Racing team. And just a few weeks ago -- in the midst of a part-time ride with Andretti Autosport with little to no testing in the cars -- he finished runner-up to Graham Rahal at Mid-Ohio. It was vintage Wilson. "He was a guy that never got a great opportunity especially late in his career, I always hoped Penske or Ganassi would pick him up,'' Allmendinger reflected Tuesday. "He was one of the best out there. But you know what, he always made the most out of it and never complained about it." I was always struck by what a strong family man he was -- a doting husband, devoted dad to his two girls and a proud big brother to Stefan, a promising young racer in his own right. "Justin was so good and always made me want to be at my best because I respect him so much,'' Allmendinger said. "He always made sure you were happy, you were OK. Always pumped me up. It drove me to be the best I could." And now Allmendinger and so many others in the racing community will honor their friend by doing the same for Wilson's family.
Presenting NASCAR content from around the web Editor's note: On Wednesday at noon ET, "High 5" will present some of the best NASCAR-related content from around the web. 1. Exceeding expectations The NASCAR world was shocked when Kyle Busch returned to racing after only an 11-race hiatus following his injuries at Daytona. But no one would have dreamed Busch would come back with this big a fire in his belly, winning four out of five races from Sonoma to Indianapolis. According to NBC Sports' Joe Posnanski, his success is evidence of Busch's potential as a race car driver -- which had been clear since his earliest days behind the wheel -- becoming reality following his injury and new fatherhood to son Brexton. "Kyle had so much raw talent in a race car – his ability to control any kind of car, to see openings, to take it to the edge and keep it there – that his future seemed limitless," Posnanski writes. One career-altering possiblity looms on the horizon for Busch, who will be able to contend for a championhip if he remains in the top 30 in the point standings. It's something in his decorated career that he's yet to achieve in the Sprint Cup Series -- and wants badly. Click here to read the entire piece from NBC SportsWorld . 2. Girl power Jessica Mendoza made history on Tuesday during the MLB game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks. Jessica Mendoza becomes the first woman to call an ESPN MLB game as an in-booth analyst. (via @jessmendoza ) pic.twitter.com/3R0vjUictZ — SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 25, 2015 Mendoza, who has won two Olympic medals for the United States softball team, was also the first woman to call a College World Series game, serving as a part of the crew last season in Omaha. She joins the likes of NASCAR's Danica Patrick , who traded her firesuit for a broadcasting microphone last season at Michigan, becoming the first woman to call a race in NASCAR. Hat tips and a "You go, girl" to both of these awesome women. 3. Denny's dream "Mr. Gibbs, I hope to drive for you some day." That's what an 11-year-old Denny Hamlin said to Coach Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing , back in 1992 at an autograph session. Little did Gibbs know, not only would this young Washington Redskins fan wheel a JGR car one day, but he would also contend for a championship, racing for the title in 2014 as part of the Championship 4. In a recent interview with 120 Sports , Hamlin discusses his relationship with Joe Gibbs, the jack rabbit incident at Michigan and his friendship with Michael Jordan. According to the No. 11 driver, the basketball legend is a huge NASCAR fan and was at Homestead-Miami Speedway last season from morning until late night, supporting Hamlin's run for the title. RELATED: Truck practice red-flagged for rabbit on track 4. Early bird doesn't get the worm -- or bronze medal Celebrating after a hard-fought victory is great -- but just make sure you actually win before you fist-pump. Runner Molly Huddle learned that lesson the hard way in Monday's IAAF 2015 World Championships in Beijing, China. Just before crossing the finish line, Huddle threw her arms in the air to celebrate her bronze medal -- only to be passed by fellow American Emily Infeld at the line. Read the entire story from Mashable here . Can you imagine if NASCAR drivers started doing burnouts before they actually took the checkered? It may look a little something like this. Plenty of smoke and spinning, but alas, no checkered flag. 5. Business in the front, party in the back Marriage is all about compromise, right? A couple from the United Kingdom found that out early when it came time to choosing a wedding cake. He was all about superheroes, she not so much. This disguised (Marvel-appropriate, right?) cake was the result. This superhero wedding cake is all business in the front, party in the back http://t.co/cZGprnNBGx pic.twitter.com/zx34k0Ph0Y — People magazine (@people) August 25, 2015 "Business in the front, party in the back." Kind of reminds us of something else we know and loved. RIP Ricky Stenhouse Jr .'s mullet. RELATED: Stenhouse Jr. rids self of mullet
