NASCAR Driver Loses Sponsorship Because Father Used Racial Slur 35 Years Ago

Conor Daly / Getty Images


NASCAR driver Conor Daly lost a major sponsor Friday because his father admitted he used a racial slur the 1980s.

Daly was set to be sponsored by Lilly Diabetes in his first NASCAR race Saturday at the Xfinity Series race at Road America in Wisconsin. Daly himself has Type 1 diabetes and became the first diabetic racer to win in the IndyCar Series.

The day before the race, Daly's father and former Formula One driver Derek Daly was fired from his job as a racing analyst at WISH-TV after it came to light he used the n-word in the 1980s.

The elder Daly apologized in a statement, saying he was only a recent immigrant from Ireland at the time and the idiom he used—"n***** in the woodpile"—was widely used in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Daly said he was "mortified" to learn the word was derogatory in America, and never used it again.

Despite the apology and the fact Conor Daly wasn't even alive at the time of the incident, Lilly Diabetes announced it was pulling the sponsorship.

"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," the company said in a statement.

Conor Daly's NASCAR debut got off to an admirable start, running 11th with only 10 laps left, but he was forced to exit the race early because of mechanical problems.

Alex Griswold

Alex Griswold   Email Alex | Full Bio | RSS
Alex is a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2012. Before joining the Free Beacon, he was a writer for Mediaite and The Daily Caller. He is originally from Buffalo, New York, but regrettably now lives in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at

Get the news that matters most to you, delivered straight to your inbox daily.

Register today!
  • Grow your email list exponentially
  • Dramatically increase your conversion rates
  • Engage more with your audience
  • Boost your current and future profits