It’s all food un­der the bridge now

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - DAN GELSTON DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. —

Danica Pa­trick says she has not been dis­tracted by her on­go­ing le­gal wran­gling with for­mer spon­sor Na­ture’s Bak­ery.

Ste­wart-Haas Rac­ing has filed a $31-mil­lion US law­suit against Na­ture’s Bak­ery, say­ing the food com­pany con­cocted false claims to dump the re­main­ing two years on its deal to spon­sor Pa­trick.

Pa­trick says she thought she had a solid re­la­tion­ship with Na­ture’s Bak­ery and in­sists she never pro­moted any ri­val prod­ucts.

“We had a great yoga event here at Daytona last year at this time,” she said. “When there was some­thing to do, we did it re­ally, re­ally well. My fo­cus is on those who are still around and those who are step­ping up.”

The sev­er­ing of the con­tract left Ste­wart-Haas Rac­ing in a fund­ing lurch weeks be­fore the sea­son. Pa­trick had at least 20 un­spon­sored races with­out Na­ture’s Bak­ery, but Aspen Den­tal this week broad­ened its role with her. Aspen Den­tal will be Pa­trick’s pri­mary spon­sor for dou­ble-digit races, de­but­ing with the Daytona 500.

“It’s a per­fect op­por­tu­nity for them to step up and I ap­pre­ci­ate that very much,” she said. “But also to re­ally ex­pand their brand and con­tinue to grow.”

STEPHEN M. DOWELL, TNS

Danica Pa­trick says she hasn’t been dis­tracted by her le­gal battle with Na­ture’s Bak­ery.

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