MORE: Burton discusses throwback scheme and more on "Dirty Air Podcast" When Jeb Burton decided to join the wave of throwback paint schemes for Labor Day weekend at Darlington Raceway , he didn't have far to look for inspiration. BK Racing announced Tuesday that Burton's BK Racing entry for the 66th running of the Bojangles' Southern 500 will pay tribute to the career of his father, Ward Burton, a two-time winner at NASCAR's oldest superspeedway. But the tradition-rich race will also feature another notable switch: The Ron Devine-owned team also announced Tuesday that it will make an intrateam driver swap starting at Darlington, with Burton taking over the No. 23 Toyota from J.J. Yeley, who will drive the No. 26 Toyota. RELATED: See all the throwback looks for Darlington The change in driving duties puts the younger Burton that much closer numbers-wise to the Bill Davis Racing No. 22 that his father campaigned during his heyday from 1999-2003. The yellow-and-black paint scheme for team sponsor Estes Trucking -- with its similar corporate colors to his father's longtime sponsor Caterpillar -- leans heavily on his family's racing tradition. "I saw all the throwback stuff and Estes has the same colors as Dad had, so I just thought about the idea and I got the PR team to come up with a design," Jeb Burton said. "I saw it and I thought it'd be a cool idea so we went on with it." Ward Burton caught his first glimpse of the car's vintage look ahead of last weekend's race at Bristol Motor Speedway . The resemblance -- both in colors and its similarly styled numbers -- is uncanny. "It's really cool," the 53-year-old Burton said. "We had a lot of success at Darlington, but more importantly I really appreciate Jeb thinking about me." Ward Burton flew the Caterpillar flag for his most prominent wins in NASCAR's premier series, foremost among them the 2002 Daytona 500 . The yellow-and-black look was also front and center for Burton and crew chief Tommy Baldwin Jr. when the Davis-owned team found a sweet spot at Darlington, yielding two victories at the 1.366-mile track, including the 2001 Southern 500. "Tommy and I'd hit a set-up at Darlington. For about three years there, we were on the top of the board whenever we showed up," Burton said. "Rain got us twice, a wreck got us one other time, a lug nut got us another, but we had the car to beat many times. I liked that place ever since I went there." Jeb Burton , 23, hopes the knack for the "Lady in Black" doesn't skip a generation as he prepares for his first Darlington start. His uncle, Jeff Burton , also won twice at Darlington, sweeping the season's two events there in 1999. The younger Burton got his first taste of driving the treacherous egg-shaped oval in an open test for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on June 10. "Darlington is its own animal," Burton said. "We went there and tested, and I struggled a little bit and was running the track a little wrong. Right there at the end of the session, I got behind Joey Logano and learned a lot, followed him and actually kept up with him. I thought that was really good, and our team did their best." BK Racing aims to jump-start its performance with next weekend's driver shakeup. Burton's Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidacy has been a rocky path thus far, with the No. 26 missing seven races and cracking the top 30 just twice this season. He ranks 39th in the driver standings. Yeley has run 23 of 24 in the Sprint Cup Series this season but is eligible for championship points only in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. (The team made a driver switch at Richmond with Burton in the No. 23 instead of Yeley.) The No. 23 team stands 39th in the car owner points; BK's No. 26 sits 44th after Bristol. Patrick Donahue will remain the crew chief on the No. 26 team, while Joe Williams will remain the crew chief on the No. 23 team. It's all been a learning process for Burton, who made the jump to Sprint Cup this year after two solid seasons in the Camping World Truck Series. "Coming into it, I didn't think it'd be as tough as it was because I had somewhat success," Burton said, "but in the Truck Series and the ( XFINITY ) Series, the competition level is high up front, but it's … one through 43 in the Cup Series is the best of the best. The best people, the best drivers, the best teams. You've got to be on it and our guys are working hard as a low-budget team. We're getting better every week."
