Nature’s Bakery plans to file a counterclaim to Stewart-Haas Racing’s $31 million breach of conduct suit, asserting that NASCAR team is attempting to bully the former sponsor.
SHR filed suit in North Carolina superior court after Nature’s Bakery on Jan. 19 told the team it was halting its planned three-year sponsor relationship with the No. 10 Ford program of Danica Patrick after one season. The brownie and fruit bar manufacturer claimed Patrick had failed to adhere to terms of their agreement by advocating for other foods and products on Instagram that it considered competitors. SHR disagreed, noting in a lawsuit that Nature’s Bakery had struggled to meet it financial commitments from the outset. Nature’s Bakery asserts that its business is sound.
In a press release on Thursday, Nature’s Baker CEO Kelly Allin said: “We were thrown off by SHR’s lawsuit. SHR and its owners are no stranger to aggressive litigation. Ours is a family business that repeatedly sought to resolve our issues privately. In fact, we were scheduled to meet in Charlotte just days before they sued us.”
According to the release a “detailed response and countersuit” will be filed “shortly,” and will “shed light on SHR’s conduct both during the race season and after.”
“Contrary to its image, SHR is run by big-business types that took advantage of Nature’s Bakery. They now are threatening scorched earth litigation against a multi-generational family company,” Allin said. “We’re obviously not going to let them bully us. We may be a small brand, but we do not think what they are doing is right. We look forward to defending ourselves in court.”
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USA TODAY Sports