Danica re-branded for Daytona 500

Speedweeks / Daytona 500 / Headline Surfer®Photos for Headline Surfer / Above, Danica Patrick is shown with her racing team's main sponsor Aspen Dental, which takes over as the primary brand for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 28 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.  
YouTube download / Stewart-Haas Racing video / Aspen Dental dentists and teams recognize that going to the dentist isn’ t always at the top of the 'to-do' list. And so, as a part of the Aspen Dental's weekend at Talladega, a 'Turbocharged Tooth Fairy Squad' roamed the grounds at the track to not only ask fans, “What would it take to get you to go to the dentist?” but also deliver on some of those wishes on the spot... with the help of Tony Stewart and Danica Patrick.​
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer
 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Stewart-Haas Racing and Aspen Dental expanded their partnership on Tuesday, with the dental company becoming the lead sponsor forDanica Patrick in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Aspen Dental will debut on the No. 10 Ford Fusion for the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 26, and will be the primary sponsor for a double-digit slate of races, the team announced Tuesday.

Aspen Dental has had a relationship with SHR since 2012, and Patrick has been aligned with the brand since 2014.

"From the first time I visited Aspen Dental's headquarters in 2013, I was struck by their commitment to helping people and changing lives," Patrick said in a team release. "I love working with organizations that care about people, and teaming up with a group that has such an important mission -- breaking down barriers and helping patients get the dental care they need -- is very rewarding." 

This will be Patrick's fifth full-time season in a premier series ride for SHR; one of her highlights was winning the pole for the 2013 Daytona 500.

"From the first time I visited Aspen Dental's headquarters in 2013, I was struck by their commitment to helping people and changing lives," Patrick said in a team release. "I love working with organizations that care about people, and teaming up with a group that has such an important mission -- breaking down barriers and helping patients get the dental care they need -- is very rewarding." 

This will be Patrick's fifth full-time season in a premier series ride for Stewart-Haas Racing; one of her highlights was winning the pole for the 2013 Daytona 500.

"Our commitment to Danica Patrick goes back almost four years and our relationship with SHR even further," said Bob Fontana, chairman and CEO of Aspen Dental Management, Inc. "She is a strong advocate for the Aspen Dental brand and a wonderful ambassador for programs like the Healthy Mouth Movement."

In addition to the Healthy Mouth Movement, Patrick's other work with Aspen Dental included "A Taste of the Future," a hidden-camera video campaign designed to raise awareness about the long-term consequences of delaying dental care. 

"Aspen Dental has been a great partner forStewart-Haas Racing for many years," said Tony Stewart, co-owner for SHR. "We've both grown with this sponsorship and we know we can achieve even more thanks to their increased role with Danica and our No. 10 team."

Stewart-Haas Racing filed a $31 million breach of contract lawsuit against Nature's Bakery on Feb.3, accusing the company of refusing to pay millions of dollars it owes the team to Patrick this season.

Nature's Bakery was scheduled to sponsor at least 20 races this NASCAR season, the second year of a three-year deal to be the primary sponsor for Patrick.

The lawsuit filed in state superior court in Charlotte, NC, claims Stewart-Haas Racing had "significant concern" Nature's Bakery could afford a primary sponsorship, but founder David Marson "provided repeated assurances that Nature's Bakery had the cash flow and funds to meet all the financial requirements."

But the suit alleged that after executing the agreement, Marson and Nature's Bakery chief financial officer contacted SHR about "cash flow issues, and asked if payment amounts and deadlines" could be modified on the more than $15 million the company owes the team each season, according to a stoory published by the Associated Press.

SHR also accused the company of eventually concocting "a scheme to avoid further payments" by claiming Patrick had been endorsing competing products and was not using her social media presence enough to promote Nature's Bakery, the AP story said.

The suit claims Nature's Bakery sent a letter to the team on Jan. 19 terminating the sponsorship agreement, and that the company has missed several re-scheduled deadlines to pay. The lawsuit seeks $31.7 million, plus interest for the breach of contract. Nature's Bakery has not issued a statement regarding the suit.

SHR said in a prepared srtatement released earlier this month it wants a court to resolve the matter: "It is an unfortunate situation, as the team has delivered on all aspects of its contract and was prepared to do so again in 2017. Ultimately, this is a situation that will be resolved in a court of law." 

"The litigation with Nature's Bakery will not impact the organization's on-track efforts," the statement continued, adding the team is adding the team is moving forward with plans to field four cars in the Monster Energy Cup Series while also expanding to include a full-time Xfinity Series team.

Did You Know?

Danica Patrick's No. 10 race car car featured an Aspen Dental paint scheme in 2015, at Chicagoland Speedway, in which the names of 2,200 veterans adorned it as part of the Healthy Mouth Movement, an initiative that has contributed $7.5 million in donated dentistry for veterans.
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