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Richard Petty labeled as the bad guy for daring to tell the truth about Danica

By admin | February 20, 2014

Richard Petty doesn’t think Danica Patrick can win Sprint Cup races.

*I realize this blog may seem a bit late but an illness that led to a four day stay in the hospital prevented me from commenting earlier. That said, there was no way I was going to let something like this situation go without posting my thought. 

By Richard Allen

NASCAR has evolved itself into a sponsor-pleasing, politically correct sport in which its personalities seem to go out of their way to say all the “right” things in the most boring of ways. As a result, those personalities are often criticized for their lack of opinion and avoidance of controversy. But when someone does dare to offer an opinion that might not fit with the standard “company line”, the speaker is often chastised and labeled by the media and others.

Such has proven to be the case with Richard Petty’s recent comments regarding Danica Patrick.

During an appearance at the Canadian Motorsports Expo earlier in February, Petty was asked if he thought Patrick would ever win a Sprint Cup race. “If everybody else stayed home,” Petty responded. “If she’d been male, nobody would ever know if she’d showed up at a racetrack.

“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 draw attention to the sport, which helps everybody in the sport.”

Based on Patrick’s career so far in NASCAR, what is wrong with that statement? She has one pole and one top-10 finish(both in the 2013 Daytona 500) in 46 career Sprint Cup starts. Along with that, she posted only seven top-10s in 60 Nationwide Series starts prior to coming into Sprint Cup racing. All of that driving in equipment supplied and supported by Stewart-Haas Racing and JR Motorsports, which are both closely allied with powerful Hendrick Motorsports.

Is there anyone out there who believes a male driver with the same credentials would be getting the same amount of attention Danica gets?

 To prove Petty’s point, David Ragan finished 28th in the Sprint Cup standings last season compared to Danica’s 27th. One key difference is that Ragan actually won a race in 2013. How many pre-race and mid-week magazine show special reports on the networks that cover NASCAR was he the subject of? How many times were we told of his relationship with his significant other?

The truth of the matter is that Danica Patrick is a product of television marketing. When asked about it, Richard Petty dared to tell the truth. And in a time when NASCAR personalities are so often chastised for not saying what they really think, he was then labeled as a sexist for it.

Petty did not say women should not be involved in NASCAR. As a matter of fact, he said that Danica’s involvement was good for the sport. If his comments are read objectively, there’s no other way to interpret that. He was asked about one particular driver and he told the truth.

Had he been asked the same question about Travis Kvapil or Landon Cassill, his remarks would not have even made print. But we live in a society that deems it necessary to label people as haters just for having opinions. Anytime a well known person offers their views on guns, homosexuality or marijuana they get grilled by one side or the other. It’s no wonder drivers chose to be so vanilla. Look what happens when they opt to be otherwise.

Yes, I am biased in this particular case. I was named after Richard Petty and grew up idolizing the man. At the same time, I have never been a fan of Danica’s image driven fame. But those facts aside, there was nothing wrong with anything ‘The King’ said other than the fact he said it about today’s current media darling.

I can’t say Danica Patrick will never win a Sprint Cup race, but I have seen nothing that would lead me to believe otherwise outside of some odd occurrence. Apparently Richard Petty shares that same point of view. I don’t hate her and I doubt that he does either. That’s just the truth as I see it.

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31 Responses to “Richard Petty labeled as the bad guy for daring to tell the truth about Danica”

  1. Tim Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Didn’t he also say recently that women shouldn’t race? Is this really the guy you wanna defend? He comes across as a sexist pig.

  2. David Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Petty speaks the truth. She’s horrendous and has no clue what she is doing out there. Her big success in the other league was 1 win where the leader thought she was a lap down and let her pass because he was saving fuel.

  3. William Wayne Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Tim: Just what is a “sexist pig”?

    Did you read and try to understand Rich’s opinion?

    Rich would therefore also be a “sexiest pig” in your interpretation………

  4. Bill B Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 6:49 am

    First off, sorry to hear about your hospital deal Rich. Glad you are back and glad you weighed in on this topic.

    I am in total agreement. Petty had an opinion, he voiced it, and to hell with the PC, overly-sensitive, everything offends me crowd.

    It seems like the people that preach diversity and tolerance draw the line at those who have an opinion that isn’t PC. There is no tolerance for them.

  5. Mike Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Shawna Robinson was a racer. Tina Gordon was a racer. There’s plenty of examples of lady racers…where the key word is ‘lady’.

    The King is right –all Danica is good for is smutty commercials that appeal to hormone laden youth. Her racing skills are mediocre at best. Shaking her money maker is what got her here.

    And, Tony, you’ve stood on the shoulders of giants (e.g. Richard Petty). But unlike Sir Isaac Newton, you’re too pompous to see that.

