Officials from Ford Performance expressed a willingness on Monday to support Danica Patrick in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this season even if she isn’t fully funded.
Stewart Haas Racing recently filed a lawsuit against Nature’s Bakery due to missed payments for Patrick’s No. 10 team. The team is seeking over $30 million while the baked goods company believes Patrick breached her agreement by promoting rival brands in the form of homemade smoothies via her social media channels.
Ford Performance global director Dave Pericak appeared on a Monday media teleconference and pledged to support SHR’s intent to have four full-time teams this season — including Patrick and the No. 10.
“We’re going to let that play out, unfortunately, through the court system and see how it works out,” Pericak said. “I’m hopeful we’re going to come to a resolution on that. At the end of the day, what I can say is that you have my commitment, the commitment from Stewart-Haas Racing and everyone that is involved, that it is not going to affect our ability to hit the track and run that car and run it the way it needs to run.
“I really don’t want to make any additional comments given where we are in the whole situation – and it’s very unfortunate we’re going through it right now – but one way or another, I can just tell you, the No. 10 will be on the track and it will be ready to perform.”
Patrick has some remaining primary sponsors remaining from last season, including TaxAct and Mobil 1 but Nature’s Bakery was contracted to serve in that role for 20 races this season. The company has two years left on its contract at roughly $15 million per season.
This is the first season in which Ford has partnered with Stewart Haas Racing after the team cut ties with Chevrolet at the end of 2016.