Conor Daly is making his NASCAR debut Saturday at Road America.PHOTO BY MOTORSPORT IMAGES-LAT
JUST PLAIN STUPID!!!”
COMPANY PULLS SPONSORSHIP FOR CONOR DALY AHEAD OF NASCAR XFINITY RACE DUE TO FATHER’S COMMENTS FROM THE 1980S
Lilly Diabetes had announced sponsorship for Daly’s NASCAR debut in May
BY: GREG ENGLE
IndyCar driver Conor Daly will be racing with a blank slate on his car when he makes his NASCAR debut in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity race at Road America. Friday Lilly Diabetes pulled their primary sponsorship after news surfaced that his father Derek Daly admitted to uttering a racial slur in the 1980s.
Conor was born in 1991.
The controversy came to a head this past week when longtime radio announcer Bob Lamey used the same racial slur during the Indianapolis Colts training camp this past week. He apologized then retired after being confronted by officials from the Colts.
It came to light during the Lamey investigation that he was repeating what someone else said while he was at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 35 years ago.
That person was Derek Daly.
Daly later denied he had said the word calling the report by Lamey “factually incorrect”. Despite the denial the former F1 and IndyCar driver has been dismissed by WISH-TV where he worked as a freelance racing analyst.
Speaking to Fox 59, Derek Daly, who is from Ireland, explained what had happened:
Conor Daly has not only landed a sponsor for the Indianapolis 500, he’ll also get a chance to compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Road America on August 25 for Roush Fenway Racing.The …
“In the early 80’s, after I had recently relocated to the United States, I was interviewed by radio reporter Larry Henry and I was asked about my situation with my new American team. I responded by explaining that I was a foreign driver now in America, driving for an American team, with an American crew, and with an American sponsor – and that if things did not go well, the only “n***** in the wood pile” would be me. At the time, I meant that I, as the new foreigner on the team, would shoulder the blame and I would be the scapegoat. This was not in any way shape or form meant to be a racial slur. This phrase was commonly used in Ireland, Britain, and Australia.
When I used that phrase in the early 80’s, I had no idea that in this country that phrase had a horribly different meaning and connotation, as it was commonplace in Ireland.”
Lilly Diabetes issued a statement to NASCAR reporter Chris Knight:
“Our sponsorship in Saturday’s race is intended to raise awareness of treatment options and resources for people living with diabetes. Unfortunately, the comments that surfaced this week by Derek Daly distract from this focus, so we have made the decision that Lilly Diabetes will no longer run the No. 6 at Road America this weekend.
“We remain committed to our mission of supporting people with diabetes.”
Conor Daly has Type 1 diabetes and the sponsorship was part of the company’s Drive Down A1C initiative.
Conor later issued a statement via Twitter:
“The last 24hrs have been quite an unnecessarily difficult ride for my family. There is A LOT I want to say… but I’m still here and still racing. I appreciate the support from @roushfenway and ALL of you. @LillyDiabetes has been a big part of my career and Im very thankful. #6”
The last 24hrs have been quite an unnecessarily difficult ride for my family. There is A LOT I want to say… but I’m still here and still racing. I appreciate the support from @roushfenway and ALL of you. @LillyDiabetes has been a big part of my career and Im very thankful. #6