  6. morgan ward Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 8:02 am


    You are exactly correct in your assertions my friend. I believe that in addition to the reasons you stated for Richard Petty to have been so viciously attacked by the PC Crowd, is because many in today’s society have been ‘dumbed’ down to the point where they have absolutely no comprehension skills or any self or critical thought of their own , in being able to comprehend the context or intent of what is presented.

    When Richard Petty stated that Danica would win if everyone else stayed home, was just a ‘tongue in cheek’ expression which meant to convey the notion that it would be very difficult for Danica to ever win.

    Because of their lack of comprehension abilities, they, the Danica cheerleaders, easily jump on the band wagon of the PC crowd as it is easier for them to do that as it requires absolutely no self or critical thought.

    Danica would have already been sent packing if she was a Male Driver, as she has a pitiful performance record , even though as you rightly pointed out, she has had superior equipment to most others since coming into NASCAR.

    As for as Richard Petty is concerned, He doesn’t have to prove anything. His record both on and off of the track is far beyond any reproach. Danica nor Crybaby Tony Stewart will ever come anywhere close to Richard Petty’s accomplishments.

    The comment made by Tim only goes to prove what I have stated. It is obvious that he is completely uneducated as well as impertinent to who Richard Petty is and all He has done for the Sport of NASCAR.There has never been one iota of a hint of Richard Petty of ever having been a ’sexist’.

    Only an absolute mindless fool would never desire their Children to grow up with the wonderful attributes and the unquestionable qualities of Richard Petty.

    But then again, I began following NASCAR racing in 1958 and immediately pulled for Richard Petty since his first race when he was just another new face within NASCAR.
    It didn’t take too long for Richard Petty to out distance himself from the rest in both performance on and off the track as He is in a class to himself.

    In this day and age, only a clueless fool would prefer to believe a lie than to hear the truth. It is wonderful that Richard Petty still stands among the giants in telling the truth.

    Nothing Richard Petty said was ’sexist’ except only among those who are the bi-products of a ‘dumbed’ down and politically correct society who would rather believe a lie. Richard was asked a question and simply answered it as any honest person would.

    Keep telling the truth Richard as there are many within our society who need to hear it. That is what will keep TRUE NASCAR fans coming to your Web site long after those who are easily swayed and simple minded are long gone.

  7. Greg Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Richard should look back and remember how UNEXCITING Kyle’s stats were at the same length of time that Danica has been in the cup series. Kyle wrecked a lot of RICHARDS cars the first few years with no real results.

  8. NASCARJeff Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 8:43 am

    The only other driver who can get away with it is Dale Earnhardt Jr. He like Danica in in the best equipment on the track and again like Danica he doesn’t win yet he keeps his ride with Hendrick Motorsports.

    Both of them command high salaries and bring in sponsor money because they are a named product. Not winning names but famous names that don’t really have to produce on the track but just bring in the money.

    Many drivers have come thru HMS with the record Dale Jr has there and been fired for it. Wally Dallenbach, Joe Nemechek, Brian Vickers and Ricky Craven to name a few but they didn’t bring in the sponsors nor the attention that Dale Earnhardt Jr does.

    And that is what Stewart-Haas sees too, a person who can bring in money and exposure to the team no matter if she wins or not.

    I just hope that someday some disgruntled NASCAR inspector or SHR emlpoyee spills the beans that her wining the pole for the Daytona 500 was rigged.

  9. GinaV24 Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Petty is correct in saying that if Danica were male, she wouldn’t be getting the same amount of attention paid to her by TV and the other media. I feel that there are several other female drivers who could race as well as she does in NASCAR IF they had the funding and the cars she has.

    I’m for equality in opportunity but I’m not going to say that she should get special treatment - even though she already does. Tim, you may think he’s a sexist pig but I’m very tired of all of the PC nonsense that is constantly spouted anytime someone, anyone criticizes Danica.

    Danica has had huge opportunities both in Indy Cars and in NASCAR as far as $, sponsorship and race cars and simply hasn’t lived up to the hype.

  10. Benjamin P. Glaser Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Good words here Richard.

    Also glad to hear you are feeling better.

  11. Glen H. Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 9:11 am

    The King’s comments on Danica were right on the mark. The only reason that she gets the press she does is because she’s a woman. There’s nothing really wrong with that but people can’t kid themseles into believing that she’s getting the press because of her results.

    If Danica has the same results this season as last, and she were male, she’d be looking for a new ride next season. However, as long as she brings in sponsor dollars (made easy because of her press coverage), she’ll keep her ride.

  12. Michael Johnson Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 9:27 am

    REALLY , I sat there last night watching “the worlds best drivers ” for the better half of 3 1/2 hrs playing follow the leader for 55 out of 60 laps and every media rag on the plant wants to talk about Petty vs Danica . I think I just figured out what the problem with Nascar is .

  13. midasmicah Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Great article, Rich. If the truth hurts, so be it. It’s all about marketing a product. I give Danica cudos for being out there, but I don’t think she”ll ever win a nascar race.

  14. midasmicah Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Greg. Kyle Petty won 8 races. Look it up.

