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Indy Lights champion Kyle Kaiser named to AARWBA All-America team

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Kyle Kaiser, the 2017 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion, has been named to the AARWBA (American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association) All-America Team. The 21-year-old Kaiser joins Brittany Force, Martin Truex Jr., Josef Newgarden, Ricky and Jordan Taylor, Donny Schatz, and Christopher Bell as drivers honored by AARWBA as part of their 2017 All-America team.

“It’s amazing to be mentioned with all these other drivers,” Kaiser said in a story on Indy Lights’ website. “To be on the same team with the (Verizon IndyCar Series) champion alone is incredible, but to be included with such an outstanding list of champions from all over the motorsports community is really an honor. 2017 was an incredible season for us and a great feat to win the Indy Lights title, and it’s good to be recognized for that accomplishment.”

Kaiser was also keen to highlight the importance of Juncos Racing, with whom he won the Indy Lights crown, on his success.

“It was a team effort, so it’s not just for me but for all the guys at Juncos Racing who worked so hard and put together such a great season,” Kaiser asserted. “We’ll be racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series this season because of this championship and testing starts in February. I’ll be in the car for the first time at the series official test at Phoenix and I’m very excited to get behind the wheel of an Indy car thanks to the Indy Lights championship.”

Kaiser, in his fourth year in the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires and third in Indy Lights competition, rode a wave of consistency to the championship in 2017. Highlighted by three race victories, including a weekend sweep at Toronto in July, Kaiser’s season saw him finish outside the top 10 only twice in 16 races, including 13 finishes of sixth or better, and he needed to only start the season finale at Watkins Glen to clinch the Indy Lights title.

Kaiser is scheduled to move up to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018 and currently has a four-race deal in place with Juncos Racing.

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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/