Lilly Diabetes Pulls T1D Racecar Driver’s Sponsorship-What Grinds My Gears

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Conor Daly and Cut The B.S. Girl, Arlene at ISM Raceway April 2018

Lately, I’ve been listening to a Podcast by two Indycar Drivers, James Hinchcliffe and Alexander Rossi called “Off Track with Hinch and Rossi.” On that podcast, they occasionally have a segment called, “What Grinds My Gears,” where they talk about pet peeves or what sets them off.  I woke up today reading a story and as I read it, I found that it really…grinded…my gears.  Anyhow, here’s the story:

Lilly Diabetes, has pulled sponsorship of Conor Daly, a racecar driver, living, driving, and thriving with T1D, because of a potential racial slur his dad, Derek Daly, made before Conor was even born.  If that isn’t the largest load of crap ever.

“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.”

What grinds my gears here is the fact that Conor, who is working to be quite the advocate of self care with diabetes (Type 1 or 2), has lost sponsorship dollars as a result of something he had no control over.  It would have been one thing if he lost his sponsorship because the kid decided not to work out and decided to eat junk food in preparation of this NASCAR Xfinity Road America race, but that is just not the case.  It’s even documented in this video.

They call themselves company that is focused on raising awareness for treatment options and resources for people living with diabetes.  To me, it seems that this action of pulling Conor’s sponsorship is a bigger distraction to both the racing and diabetes communities.  The kid has done nothing wrong to lose said sponsorship.

If we all lost something that could affect our livelihoods as a result of something our parents said or did, well, we just would not progress as a society.  It’s bullshit.

In addition, its pretty ironic that Lilly Diabetes would be so unforgiving considering the product they sell to us people with diabetes and parents of children with diabetes, insulin, is a product that aids us in forgiving the number we see on the meter, correcting immediately with said insulin, and then getting back on track with our lives.  We as people with diabetes can’t even boycott, because our insurance dictates which insulin to use, regardless of what we discuss is best with our doctors.

I was so excited to watch Conor too as I haven’t even looked at NASCAR in years, despite Ryan Reed also being a driver with Diabetes.  I’m still gonna watch Conor this weekend but just with a tinge of irritation for Lilly.

I’ve been following Indycar and it’s drivers, since my then boyfriend, now husband, took me to a qualifying day at the Long Beach Gran Prix in 2003, and subsequently, we got engaged after that race.  I was a fan of Charlie Kimball, another Indycar driver with T1D, when he was in Indy Lights even before I was diagnosed with Diabetes myself in 2012.

Good luck this weekend, Conor!  Good vibes, back on track, keep driving, and get on that podium!

Second Person with Diabetes in Verizon Indycar Series for 2016 Season

 

Conor Daly, a racing driver and PWD, will be driving the No.18 car for Dale Coyne Racing in 2016! Watch him in action on NBC Sports and on ABC.
 
Yesterday, it was announced that Conor Daly, racecar driver and son of former Fomula One and Champ Car driver Derek Daly, will be driving full time with Dale Coyne Racing for the 2016 Verizon Indycar Series season.  Ok, so why am I writing about this on our Diabetes Blog?  Conor Daly will be the second Indycar driver to represent us People with Diabetes.  Who is the first? Charlie Kimball of Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing.  I am beyond excited!
Conor has been driving in some form since he was 10 years old.  He’s been around Indycar driving all his life since he’s dad was in racing.  He’s driven in racing series all over the globe including Formula Mazda, GP2, GP3, Formula One (as a test driver for Sahara Force India,), Indy Lights, and now a full-time ride at Indycar.  You may also have seen him in well known races as the 24 hours of Daytona and the Indianapolis 500.

“This is truly the most meaningful announcement of my career,” said Conor Daly. “After experiencing what I have in my career, especially the last three years, it is an incredible honor and opportunity to work with Dale Coyne Racing for a full season. To be able to go head to head and take the fight to other drivers every weekend is very exciting. I cannot thank Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality & Restaurant Group and all of Jonathan Byrd’s Racing’s partners enough for their effort in putting this program together. I am ready to get to work and try my best to outwork everyone else in the field every weekend to get results for this team.”

What does that say to me?  It says that we have an exciting and competitive year of Indycar racing ahead of us.  Conor Daly was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes in 2007 when he was 15 years old.  (Eerie tidbit, Charlie Kimball was also diagnosed in 2007.) Back to Conor: If you look at his driving accomplishments, you will find that his biggest accomplishments were made post diagnosis, so take that Diabetes!

I cannot wait to see him in action this year.  I also cannot wait to buy myself a Conor Daly/Dale Coyne     T-shirt to get my selfie on in.  Much like my Charlie Kimball selfies!

To read more on Conor Daly, go to his website at http://www.conordaly.net and follow him at on Twitter at @conordaly22 . 

Cut the BS…I mean Blood Sugar, y’all!!!