The Lady in Black
KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (Sept. 1, 2015) – It’s been called the toughest of all tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, so much so that Darlington (S.C.) Raceway years ago was nicknamed “The Track Too Tough To Tame.”
Darlington is an egg-shaped oval, 1.366 miles in length – the odd shape because the western half of the track required a tighter radius in the turns as founder Harold Brasington promised Sherman Ramsey, who owned a farm next to the property, that he wouldn’t disturb his minnow pond when he built the track in 1949.
The odd shape also means that, to find the fast way around the track, drivers run extremely close to the outside walls in each turn. They sometimes brush up against them and thus earn what has affectionately become known as a “Darlington Stripe” on the right side of the car. And the black marks left on the walls by the tires rubbing up against them all race weekend have led to the track’s other nickname, “The Lady in Black.”
As Sprint Cup Series teams head to Darlington this weekend for the Southern 500, Danica Patrick will be the lady in black at “The Lady in Black” as her No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) features a special black paint scheme in honor of the small businesses GoDaddy helps keep fiscally “in the black.”
Small-business owners like Val Figarella, owner of MotorGrrl and a GoDaddy customer since 2004, rely on the company for the tools they need to successfully run their businesses and operate “in the black,” financially.
After riding motorcycles for roughly seven years, Figarella found herself fed up with trying to find honest mechanics and a safe place to work on her bike in New York City. So, she took matters into her own hands and developed MotorGrrl – a one-stop shop for all things motorcycle-related, from storage to ordering parts to service and maintenance, and even educational workshops. Figarella started MotorGrrl from her East Village basement apartment 11 years ago and thanks, in part, to the products and services that GoDaddy provides small businesses, her company has continued to grow and now operates out of a 50,000-square-foot, full-service garage in Brooklyn, New York.
The success of Figarella and MotorGrrl is one example of the millions of customers who GoDaddy continues to help easily start, confidently grow and successfully run their small-business ventures. And Figarella will be representing those millions of customers on the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet this weekend as her name appears above the right-side door and the MotorGrrl logo adorns the car’s television panel.
While GoDaddy customers like Figarella have made considerable achievements, Patrick is still working to improve her results at Darlington. In three Sprint Cup Series start at "The Lady in Black," her best finish at the track is a 22nd-place effort earned in April 2014. She also scored a 12th-place result in her lone Xfinity Series start at the track in 2012.
As a result, as Patrick and GoDaddy head to Darlington to celebrate the company’s successful small-business customers who operate “in the black,” Patrick will look to find a similar level of on-track success as she tackles the “Lady in Black” this weekend.
DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Describe the Darlington stripe and what it’s like to get one.
“I would say that, because my background is in IndyCar, I don’t look at gray areas of the track and think there’s a lot of grip there. I’m not used to driving by a wall. I didn’t grow up racing on dirt and running up on the cushion. The high line is something to me that I have to have a lot of confidence in the car to be able to go there with the kind of speed that needs to be taken. I’ve definitely earned the Darlington stripe and sometimes there’s just not much you can do about it. I’ve even gotten it going down the straightaway where the right-rear (tire) catches the wall and pulls the front in. You’ve got to stay focused at all times, especially at a place like Darlington, where you have to be up on the wheel for all the corners because they’re all pretty different. It’s earned through pushing those boundaries of how high you can take the car and how much speed you can take doing it.”
The No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet features a special paint scheme for this weekend’s race at “The Lady in Black.” What do you think of it?
“The GoDaddy Chevrolet looks great for the race at Darlington. GoDaddy helps keep customers in the black and that’s why we’re running this special paint scheme, so I’ll be the lady in black at ‘The Lady in Black’ this weekend. We’re showcasing one of GoDaddy’s successful small-business customers – Val from MotorGrrl – on the car, as well. GoDaddy provides great tools to help small-business owners, like me and Val, succeed. It’s great to have a partner like GoDaddy that supports its customers.”
PHIL BIENERT, Chief Marketing Officer for GoDaddy:
Why is the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet running a special paint scheme featuring GoDaddy customer Val Figarella this weekend?
“GoDaddy is a champion for small businesses and is dedicated to keeping our customers ‘in the black.’ We’re inspired by small-business owners, like Val from MotorGrrl, who pushed the limits in her industry to create and run a successful small business. She’s a prime example of a ‘go getter.’”
VAL FIGARELLA, Owner of MotorGrrl and GoDaddy Customer:
Why did you decide to become a small-business owner and start MotorGrrl?
“Pioneering something new and breaking through is really what it’s all about for me. Being a woman in the biking community, you can get taken advantage of. You have to look hard for someone you can trust to do good work at a decent price. MotorGrrl provides a professional environment where anyone can work on and store their bike, along with tools, a place to order parts, and attend workshops.”
Why did you create MotorGrrl.com?
“As soon as I decided that I wanted to start a business, I knew I needed three things: business cards, a website and new customers. If you don’t have a website, how will people know you? Our website ties us closer to our community and our customers.”
Why did you choose to work with GoDaddy?
“If my business wasn’t online, new customers wouldn’t find me. I wanted my website to stand out. I wanted to really make it my own, to bring in new features that people are using and stay ahead of the curve. When you’re first starting out, you’re always concerned about the budget. GoDaddy offers email, hosting, things that I absolutely need for the best price. That’s one way they helped me stay in the black. Being a computer programmer, I know that SSL and other security packages are essential. GoDaddy is always right there to tell me the best way to keep my website protected so our customers aren’t compromised. Every time I called customer support, it was very quick, very easy, and it made me want to stay with GoDaddy and never look back.”
Do you have any advice for others looking to start their own small business?
“Believe in your dreams and believe in yourself and you can do anything. As long as you put your mind and your energy in it, and you treat people right, the sky’s the limit.”
- Tom Jensen
NASCAR Editor at FOXSports.com & RACER Magazine