Nascar

Danica Patrick may have sponsor shortfall this year

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Danica Patrick wore an all-white Tax Act uniform to NASCAR's preseason media event, raising eyebrows about her sponsorship situation.

Patrick and Stewart-Haas Racing last year signed a deal with Nature's Bakery as Patrick's primary sponsor. The company founded in 2010 by the father-and-son duo of Dave and Sam Marson was new to NASCAR last season and scheduled to sponsor more than 20 races this year.

SHR told The Associated Press on Tuesday that conversations with Nature's Bakery are ongoing.

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''Nature's Bakery and Stewart-Haas Racing are in discussions about how the sponsorship might look in 2017,'' the team said. ''Both sides have options, and it's a matter of determining what is best for both parties.''

SHR stressed it is moving forward with a full season for Patrick and its other three entries.

The addition of Nature's Bakery to Patrick's brand was a natural fit for a driver who promotes a healthy lifestyle. She has started a fitness program that will be turned into a book next year and is launching an active-wear clothing line. She constantly updates her social media channels with recipes and workouts and encourages her fans to lead a clean lifestyle.

Patrick also pushed the Nature's Bakery brand and often posted photos of herself eating gluten-free fig bars as snacks.

The Nevada-based food brand replaced Patrick's longtime sponsor, GoDaddy, and used its signature tagline, ''Energy for Life's Great Journeys,'' on Patrick's car.

Patrick has 154 starts at NASCAR's top level, with six career top-10 finishes. She won the pole for the Daytona 500 in 2013, and finished 24th in the standings the last two seasons. She led a career-high 30 laps last year.

She's twice led laps in the Indianapolis 500, finished a career-best third in that race in 2011, and won her only IndyCar race in 2008, in Japan.

Nature's Bakery is one of the smallest primary sponsors in NASCAR, with fewer than 500 employees in the United States. The company's products are sold in all 50 states and 22 countries.

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More AP auto racing: www.racing.ap.org