Speed chats with NBC's Kristen Kenney after New River win. Photo: Larry Chen/Red Bull GRC

Speed seeks second straight Red Bull GRC crown in LA

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Scott Speed will enter this year’s Red Bull Global Rallycross finale as the hunter rather than the hunted compared to his Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross teammate Tanner Foust.

A year ago, Speed held the edge going into the 2015 finale at Las Vegas. Rain and nightmarish conditions greeted Red Bull GRC’s field of contenders, but Speed emerged on top for his first professional championship, and the first for the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team.

Now, Speed has a 13-point deficit to overcome as he looks to retain his crown. But he’s headed to a perfect site to do it – in Los Angeles last year, Speed won both races of the doubleheader.

This weekend marks Rounds 10 and 11 of the season, Red Bull GRC Los Angeles Presented by Honda (3 p.m. ET, NBC) and Speed, who has three wins this year to Foust’s four, will seek an encore of his 2015 performance and capture the title back.

Even though he’s keen to beat Foust, Speed has spoken highly of the mutual respect the two of them have had for each other throughout their stint as teammates.

“We have enough mutual respect to race each other clean,” Speed told NBC Sports. “Three years now, we’ve never really run into each other… or at least not intentionally! So that goes a long way. Clean weekends, less failures, and it’s nice.”

Speed finished off the podium last race out in Seattle and that cost him the points lead after his midseason run of three consecutive race wins at MCAS New River, Washington, D.C. and Atlantic City.

“We’ve had the short end of the luck stick recently but it’s turning around right now,” Speed said after the Atlantic City win. “We’ll look forward to continue to rattle off the pole positions, and having clean qualifyings, because that hurt us in the beginning of the year.

“Even Phoenix the start of season was a disaster. We were lucky to qualify second when we did. We broke in one of the finals. Ending fifth or sixth, we were lucky to finish with a broken car. Lots of little gremlins at start of year but knock on wood, it’s been clean since then.”

Speed has spoken highly about racing in Los Angeles and looks forward to the opportunity to deliver there.

“We’ve been strong all year and as long as we stay clean in LA, I’m confident that the team can grab some more great results to wrap up the season,” Speed said.

“It’s always exciting to come out to LA and I’m looking forward to putting on a great show for some passionate rallycross fans.”

GoDaddy to sponsor Patrick in ‘Danica Double’ at Daytona, Indy — now all she needs are rides

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By The Associated Press

Danica Patrick is going back to green.

GoDaddy Green, to be exact – a fitting color for her farewell tour.

The company will sponsor Patrick in the upcoming “Danica Double” that will close out her racing career, The Associated Press has learned. Patrick has no ride yet for next month’s Daytona 500 or the Indianapolis 500 in May, but she now has the financial backing to pull it off.

This time around, the original GoDaddy Girl will symbolize the new core mission of the company that helped make her one of the world’s most recognizable athletes.

“There’s this great story: I left IndyCar with GoDaddy on my car, I started NASCAR with GoDaddy on my car, I’m most recognized as the GoDaddy green car and driver, and so to finish up my career that way feels appropriate,” Patrick told the AP from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Her final race will be the Indy 500, an appropriate choice because it was “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” that rocketed Patrick and GoDaddy into pop culture notoriety.

GoDaddy and Patrick grew up together. The company switched series with her and marketed her as a strong, sexy woman in 13 Super Bowl commercials – a record appearance for celebrities. Now, the company is most interested in Patrick the budding businesswoman who is firmly closing the door on her racing career and rebranding herself as an entrepreneur . She has a book out, an apparel line, a wine label and confirmed to AP this week that she’s dating Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

“Our goals are so well-aligned,” Barb Rechterman, the chief marketing officer of GoDaddy, told AP. “She’s passionate, tenacious and creative just like so many of our customers who are also looking to leverage the power of the internet and turn their `side hustle’ into a full-time business. Danica absolutely epitomizes the heart of our GoDaddy customers.”

Prepare to hear a lot about the “side hustle” as GoDaddy climbs aboard the so-far fledgling “Danica Double.”

Patrick announced in November she would end her driving career with the Daytona 500 and Indy 500, but didn’t have a deal completed for either race. Still doesn’t. Yet somehow, Patrick always figures a way to get what she wants. Talks ended with Chip Ganassi Racing about a possible ride, and late last month, Patrick said, she called former GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons and asked about a reunion.

GoDaddy has rebranded since it last teamed with Patrick. The company now touts itself as “the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures,” and there’s no better spokeswoman than Patrick, who is in the next chapter of her life and her brand.

GoDaddy pulled out of racing after the 2015 season, and Patrick hasn’t had the same level of funding and marketing support since. Patrick has slowly reshaped her image, first into a Instagram model and is now a full-blown lifestyle guru. She realized – at the age of 35 – she was on her own.

She and GoDaddy aligned for a splashy move into NASCAR, where she was glamorous off the track but only mediocre on it. Through all of this, she was married, divorced, spent five years dating fellow driver and competitor Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and then seemed to find herself through a tailored diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

She is cutting the cord on racing after Indy, and her focus is on a sense of well-being far away from the track.

“Their business is so perfectly paired to what is going on with mine, so when we sat down and met, it was like, `Let’s talk about our business. Let’s talk about the messaging. How does this work?”‘ Patrick said. “And this is undeniably perfect for both of us. Not only is it a huge two races and the biggest two races of the year, but on top of that, you have so much `side hustle’ going on, and all the messaging and our brands, and where we are going is so perfectly paired.”w

GoDaddy can help Patrick move on to whatever it is for racing’s former “It Girl.” The company will help her streamline her online presence. Patrick, for the company, is back as a neon green-and-yellow symbol to all the wannabe entrepreneurs chasing dreams.

She’ll get those rides, too. Patrick said she knows she will because she believes she will.

“That’s just the way the universe works,” she said. “You have to ask for what you want. Things have taken a long time with this, but you just have to go with the flow on these things. The universe is not on your time schedule.”

More AP auto racing: https://racing.ap.org/