Danica Repackaged

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Danica Patrick, NASCAR Driver / Stewart-Haas Racing - The Players' Tribune

The last time I was uncertain about the future of my racing career was when I was a teenager.

I had just moved back home after living in England, and my dad and I went to race tracks all over the country so we could introduce ourselves to whoever we thought might be able to help me pursue my dream. All I wanted was the opportunity to show them what I could do.

Let’s just say it was a humbling time in my life.

This past year, for the first time in more than a decade, I was put in that uncertain position once again … but the stakes were a little higher this time.

Losing GoDaddy as my primary sponsor after six years wasn’t easy, but those changes are a reality in this sport. This experience certainly wasn’t something unique to me — more or less every racer, regardless of their success, is forced to look for a sponsor at some point — but it did make me realize how truly fortunate I’ve been for so many years. This year was a great reminder that hope, faith, patience and not being afraid of change can lead to great things — sometimes better than you could have imagined.

Today, I’m very happy to announce that I have a new sponsor that was worth the months of uncertainty: Nature’s Bakery.

It’s a young company that started up right around the same time I began racing stock cars in 2010. You’ve probably stumbled across a Fig Bar, their signature product, in grocery stores.

They’re a family-oriented company that was founded by Dave and Sam Marson, who had the vision to make really good, convenient on-the-go snacks that complement a health-conscious lifestyle. That being said, you can imagine what an amazing fit they are for me. All you have to do is look at my social media to see how into fitness, the outdoors and eating healthy I am. I’m really excited to explore all the possibilities of how I can partner with and grow along with Nature’s Bakery for years to come.

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Having their support means so much because anyone familiar with this sport knows that landing sponsorship isn’t easy these days. It’s difficult for any driver to find a primary sponsor that wants to take on that financial commitment. That’s part of what made the last few months so scary. Getting the honor of being behind the wheel on race day requires a lot of work from the team, and a large investment from a sponsor. I’m super excited about this new partner, and I’m also happy that I’ve re-signed with Stewart-Haas Racing.

I’ve said it before, but Stewart-Haas Racing really does feel like a family to me. There’s a level of respect and camaraderie between Tony, Kevin, Kurt and me that’s great to have in the racing world. I feel lucky to be a part of such a tight-knit group, and they’ve been a huge part of helping me develop as a driver.

As I look forward to next year, I’d be lying if I said part of me won’t be a little sentimental about the old bright green car. But I’m definitely ready for the next chapter of my career, and I look forward to driving in the repackaged No. 10 Chevrolet.

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Don’t get me wrong, I do get positive attention because I’m a woman. I will be the last person on earth to say, “Oh, poor me.”

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