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NASCAR driver loses sponsorship over racist comments — but he wasn’t the one who said them

Racecar driver Conor Daly lost the sponsor for his NASCAR debut after his father admitted to making racially insensitive comments more than three decades ago. (Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

Lilly Diabetes, a company dedicated to the treatment of diabetes, pulled its sponsorship from IndyCar driver Conor Daly on Friday after his father admitted to making racially insensitive comments more than three decades ago.

Daly, who is making his NASCAR debut this weekend at Road America with Roush Fenway Racing, was born in 1991, years after his father made the comments.

What are the details?

In May, Lilly announced it would sponsor Roush's three-car effort at Road America this weekend, backing Daly as well as Ryan Reed — who has been backed by Lilly for years — and Ty Majeski. Both Daly and Reed have diabetes.

(Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

But the company abruptly yanked the sponsorship Friday after Daly's father, Derek, admitted this week to using the N-word in the early 1980s. Derek, like his son, was a racecar driver.

In a statement provided to NASCAR reporter Chris Knight, Lilly said it pulled sponsorship from Daly's car because the controversy with his father would "distract" fans from Lilly's goal of raising awareness for diabetes treatment.

"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," Lilly said.

How did Conor react?

He posted on Twitter Friday evening:

Despite losing the sponsorship, Daly will race in the Johnsonville 180 at Road America on Saturday. It's not clear if his team will find additional sponsorship before the start of the race.

One last thing…
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