The head of Ford’s racing operation said Monday that “you have my commitment” that the performance of Danica Patrick’s car will not be affected by the team’s legal situation with its sponsor.
Stewart-Haas Racing filed a lawsuit against Nature’s Bakery, the sponsor of Patrick’s car, last week in North Carolina Superior Court. Stewart-Haas Racing seeks damages in excess of $31 million, claiming that Nature’s Bakery breached its contract by attempting to terminate the company’s deal with the race team last month. Nature’s Bakery is contracted to sponsor the team through the 2018 season.
Dave Pericak, Global Director, Ford Performance, declined to say if Ford would consider sponsoring Patrick’s car if needed, but reiterated Ford’s support for the team.
“What I can say is that you have my commitment and the commitment of Stewart-Haas Racing and everyone that is involved that (the legal issue) is not going to affect our ability to hit the track and run that car and run it the way it needs to be run,’’ Pericak said Monday on a teleconference with reporters.
“I don’t really want to make any additional comments given where we are in the whole situation, and it’s very unfortunate that we are going through it right now, but one way or another, I can just tell you that you will have that 10 car on the track and it will be ready to perform.’’
Nature’s Bakery sponsored Patrick in 27 points races last year and was scheduled to sponsor her car in a minimum of 25 races this season.
Stewart-Haas Racing stated in its lawsuit that the actions of Nature’s Bakery “set SHR up for a devastating loss of revenue just before the beginning of the 2017 race season; and rendered it nearly impossible for SHR to have any reasonable hope of mitigating its damages.”
Stewart-Haas Racing said in a statement after filing the lawsuit that “the litigation with Nature’s Bakery will not impact the organization’s on-track efforts.”
Officials from Nature’s Bakery have not responded to repeated requests for comment from NBC Sports.