IndyCar racer dies at age 37 following wreck RELATED: Stewart lends support to Wilson's family IndyCar driver Justin Wilson died Monday evening from head injuries sustained Sunday during a race at Pocono Raceway . He was 37. During Sunday's race, Wilson appeared to be struck in the head by debris from a late-race crash involving Sage Karam in the first turn at the 2.5-mile track. The Andretti Autosport driver's car then veered left off the racing surface, where it bounced off the inside wall. Wilson was part of the winning team for the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2012 with fellow drivers AJ Allmendinger , Oswaldo Negri Jr. and John Pew while competing for Michael Shank Racing. He had 17 career starts in GRAND-AM/ALMS/IMSA events. NASCAR drivers and others in the industry took to Twitter to share condolences with Wilson's family and to post remembrances of a fellow racer. Ur my boy forever. Love you @justin_wilson . One of the best ever. On and off the track. pic.twitter.com/kDZxxfj0jN — AJ Allmendinger (@AJDinger) August 25, 2015 Life isn't fair sometimes. We lost one of the great ones today. One of the best ever. I know ur up there being a Wheelman JW. Ur amazing!!! — AJ Allmendinger (@AJDinger) August 25, 2015 Thoughts and prayers to his family, friends, and to the @IndyCar family. #RIPJustinWilson — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) August 25, 2015 So sad to hear that we lost Justin Wilson today. Thoughts & prayers to his family and friends. — Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) August 25, 2015 Very sad to hear the news of Justin Wilson's passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. — Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) August 25, 2015 Didn't know Justin but I did know he was a unbeliever person and a great car driver. So sad.. #RIPJustinWilson pic.twitter.com/YI6HdSaCYz — Kasey Kahne (@kaseykahne) August 25, 2015 Terrible and tragic news. Prayers to his family and friends. We are all family. #RIPJustin — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) August 25, 2015 Wow. Heart is torn for the Wilson Family. Prayers to all. — Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) August 25, 2015 Thankful to have known @justin_wilson & honored to have shared a seat with him. He was a Great Man and will be missed pic .twitter.com/vgRS4iEzsm — Michael McDowell (@Mc_Driver) August 25, 2015 Wow, what a sad day. @justin_wilson was a good man. A great man. I had the pleasure of knowing him and pray for his family. — Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) August 25, 2015 My heart breaks for Justin's family and friends. https://t.co/QpJldzyc2n — Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) August 25, 2015 A trust fund has been created for Wilson's children. Donations may be sent to the address below. Wilson Children's Fund C/O INDYCAR 4551 West 16th Street Indianapolis, IN 46222 pic.twitter.com/lIiFGnL78y — Max Papis (@maxpapis) August 25, 2015
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: Patrick inks new deal with sponsor, SHR " Busch extension coming 'soon' KANNAPOLIS, N.C. -- A planned fifth operation on Tony Stewart 's surgically repaired right leg may not happen after all, the three-time NASCAR champion said Tuesday. Stewart, who severely fractured his lower right leg in a sprint car accident in August 2013, has already had four surgeries, the most recent coming last December. A proposed fifth operation in the offseason would allow doctors to remove his stabilizing titanium rod hardware, but Stewart said he'll find out the status of the surgery in a couple of months. "We actually don't know yet. There's potential that we may not have to have the operation, after all," Stewart said Tuesday at the announcement of Danica Patrick 's new contract and sponsorship deal at Stewart-Haas Racing . "The rod that's in there might stay in there, so at the end of October we're having a meeting with the doctor and we're going to make that decision. Either way, it's either one-and-done or we're done." Stewart broke both his tibia and fibula in a crash at Southern Iowa Speedway, forcing him to miss the final 15 races of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. He had three surgeries that year, followed by a fourth just ahead of 2014 Champion's Week, when his teammate Kevin Harvick was feted for his first Sprint Cup crown. Stewart said Tuesday that his leg felt "good," and that the signing of Nature's Bakery to sponsor Patrick's No. 10 Chevrolet was a bonus step in a positive, health-conscious direction. Still, Stewart said he's not feeling quite fit enough to emulate Patrick's yoga moves, which tout her flexibility on social media. "I doubt it," Stewart grinned. "Danica and I joked around, I said every time she does one of these poses and posts it on the internet, I'm going to do the same thing. But I said we've got to make sure there's a deal where you don't do but about two or three a week because I'm going to have to have a recovery period for when I break myself."