Posted February 13, 2014

Richard Petty: Danica Patrick will win Sprint Cup race ‘if everybody else stayed home’

More Sports, NASCAR
Danica Patrick (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Danica Patrick has only one top 10 finish in 46 Sprint Cup races. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Richard Petty doesn’t believe in Danica Patrick’s racing acumen.

The 76-year-old, a seven-time NASCAR series champion, didn’t pull any punches when asked if Patrick would ever win a Sprint Cup race.

“[Only] if everybody else stayed home,” Petty told reporters on Sunday at the Canadian Motorsports Expo in Toronto. “If she’d have been a male, nobody would ever know if she’d showed up at a race track. 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.”

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Patrick finished 27th in the standings last season — her rookie year — and her best finish came at Daytona, where she finished eighth after being the first woman to start from the pole position. It was her only top-10 finish in 46 Sprint Cup races.

“When NASCAR Cup racing first started, it was racing,” Petty said. “Over a period of years, with our sponsorships, what we had to do for TV, to get the fans to come, the first thing you know is that the race is secondary, because all the rest of it is buildup, buildup, buildup.

Patrick finished third in the 2009 Indy 500, the best finish for a woman. Petty won 200 races in his 35-year career.

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32 comments
GrampsFord
GrampsFord

Based on the fact she HAS finished ahead of other drivers on many occasions, it stands to reason that not 'everybody' needs to stay at home. Logic dictates that her stock car experience level is generally only capable of competing with others of similar experience, and teams who are racing with inferior equipment. That said, she was about where a driver of her experience should be finishing: 25th - 30th, However, in assessing her potential to win ANY race, consider what may have happened at Martinsville had Chase contenders stayed home. Basically, a top 20 finish means she'd have a great chance at a win, and she finished 12th & 17th in her runs there. 


Mathematically, Richard Petty's statement wasn't even close to being accurate, especially when she was 3rd coming to the finish after starting on the pole at Daytona. Would everyone need to stay home for her to have won that race? No. That clearly puts his statement on the level of 'trolling' or 'hating', because it was in no way logical or accurate, only disrespectful and insulting, especially to those who are apparently better educated than those who considered it acceptable.

livelystone
livelystone

Hey I thought she wanted to be one of the "guys". If this was said about anybody else on the track it wouldn't be news. You can't have it both ways. If you can't stand the heat then get out of the kitchen! LOL

rkcla08
rkcla08

richard petty is a redneck to the core from a bygone era.  he's butthurt to the max due to his kid being a racing loser who is even worse and isn't the least bit tolerable and undeserving to sit behind the desk with a microphone.  there hasn't been an insightful piece of racing come from either of their mouths and they both drag the sport down to the 60's mentality.

ready61
ready61

Richard Petty and his son Kyle have shown their true male chauvinist pig personality in piling on Danica Patrick the last two years.  Kyle Petty has never been anything but a failure, and currently the sorriest commentator in NASCAR.  Richard Petty won races back in the day with his brother Maurice as his engine builder cheating their way to winning.  I have been a male NASCAR spectator for over 50 years, and Danica Patrick is a credit to the sport.  


The King needs to back off, and set in his rocking chair at Level Cross, smoke another cigar, and pick on someone

else other than Danica Patrick.

junkgohere65
junkgohere65

Petty should not be one to talk.  His son would have never been able to even sniff a track had it not been for his last name let alone race for almost 30 years with just 8 meaningless wins over a career of 884 races.  He was beyond horrible, with all due respect the King should shut his pie hole.  Danica might be a flop in NASCAR  but at least Danica was successful in other fields before making a money grab.   The King should be ashamed at the decades of nepotism his son was the benefactor of instead of whining about a female racer who pretty much is the only reason any one paid attention to NASCAR outside of the core in the past 2-3 years.  


Wow, I cannot wait for another new format playoff that still allows losers not in the chase to compete.  How

wonderfully nonsensical is that.  I t would be like having every team compete in ever NBA, MLB or NFL playoff series.  What a joke NASCAR has become with the King still leading the pack.

niggeronwelfare
niggeronwelfare

I bet she can beat a prostitute at giving more head in a night tho!

tbw27
tbw27

He is the Don Cherry of NASCAR...and he is right...Thats why he is the KING

Robert96
Robert96

Hey, big guy.....................I would actually watch a race and pay money to she her.......not you.

tlm773458
tlm773458

Maybe she cannot race in NASCAR.  But you got to love those GoDaddy.com commercials...

David138
David138

So, you're saying there's a chance?

RandyHayes
RandyHayes

Thye King has that RIGHT.She's in over her head in NASCAR.She's a PR maven who can't drive a lick.Gets by because she's pretty and she's a female.END OF STORY.

