Danica Patrick was the object of some harsh words from seven-time NASCAR Championship winner Richard Petty.
Petty, who won a record 200 NASCAR races, made his latest controversial comments on the Canadian automotive site, Wheels.ca. while he was in Toronto for the Canadian Motorsports Expo.
Even though he said that Danica Patrick would only win the Sprint Cup Series “if everybody else stayed home,” he also said that he thought she was good for NASCAR, mainly for the attention she brings. He added, “I just don’t think it’s a sport for women. And so far, it’s proven out. It’s really not. It’s good for them to come in. It gives us a lot of publicity, it gives them publicity.”
The fact that Danica Patrick is a looker and female in a male dominated sport has caused somewhat of a phenomenon. Nevertheless, her personal success, having won the 2008 Indy Japan 300, must also be taken into consideration.
Petty wrote on the Canadian website about Danica Patrick:
“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.”
Patrick also came under fire from Petty’s son, Kyle, who is quoted as saying that Danica Patrick was “not a race car driver.” In 2013, she finished in the top 10 only once, and she was 27th in the season standings.
There is no doubt that whether or not you agree with the criticism leveled against Patrick by Richard Petty and his son Kyle, she gets a lot of negative and positive attention because of her high profile.
It remains to be seen what 2014 will bring for Danica Patrick and her success in NASCAR. What is for sure is that no matter what she does, there will be no shortage of media attention on her.