NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Conor Daly lost his sponsorship with Lilly Diabetes for Saturday’s race at Road America after his father admitted to using a racially insensitive remark in the early 1980s.
Lilly Diabetes released a statement announcing the sponsorship change a day after Conor’s father, Derek Daly, said he had used a racial slur during a live radio interview nearly 11 years before his son was born.
The company announced it would pull its sponsorship decals from Conor’s No. 6 Ford, saying his father’s comments were a distraction from their cause.
“Our sponsorship in Saturday’s race is intended to raise awareness of treatment options and resources for people living with diabetes,” the statement read, via the Indianapolis Star. “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 shared a message on Twitter, thanking Lilly Diabetes for supporting his racing career.
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
— Conor Daly (@ConorDaly22) August 24, 2018
The elder Daly apologized for his comments in a statement, via ESPN: “Finally, I want everyone to know I deeply regret and sincerely apologize for what I said more than three decades ago.”
Daly, who has Type I diabetes, has spent a majority of the previous two years racing in the IndyCar Series and is making his Xfinity Series debut Saturday in Wisconsin with Roush Fenway Racing.