As the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season gets underway with the 58th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, a new journey begins for Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Chevrolet SS team fielded by Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).
In August 2015, SHR announced the team had re-signed Patrick along with landing a new partner for her No. 10 Chevrolet SS team. The multiyear sponsorship agreement will see Nature’s Bakery and its signature tagline, “Energy for Life’s Great Journeys,” adorn Patrick’s car for 28 races this season.
New to the sport of NASCAR, Nature’s Bakery was founded in 2010 by the father-and-son duo of Dave and Sam Marson with a mission of making delicious, convenient, on-the-go snacks that complement health-conscious living and active, everyday lifestyles. Their lineage in the food industry can be traced back to the 1960s, when Dave’s father Richard Marson opened a family bakery. Growing up in the bakery business, Dave passed his passion and skills along to his son Sam, whereupon the two combined their knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit to form Nature’s Bakery.
In addition to new colors and a new contract, Patrick enters the 2016 season with a new crew chief – Billy Scott. The Land O’ Lakes, Florida native joined the SHR organization after spending eight seasons at Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR). Scott worked with a variety of drivers in his time at MWR and ended his tenure there as the crew chief for Clint Bowyer’s No. 15 team. While SHR is new to Scott, he is familiar with a number of members of the organization, including fellow SHR crew chief Rodney Childers, who he worked with directly for two seasons at MWR.
As Patrick and Scott are still getting to know one another, Saturday night’s exhibition race at Daytona – the Sprint Unlimited – will provide the pair with the perfect opportunity to develop their in-race communication before the start of the regular season.
Patrick returns to Daytona this year with seven Sprint Cup starts on the 2.5-mile superspeedway. In 2013, she kicked off the Sprint Cup season with a history-making run in the 55th Daytona 500. She altered the record books as she became the first woman to win a Sprint Cup pole when she set the fastest time in qualifying for the Daytona 500. She also became the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race, as well as the first woman to lead a NASCAR race under green-flag conditions. Patrick went on to finish the race in eighth place, the highest finishing position ever for a woman in the “Great American Race.”
As Patrick enters her fourth full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, she has her sights set on once again making history by winning her first Sprint Cup race. And making a run at the Harley J. Earl Trophy would be the perfect way to start her new journey with Scott and Nature’s Bakery.