|NASCAR penalizes RCR crew for throwing hammer|
|Thursday, October 31, 2013 8:07 PM|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR indefinitely suspended the Richard Childress Racing crew member who threw a hammer at driver Kevin Harvick’s truck during a race at Martinsville Speedway.
Adam Brown was suspended Thursday for “throwing an object at a competitor’s race truck.” Crew chief Paul (Marcus) Richmond was fined $10,000 because he assumes responsibility for the entire team. Both work on Ty Dillon’s truck for RCR.
Dillon spun Harvick late in Saturday’s race as both were racing for position. Harvick hit Dillon’s truck under caution, then drove into Dillon’s pit stall as he returned to pit road. Brown then threw the hammer at the truck.
Harvick is leaving RCR at the end of the year after 13 seasons to join Stewart-Haas Racing. He said after the race his departure was because team owner Childress was too focused on the development of grandsons Austin and Ty Dillon, whom he claimed were undeserving of their advancement in the organization.
“I don’t care what they throw at me,” Harvick said after he got out of his truck. “Exactly the reason why I’m leaving RCR because you’ve got those kids coming up and they’ve got no respect for what they do in this sport and they’ve had everything fed to them with a spoon.”
Harvick, who apologized the next day for his remarks, has three races remaining with RCR.
Austin Dillon, in his weekly appearance Wednesday on SiriusXM Radio, said he’s forgiven Harvick.
“My grandfather has given my brother and I both a great opportunity to go out and take advantage of those opportunities. If anybody out there doesn’t think that I should go after something that is in front of me, I don’t know what to say,” Austin Dillon added.
“Things are said in the heat of battle. I’ve learned that it’s better to forgive someone for what they’ve said. I’ve forgiven him already.”
Childress was not so forgiving and staunchly defended the opportunities he’s given his grandsons during an interview before Sunday’s race at Martinsville. Austin Dillon races in the Nationwide Series and is expected to move up full-time to the Sprint Cup Series next year, and Ty Dillon is going from the Truck Series to Nationwide in 2014.
“These aren’t spoiled rich kids,” Childress said Sunday. “These are hardworking young men that believe in what they’re doing. They knew they’ve got to go out and prove themselves. They’ve got to race up front to keep a job.”
Childress could live with the on-track incident between Harvick and Dillon but felt Harvick crossed a line the personal attack.
“I’ll never apologize for giving my grandsons an opportunity, just like the France family, the Earnhardt family, the Wood brothers. You go down the list of the people that have been given opportunities, all of them didn’t make it,” Childress added. “You’ve got to go out and earn what you’ve got, the opportunity in life to succeed. And these boys earned it.”
Danica to keep it clean in GoDaddy Super Bowl spot
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Don’t expect to see Danica Patrick take her clothes off, kiss a girl or do anything else risque during the next Super Bowl.
GoDaddy will again feature its famed spokeswoman in its infamous Super Bowl ads but the website domain provider announced Thursday it is canning the risque innuendo. GoDaddy’s advertising campaign has leaned toward sexually suggestive themes since its early days when WWE diva Candice Michelle was the company spokeswoman.
But since Blake Irving took over as CEO in January, he’s tried to shift GoDaddy’s advertising focus toward its actual company message.
“2014 marks a new era for GoDaddy Super Bowl commercials,” Irving revealed in a statement Thursday.
GoDaddy has purchased two 30-second spots, one for each half of the Feb. 2 game, and the company said Thursday “at least one of the two spots will feature” Patrick. The NASCAR driver has appeared in 12 Super Bowl commercials — more than any other celebrity.
“I love what’s going on at GoDaddy,” said Patrick, spokesperson for the company for nearly seven years. “Since our last Super Bowl, I’ve been to the new Silicon Valley office and talked with customers who are genuinely grateful for how GoDaddy helps them grow their businesses online. GoDaddy is for the go getter, the ‘little guy’ looking to compete with the ‘big guys’ and I love that.”
GoDaddy teased last year that it might be dropping Patrick from its campaign, only to use her in both Super Bowl spots. Her most prolific appearance came in a commercial starring supermodel Bar Refaeli, who made out on screen with a nerd. The ad ranked last in USA Today’s annual Super Bowl ad meter.
Patrick made a cameo as a pilot in the second spot, which didn’t score much higher in USA Today’s poll.
Patrick’s first Super Bowl spot was in 2007 but GoDaddy first began using the Super Bowl to advertise in 2005 when it spoofed Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” in its commercial. Although consumers often had no idea what GoDaddy was or offered and the ads generally tanked in polls, they always had television viewers talking during the biggest advertising night of the year.
GoDaddy chief marketing officer Barb Rechterman said the 2005 Super Bowl debut got the company a lot of attention but GoDaddy has changed as it hits its 10-year advertising anniversary with the game.
The Super Bowl spots will be produced by Deutsch New York, the same agency that helped GoDaddy relaunch its brand last September with the “It’s Go Time” campaign featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme.
RLL snags engineer Pappas for Graham Rahal
BROWNSBURG, Ind.— IndyCar veteran race engineer Bill Pappas will team with Graham Rahal next season at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
Pappas leaves Justin Wilson after two seasons at Dale Coyne Racing. Wilson was on pace to finish an IndyCar-best fourth in the standings but was injured in the finale at Fontana. Wilson finished sixth — his best result in IndyCar and Coyne’s best finish as an owner.
Pappas moves to Rahal, who finished a disappointing 18th in his first season driving for his father.
“I’m very honored to be offered an opportunity to be a part of Rahal Letterman Lanigan, working for Bobby and helping Graham reach his potential,” Pappas said.
Pappas started with Roush Racing before Roush started in NASCAR. He then focused on open-wheel racing and worked for Chip Ganassi Racing, Walker Racing, Panther Racing, KV Racing and Coyne in a career that spans 25 years.
Pappas also did one season in NASCAR with Michael Waltrip Racing.
At Ganassi, Pappas won the Indianapolis 500 with Juan Pablo Montoya in 2000. He was engineer for Tony Stewart’s Indy 500 program in 2001 when Stewart finished sixth.
“I’m excited that Bill is joining the team,” Rahal said. “He brings not only a wealth of experience, and Indy 500 wins as well as others, he can really help take our team and engineering staff to the next level. I’ve known Bill a long time. We have had opportunities to work together before but it just didn’t fall into place until now.”