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Red Bull GRC: Speed, Keyes win Saturday races in LA

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Editor’s note – there’s been a late add to the programming schedule with today’s first Red Bull Global Rallycross Supercars race airing tonight at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on NBCSN. Coverage continues as scheduled on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET/noon PT on NBC. Full recaps from today’s races are below:

LOS ANGELES – Scott Speed (Supercars) and Alex Keyes (GRC Lites) have claimed victories in the second-to-last races of Red Bull Global Rallycross’ 2016 season at the Red Bull GRC Los Angeles presented by Honda.

Both drivers dominated their races from pole, but that did not mean both races were lacking in action. It was far from it in both categories.

Speed, who entered 13 points behind Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross teammate Tanner Foust entering the weekend (465-452) launched off the line and was well clear of Foust, with both of the #PinkBeetle cars running away from the rest of the field.

Foust’s best chance to overtake him came when he took the Honda Joker Lap on the 12th and last lap of the final.
Although that cut the deficit significantly once Foust took the Joker, he was unable to overcome the deficit Speed had built up in his No. 41 Beetle GRC the rest of the race. The win is Speed’s fourth this season.

Steve Arpin launched from the fourth and final row of the grid, 10thh place, up to fifth by the end of the first lap in his No. 00 Ford Fiesta ST for Chip Ganassi Rallycross. Only a couple laps later, he was up to third, where he ran for the remainder of the race.

The most dramatic moment of the race came when Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE’s Joni Wiman and Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins actually collided in mid-air going over the jump on Lap 5 when engaged in a battle for fifth place. Wiman went to Higgins’ inside and his right rear tire of his No. 31 Honda Civic Coupe hit the No. 75 Subaru WRX-STi, which punctured it. Wiman limped around from there and ultimately retired. Brian Deegan leapt to fourth in his No. 38 Ganassi Ford behind the top three.

The final battle in the race occurred for fifth, with Wiman’s teammate Sebastian Eriksson prevailing in a last-lap scrap over Patrik Sandell of Bryan Herta Rallysport. However, after the race, Eriksson was dropped to ninth place for aggressive driving, with a five-second penalty assessed.

Higgins was seventh ahead of teammate Chris Atkinson, who had a miserable start and spent the race recovering, with Supercars debutantes Mitchell DeJong (Honda) and Tanner Whitten (SH Rallycross/DRR) completing the top 10. Wiman and Austin Dyne retired from the race.

In GRC Lites, Keyes took his No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing entry to an early lead over points leader Oliver Eriksson (No. 16 Olsbergs MSE X Forces), teammate Miki Weckstrom (No. 45), Colin Braun (No. 54 CORE autosport) and Travis PeCoy (No. 3 AF Racing).

Weckstrom used the Honda Joker Lap to get past Eriksson and Braun into second before the drama intensified behind them.

Braun darted to the inside of Eriksson into the left-hander before the jump, which knocked Eriksson off the road and out of the race.

Keyes won from Weckstrom, Braun, Cabot Bigham and Christian Brooks on the road. Braun was disqualified from the race after the contact with Eriksson, and that brought everyone from Bigham in fourth up one position.

Points standings will follow in due course ahead of tomorrow’s season finales, when the championships will be determined.

Today’s first Supercars race will air tonight at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on NBCSN, a bonus broadcast. Full coverage from the weekend airs Sunday at 3 p.m. ET/noon PT on NBC.

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/