On Wednesday, Discount Tire, a sponsor of Penske Racing's No. 22 Nationwide Series car, took the rare step of issuing a statement four days after the fact about Jacques Villeneuve's comments after his incident with Danica Patrick on the final lap of the Nationwide Series race at Road America.
As Patrick, Villeneuve and Max Papis were battling for position, Villeneuve, driving the Discount Tire car, got into Patrick under braking and spun her around, dropping her from fourth to 12th. After the race, Villeneuve said that he couldn't get the car slowed down as he had lost traction after being pinched down into the grass by Papis as the cars entered turn five.
Below is the statement from Discount Tire:
"Together Penske and Discount Tire have achieved great success in the Nationwide Series, including a championship, and have maintained the highest levels of integrity and sportsmanship throughout that relationship. 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. Having said that, we continue to be very proud of our relationship with the Penske organization."
Villeneuve has made eight road course starts in the past five seasons, including three for Penske Racing. In those eight, the former Formula 1 champion has earned a reputation for being unafraid to use his bumper to make a pass.
The No. 22 car is primarily driven by Brad Keselowski, and has also been driven this year by Parker Kligerman. Villeneuve, the 1997 Formula 1 champion, is scheduled to be in the car at Montreal, the road course which is named after his father, the late Gilles Villeneuve. However, Discount Tire is not scheduled to be on the car.