Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sponsor Unhappy With Villeneuve's Post Race Comments

Discount Tire, sponsors of the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge driven last weekend by Jacques Villeneuve on the NASCAR Nationwide Series, issued a statement today expressing displeasure with comments made by their driver following Saturday’s race in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

A statement from the company said, "Together, Penske and Discount Tire have achieved great success in the Nationwide Series, including a championship, and have maintained the highest levels of integrity and sportsmanship throughout that relationship. Although we believe the contact between Villeneuve and Patrick to be unfortunate, it is a part of professional racing. However, Villeneuve’s post-race comments did not reflect our ideals regarding sportsmanship. Having said that, we continue to be very proud of our relationship with the Penske organization."

Villeneuve spun Danica Patrick out of fourth place on the final lap Saturday, then blamed the crash on Max Papis before insisting the incident “had nothing to do with me.”


  1. Anonymous6:42 PM

    Well, it sounds like they are not pulling their sponsorship. That's good.

  2. Sponsors have released statements like this before and nothing has come about from them. Meaning no real change.

    But considering that this statement was regards to a driver that is only racing three times a year for that team, the magic question is, will Villeneuve be driving the #22 in August at Watkins Glen and the next week at Montreal or not and who will be the sponsor?

    Wouldn't be surprised if nothing changes and Villeneuve is in the #22 Discount Tire Dodge come Watkins Glen.

  3. M&M's wasn't happy with Kyle Busch's actions during the truck race last fall, yet they're still with him and the #18 Sprint Cup team. I don't expect anything to come from this. Discount Tire probably felt like they needed to say something in order to be objective.

  4. matt m7:14 PM

    Maybe we should stop interviewing drivers (including the winner)until a 24 hour cooling off period has passed. It could be just like F1
    (Tongue in cheek)

  5. Al the mad cab driver7:59 PM

    WTH? His statement said that he wasn't racing with Danica and that Papis had pushed him into the grass and he couldn't brake properly because of it. What the hell is wrong with that? Papis might of had an ax to grind from last year but last year is last year. Please repost the statements that Discount Tires are referring to.

    1. Anonymous8:52 PM

      How about the fact that it was toatlly UNTRUE!!!!!

    2. Anonymous3:14 PM

      Wait, Papis blocking Villeneuve into the grass right before braking point isn't true? Do you have any racing sense whatsoever? Did you notice that Danica hit the brakes at the normal braking point and Villeneuve was still on the grass? I was very true. The incident wasn't completely Jacques' fault. But hey, easy targets remain easy targets cause several fans are too stupid to actually judge incidents individually.

    3. Joe, I am going to let your comment stand, with a warning that you are toeing the line of our "no name calling" policy. People can disagree with you without being stupid or having no sense. Please tone it down in the future.

  6. Derryl8:43 PM

    If there is to be any meaning to this statement other than being words on a page then Discount Tire needs to say Jacques goes or we do.Quite frankly NASCAR should step in when something like this between a ringer and series regular happens.

  7. Anonymous8:54 PM

    The issue here was that the video evidence did not support his comments for at least 30 seconds prior to the contact with Danica.

  8. Anonymous10:23 PM

    Sponsor involvement will KILL NASCAR. In NO other sport are the sponsors allowed ANY input, period. They don't like a team member's actions, they take it up in private and don't make a public issue over it. What's next, the driver's haircut isn't agreeable with the company's values? Arm's length.

    If the sponsor is unhappy, make a point at the next contract negotiation. Too much control and holding it over the sport is getting very serious. These sponsors can't spend 10 cents on Sirius/XM 90 but they can complain about the drivers, WHO ARE INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS. and make veiled threats about their continued sponsorship.

    Bizarre and uncalled for.

    Doug from disgruntled NJ

    1. Doug, your statement "sponor involvement wil kill the sport" could not be further from the truth. Without sponsors, there would be no sport. Sponsors have been a vital part of NASCAR since Day One, and BTW, they are absolutely welcome to spend money on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio!

    2. Anonymous10:39 AM

      I should have been clearer. I support the sponsors 100%, I buy as many sponsor products as I can use in my life. To clarify, sponsor involvement to the point of dictating the lives and language of the drivers will cause problems. Big problems. Should sponsors be allowed to stifle speech in the name of support? Should they be able to dictate the path of the driver's lives? Does the driver have to believe as the sponsor does to gain their support?

      Sponsors are supposed to be reaching an audience, not shaping the sport. When sponsors have that much control, I for one am gone.

      Thanks for your reply

      Doug from NJ

      PS: If politicians can afford spots on Sirius/XM 90, why can't the sponsors?

    3. Nice plug there Moody.

  9. The problem with the statement was that it wasn't even close to being true. Watch the replay!

  10. Anonymous8:12 AM

    Most everyone says that they want drivers to be themselves, that they want them to be open and honest when questioned, and that they enjoy the "controversy" or drama that differences of opinion may result in. However, when someone gets "out of line" they often get smacked down either by NASCAR or nervous sponsors.

    The sport is driven by money and if that is the primary concern of drivers, when they are asked questions you are going to end up with vanilla, cookie cutter, insert the sponsors names here...say that you had a good car there...the crew worked hard...thank the guys in the shop blah blah blah.

    Kevin F

    1. Its not about being original. It's about racing! Not seeing who can perform the most P.I.T. maneuvers during the race. That's not what I pay to see.

      "I'd like to thank my sponsors for their support, my guys back at the shop, and my firesuit designer for the plaid, striped, paisley diggs"... Look, that's not something I want to see that at the track anymore than a driver running out of talent every other lap and taking out half the field. But its original too.

  11. You can't come over to a series twice a year and show no respect for the guys that are there making their living from it. You don't mug the point leader! Its like he's trying to get jailhouse respect by going out and punching the biggest guy. In his case, everyone's getting punched. I know he's paid to win, not pull over. Its the total lack of respect, disregard for others, and overall arrogance that is painful to watch.

    I used to be a fan of JV going back to his days in CART and F1. I know he can run a race without making the slightest contact. I don't get this. There's two guarantees with him in a race. He'll be up front driving with his hair on fire. And, He's taking some folks out. Well, not really, their cars will fly off the track when he gets near. Not my fault. I don't care.

    Why then does he have this door slamming, bumper crunching new approach? I expect to see some paint flying when I go to the fairground dirt track for the Bomber races. Not on this level. Been watching Days Of Thunder in the hauler before each race? Who knows, but he can't continue to take out the field with no regard. How could you even lift a trophy by stealing it?

    I hope this will police itself. You can only beat em down for so long before they can't take anymore. I have a feeling Officer Danica might be doling out some git back on em...