Despite never having won a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race, Danica Patrick arguably is the most-popular driver in the field. Former NASCAR driver Ricky Craven, however, doesn’t think that will remain the case for long.
Speaking during a press conference for Kentucky Speedway, Craven said he’s “a big fan” of Patrick, but as she nears her 35th birthday, her window of relevance won’t remain open much longer unless she starts winning, the Associated Press reports.
“She’s a talented race car driver, but the discussion is losing part of its shine,” Craven said, via AP.
Patrick is entering her fifth season in Cup with 154 race starts under her belt, but just six top-10 finishes and one pole position.
Stewart-Haas Racing recently filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Nature’s Bakery, which was scheduled to sponsor Patrick’s No. 10 car for as many as 25 races during the 2017 season, according to AP. The suit alleges Nature’s Bakery terminated its sponsorship deal with SHR on Jan. 19, and seeks $31.7 million plus interest.
“If (sponsorship) becomes a challenge, then her story becomes a little more difficult,” Craven said.
While it’s still unclear who will sponsor Patrick during the races Nature’s Bakery was on the hook for, SHR reportedly is still committed to fielding the No. 10 this year.
Thumbnail photo via NASCAR