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Bryan Clauson to be inducted into National Sprint Car Hall of Fame

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The late Bryan Clauson will posthumously receive one of the greatest honors of his racing career.

Clauson will be one of eight individuals to be inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. The 29th annual ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 2, in Knoxville, Iowa.

Clauson died August 7, 2016, from injuries sustained in a crash in a midget car race the night before in Belleville, Kansas. He was 27.

Clauson is one of three drivers that will be part of the eight inductees. Here is what the Hall said of Clauson in the official statement:

“Despite passing at the age of 27, Bryan’s impact on sprint car racing was already indelible. He was a two-time USAC sprint car champion and Driver of the Year. He won 41 USAC National sprint car features, and was a two-time Indiana Sprint Week Champion.

“After switching to wing racing, he held wins with the All Stars, the National Sprint League, ASCS and on Friday night at the Knoxville Nationals, one of the two years that he put himself in the Knoxville Nationals championship race. Bryan would also qualify for the Indianapolis 500 three times.”

During his racing career, Clauson won:

  • 3 USAC National Midget Series championships (2010, 2011, 2015).
  • 3 USAC National Drivers Champion honors (2010, 2011, 2012)
  • 2 USAC National Sprint Car Series Champion (2012, 2013)
  • Non-winged Driver of the Year (2013)
  • Won the Chili Bowl (2014)
  • 3-time Belleville Midget Nationals Champion (2009, 2010, 2015)
  • 2-time Turkey Night Grand Prix Winner (2009, 2010)

Clauson will join Pennsylvania legend Lance Dewease and Florida racer David Steele as those chosen to be inducted into the Hall under the Drivers category.

Inductees honored under the Owners, Mechanics, Builders, Manufacturers and Car Builders category are Scott Gerkin and Emmett J. Malloy.

Those chosen for Promoters, Officials, Media Members and Event/Series Sponsors are Steve Beitler and photographer Bob Mays.

Lastly, the final inductee – under the pre-1945 category – is Oscar Dwain “Red” Garnant.

“This year’s inductee group is another testament to the hard work put in by our 72-member National Induction Committee,” National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum Foundation executive director Bob Barker said in a media release. “We are really looking forward to our 29th induction banquet on the Marion County Fairgrounds in Knoxville, Iowa.”

The Sprint Car Hall of Fame was established in 1990 and has inducted 382 members, including this year’s class.

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/