RichardJones2
RichardJones2

How many current racers have won the pole at Daytona and finished in the top ten at that race in their first season?  What about the abilities of the 16 veteran racers that finished behind Danica for the season? I'm disappointed in Petty.

yiddo
yiddo

wel duh…….this woman has been a very average/below average racer her whole career. Her hype started back in 2004 when she was in Formula Atlantic. She was average in a below average field then. But hey….she made the cover of Maxim, so she kept her seat. Then she was moved to the below average IRL, and she was an average racer in above average cars. But hey….she made the cover of Maxim. She's now a below average driver in Nascar, even with an above average car. But hey…..she made the cover of Maxim

iiibbb
iiibbb

SI is just baiting Petty.

Danica is more talented than Petty thinks... but do I think she's a champ no... Do I think she can win a race.  Sure.

chris92021
chris92021

Petty doesn't have the ability to eloquently say Danica Patrick doesn't have enough talent to win a Sprint Cup race. If Michael Sam wasn't dominating the news cycle, this would be ESPN's top headline. I could see an Outside the Lines being prepared immediately. 

iiibbb
iiibbb

derp derp derpy derp Alzheimer's derp

Allen Dymond
Allen Dymond

And while I'm on a roll I may as well mention the Michael Sam's situation.

This young man may be deprived of just compensation for his abilities, due to the media's obsession with publishing the sexual habits of cetain individuals.

It's sad.
The media tout a quest for equality while in fact all they are doing is generating air time to sell advertising dollars, at the cost of those they claim to be serving.

Allen Dymond
Allen Dymond

Thank you Richard. It's nice too hear some honest thoughts every now and then.

It's sad that this media driven world we live in has used everything it can get it's hands on to stir controversy to sell their drivel. 

Race, bigotry, pitting men against women, and anything else to elicit outrage and drive sales.

I believe that everyone, man or woman, should be able to test their abilities in any area they feel they can succeed. But the fact of the matter is that each gender is specifically developed to excel in certain tasks, and not so much in others.

In my recollection Billy Jean King is the only woman who went squarely toe to toe, on equal footing with a male (Bobby Riggs) and took home the victory. 

The muscular configurations of a woman as opposed to a man put her at a disadvantage regarding physical acts, given similar size and fitness levels of both.

IamEpitaph
IamEpitaph

@ready61  Because why exactly? Because she is a woman? You are a NASCAR fan of 50 years yet you don't have a clue about rivalry? You have notion of Competition? Get real, she has to put on her big girl panties if she wants to Race in NASCAR, as a Fan of the sport you should know this more than anyone.......


I am so tired of everyone wanting women to be excepted and treated the same as men, then whining because they are...

rupertmundy
rupertmundy

@RandyHayesShe finished 27th in last season's Cup standings. She raced better than ten other regular Cup drivers so Danica can drive at least a lick and I'm quite sure you don't win a Daytona pole, get an Indy Car win or hold the IRL record for most consecutive races running at the finish (as of October 2, 2011, she had completed 50 consecutive in the running, besting the record by 18) by being "pretty". Time to join the 21st century, Randy...

Allen Dymond
Allen Dymond

@RichardJones2 It's a shame that a man expressing his opinion would be disappointing to anyone.

Disagree, okay.

Disappoint? 

Petty was asked a question, and answered it without considering your feelings. How rude.

Allen Dymond
Allen Dymond

@chris92021 Actually I feel Richard very diplomatically expressed himself regarding Danica;s ability too compete at this level.

Remember, he 's a Southern gentleman. Can't be badmouthing woman you know.

Allen Dymond
Allen Dymond

@iiibbb I wonder if you can comprehend the phrase; 'To every rule there is an exception". 

Which actually doesn't apply here, as is stated; Terri O'Connell had sexual reassignment surgery. 

You know, was a man, then had a couple of tweaks down to his running gear and appears as a woman.

Allen Dymond
Allen Dymond

@iiibbb A half a cup of Blueberry's a day is said to be able to help you with the Alzheimer's thing.

Give it a try. It doesn't look as if you have much to lose.

chris92021
chris92021

@Allen Dymond  Riggs was also 55 years old at that time and King was still in her physical prime. Even King would admit that she would not stand a chance against a 20something Riggs. 



SARDiver
SARDiver

@Allen DymondI hate to break this to you, but Bobby Riggs most likely did throw that match against King.  He destroyed Margaret Court (6–2, 6–1).  She was the #1 player in the world at the time.  People forget about that little match.

Allen Dymond
Allen Dymond

@chris92021 @Allen DymondCorrect, to my point; no woman of equal weight, size and fitness will be able to compete on an equal basis with a man in regards to physical activities.

Even the military has lowered the bar regarding testing females, so as to prepare woman for combat.

Is this fair to them, or their units?

Ryan19
Ryan19

@SARDiver @Allen Dymond  Well that and he was 26 years older than King.  It was more a Battle of the Ages than a Battle of the Sexes.