King Petty is right about Danica Patrick…and he ain’t taking it back

If there is anyone who has earned the right to express his opinion about the state of NASCAR it is Richard Petty.

Arguably the greatest racer of all time, by and far the most winningest one with 200 victories, the King has earned his place in racing royalty.

He has earned the right to tell the truth.

And the truth is that Danica Patrick will probably never win a NASCAR race.

To quote Petty directly when asked if Patrick would ever be in the winners circle:

“Only if everyone else stayed home.”

Now, what impressed me is not his ability to grasp the obvious, or even his courage to state it plainly, but while watching ESPN today he had the backbone to stick by his statement and not be cowed by all those who are up in arms about it.

Petty would even go on to elaborate more on his statement by saying (paraphrased) she’s a very good driver, but you need to be a racer to win races.  She’s not a racer.

He even stated that there have been bad drivers who are great racers who win races.  In other word’s Danica Patrick just doesn’t have it.

The King then made a point that should shame the supporters of Danica who are outraged by his statements, if Danica was a guy you’d never know who she was.


Danica Patrick is marketed well and she’s pretty but let’s take a look at the numbers and you tell me if she is a racer.


Danica_Patrick_by_David_Shankbone (Photo credit: david_shankbone)

In Indy Car she won once in 115 races, made the podium 7 times and got the pole position 3 times.

Not bad, I mean, she did win after all, but Richard Petty wasn’t talking about Indy car, he was talking about NASCAR.

Danica Patrick moves to NASCAR.

She spent 4 years in the Nationwide Series where, over the course of 60 races, she never won, finished in the top 10 seven times and only won the pole position once.   Yet even with such lukewarm results she was pushed up to the big leagues of racing and the Sprint Cup Series.

In Sprint Cup over the passed 2 years and in 46 races she still hasn’t won, has only a SINGLE top ten finish and one pole. Her best finish in the chase has been 27th.

Now I ask you, if Danica Patrick was just Daniel Patrick, would you even know his name?

See, the King was speaking without prejudice because all he was doing was evaluating a driver.  It is Danica Patrick’s defenders who are in the wrong and trying to make her a victim.  She’s just not that good.

Unfortunately, since she is a woman, apparently the truth must go unsaid.

Fortunately, Richard Petty said it, meant it AND stuck by it.

Even years after leaving the track the man is still a class act.

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