Richard Petty Questions Patrick's Chances of Winning
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on February 10, 2014 | 1:27 P.M. EST
Danica Patrick had one top-10 finish last season in her rookie year in Sprint Cup. (Photo: Getty Images)
Richard Petty said in an interview Sunday that the only way Danica Patrick would win a race was “if everybody else stayed home.’’
Petty’s comments, made during an appearance at the Canadian Motorsports Expo in Toronto were reported by Wheels.ca. A spokesperson for Richard Petty Motorsports said the team would have no further comment and stated that Petty was giving his opinion.
Petty also acknowledged in that same interview that Patrick has been good for NASCAR.
“If she’d have been a male, nobody would ever know if she’d showed up at a racetrack,” Petty said, according to Wheels.ca. “This is a female deal that’s driving her. There’s nothing wrong with that, because that’s good PR for me. More fans come out, people are more interested in it. She has helped to draw attention to the sport, which helps everybody in the sport.”
A spokesman for Patrick said they had no comment.
Patrick likely will be asked about it Thursday during media day at Daytona International Speedway.
Last year, Kyle Petty called Patrick a “marketing machine” and “not a racecar driver.’’ He made those comments on “NASCAR Race Hub” and on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
“That’s where I have a problem,’’ Kyle Petty said on the TV show now seen on Fox Sports 1. “Where fans have bought into the hype of the marketing, to think she’s a race car driver. She can go fast, and I’ve seen her go fast. She drives the wheels off it when she goes fast. She’s not a racecar driver. There’s a difference. ‘The King’ (Richard Petty) always had that stupid saying, but it’s true, ‘Lots of drivers can drive fast, but very few drivers can race.’ Danica has been the perfect example of somebody who can qualify better than what she runs.’’
Patrick brushed off those comments from Kyle Petty last year.
"I just think it's funny how he said I can qualify and I can't race,” Patrick said. “Those of you who actually watch what I do know I can't qualify for crap and in the race things go much better. It's a little bit funny. The most important thing to me is I can keep my team happy, we're going in the right direction.''
As for the criticism, Patrick said in June: “I really don’t care. It’s true that there are plenty of people who say bad things about me. I read them. At the end of the day, you get over that stuff and trust that you are doing a good job.’’