Villeneuve gets wrist slapped for taking out Danica Discount Tire, which sponsors the Penske Racing No. 22 Nationwide Series car, issued a statement Wednesday expressing its displeasure with Penske driver Jacques Villeneuve’s actions in Saturday's race at Road America.
The sponsor wasn’t upset that Villeneuve spun Danica Patrick on the final lap. It was upset over Villeneuve’s laissez-faire attitude following the race.
Villeneuve said he had dirt on his tires and couldn’t slow down to avoid hitting the rear of Patrick’s car while trying to make a turn as they battled for fourth. Patrick, whose fourth place last year at Las Vegas was the highest finish for a female in a NASCAR national touring series, ended up 12th while Villeneuve was sixth.
Afterward, Villeneuve was confronted on pit road by Patrick crew chief Tony Eury Jr., and Villeneuve felt the accident was the fault of Max Papis.
“(He was mad) about the fact that there was contact and I was involved,” Villeneuve said. “But it had nothing to do with me (being at fault). So I don’t care.”
The Canadian driver, who has a reputation for being overly aggressive, is slated to compete in two events this year for Penske Racing, with the other one being in his hometown of Montreal in August. The No. 22 car typically is driven by Brad Keselowski or Parker Kligerman.
“Together Penske and Discount Tire have achieved great success in the Nationwide Series, including a championship (in 2010) and have maintained the highest levels of integrity and sportsmanship throughout that relationship,” the company said in its statement.
“Although we believe the contact between Villeneuve and Patrick to be unfortunate, it is a part of professional racing. However, Villeneuve’s post race comments did not reflect our ideals regarding sportsmanship.” Sporting News