ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (AP) â€” Lilly Diabetes has pulled its sponsorship of Conor Dalyâ€™s No. 6 car in the NASCAR Xfinity race at Road America, citing a racially insensitive remark made by the driverâ€™s father in the 1980s that surfaced this week.
Lilly said in a statement Friday that its sponsorship was intended to raise awareness for treatment options and resources for people living with diabetes.
â€śUnfortunately, 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,â€ť Lilly said.
Primarily an IndyCar driver, Conor Daly is making his NASCAR debut at the rural Wisconsin road course Saturday with Roush Fenway Racing. Messages left for a team spokesman seeking comment were not immediately returned on Friday night.
Derek Daly has denied being the original source of a racial slur that led to the retirement of longtime Indianapolis Colts radio voice Bob Lamey last weekend.
Several news outlets reported that Daly was the source in a story Wednesday. It also led to the station severing its ties with Daly, a freelance racing analyst. Daly is a former CART and Formula One driver.
In aÂ statement, Daly said he admitted to using a racial slur for African-Americans during a radio interview in the early 1980s. Daly, who had just moved to the United States then, said the term had a different meaning and connotation in his native Ireland.
Daly said he was â€śmortifiedâ€™â€ť when he learned how the term was used in the United States and has never used it since then. Conor Daly, 26, wasnâ€™t born when his father made the comment.
â€śFinally, I want everyone to know I deeply regret and sincerely apologize for what I said more than three decades ago,â€ť the elder Daly said in his statement.
Lilly Diabetes is still sponsoring the cars of drivers Ty Majeski and Ryan Reed at Road America.
â€śWe remain committed to our mission of supporting people with diabetes,â€ť Lilly said.
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