SPARTA, Ky. – Danica Patrick doesnt care that Kyle Petty thinks shes better at getting attention than driving because shes heard it all before.
But if Pettys going to attack her, the NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie believes he should at least get his facts straight.
On Friday, Patrick responded to Pettys comments a night earlier on Speeds Race Hub program, in which the former Sprint Cup driver called her a marketing machine rather than a race car driver. Petty also doubted that Patrick would become a driver and insisted that she doesnt race as well as she qualifies.
Patricks statistics suggest otherwise. On average shes finishing almost six spots higher (25.8) than she starts (32nd), which she noted by saying, those who watch know I cant qualify for crap. The race goes much better.
That likely wont stop Petty, the 53-year-old son of seven-time Cup champion Richard Petty and an eight-time race winner on NASCARs premier circuit, from criticizing Patrick.
Now an analyst for TNT and Fox/Speed, Petty has periodically taken jabs at Patrick, who drives the No. 10 Chevy for Stewart-Haas Racing.
On Thursday night, Petty seemed to elaborate on his views during the show. While he understands the mass appeal of Patrick, her driving skills dont justify the hype in his opinion.
Thats where I have a problem, where fans have bought into the hype of the marketing, to think shes a race car driver, he said. She can go fast, and Ive seen her go fast. She drives the wheels off it when she goes fast.
Asked if she has learned to race, Petty continued, Shes not a race car driver. Theres a difference. The King always had that stupid saying, but its 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. She can go fast, but she cant race.
Patrick won the pole and finished eighth in the season-opening Daytona 500 but has struggled this season.
I really dont care, she said. Its true that there are plenty of people who say bad things about me. At the end of the day, you get over that stuff and trust you are doing a good job.