  15. Bill B Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 10:21 am

    One other thing. Tony Stewart has no credibility with regards to practicing what he preaches. He the master of “do as I say not as I do” BS.

    You know, “I’m going to wreck anyone that blocks me” and then he causes a the big one because he’s blocking.
    “We don’t have room for Ryan in our stable because we aren’t ready to start a 4th team” and then Kurt Busch is hired for a 4th team. I’m telling you the guy is full of S sometimes.

    If Danica wasn’t his driver, he would be the active driver most likely to say what Petty said.

  16. Steve Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Petty might have had a point if he didn’t take turn around after the backhanded comment and then say her being in the sport benefits him.

    Its sad to say, but I think those old time southern boys just don’t want a woman in the sport. Its being proven more and more each time they open their mouths and quite sad. I respect Petty’s accomplishments but he was off base and considering his son never lit it up in Cup, he should probably tone it down a bit.

  17. GinaV24 Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Rich - I meant to say, too, sorry to hear about your hospital stay and I am glad you are back.

    Bill B — most of the people who preach tolerance and diversity are only tolerant of people who agree with them.

    BTW, I agree about Stewart - he’s a pompus butt who says one thing and does another.

  18. Jay Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    While Richard was too harsh about Danica, he has earned the right to speak his mind about whatever he wants.

  19. SV Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I get Richard Petty’s problem. And the problem with most of ya’all. Jealousy. And fear.

    Richard Petty would have loved to have been able to shake his butt to attract sponsorship dollars. But God didn’t choose to give him that particular talent and maybe he resents that. It’s a lot harder to find creative ways to skirt the rules and inspectors to win. I totally see why he’s jealous.

    There’s no way in heck he’ll take Tony Stewart up on his offer to go mano y mano with Danica. For one, he’d have to back up his mouth. But mostly he’d have to put up with all the comparisons to Bobby Riggs and I don’t think he has the stomach for that. (Unlike Danica who has endured years and YEARS of abuse from knuckle draggers and self loathing women who take great delight in tearing down other women.) Petty also won’t do it because I’m sure right now at this moment he’s got sponsors asking uncomfortable questions.

    Flapping your mouth in a highly corporate high $$$ environment like NASCAR has consequences. And surely you’re all bright enough to know corporate sponsors want to do business with teams that will make them look good and not spend the time and resources to defend boneheaded comments made by someone they can easily live without.

    You are so right Danica gets attention because she’s a woman. And if you’re holding it against her because she’s pretty, just imagine for a moment the crap that would be said about a female equivilent of David Reutimann. And you think Twitter is bad now?

    For those who contend Danica would have lost her ride by now if she was a man; chew on this. Jimmie Johnson said during media day, it takes at least 5 years for a driver to come into their own at the Cup level. So how many of you are willing to give her that kind of time? Not many it seems. And why is that? Danica herself has said time and time and time again she is still learning and needs to improve. But that hasn’t stopped the haters who are clearly holding her to a standard they’ve never applied to a new male driver…or a veteran who’s never been able to do well in the new cars. All cuz she’s….pretty?

    But maybe what’s really going on here is just another extension of the frightened white southern male syndrome who is clinging tightly to the days when wimmin and gays and colored knew their place and stayed there. Ya’ll are so cute when you’re threatened like that.

    I don’t know if Danica will ever win a race in Cup but I do know one thing: The collective of the He Man Woman Haters Club will find a way to marginalize it if and when it does happen.

  20. Ann Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Oh the sad sheep, those very one’s who defend her, promote her..are in fact the sexists. They want you to glorify her because of her anatomy. Now if they really cared about her NOT being a women and her attention WAS based on merit, we would not hear a peep about her, she would get the same as the other back burner drivers…nada..crickets. Hypocrites. And lest we not forget if you do not agree with our President, you are a racist and the list goes on. Today a different opinion automatically garners “idiot”, some swear word, “jealous”, or “hater”. Nobody can take it and debating skills are lost. Sadly too, manners and respect are lost. Richard Petty of all people getting throw under a bus for the truth and people are defending a manufactured nobody. Alot of 15 minute Kardashian people out there, scary stuff. Who raised these people?

  21. Ann Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Greg, you do realize that Richard is entitled to his opinion, seems the norm today to bring up something that has nothing to do with Richard speaking the his son. That logic makes me nuts…To me what people are saying is just because I never robbed a bank, I cannot comment on the idiot who did? And for the record Greg, Kyle won 8 races, so by Danica’s record thus far 1 win in 16 years she will catch Kyle’s record in 128 years. Just saying.

  22. The Mad Man Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    The King is correct. Unfortunately, the pompous asses in the Ivory Towers of Daytona sicked their PC-laden media clowns on King Richard on him for speaking the truth. He didn’t attack the female gender. He said that she isn’t a racer. And she isn’t. She’s a celebrity spokesmodel who is passed off as a racer. I don’t even think she qualifies as a driver. And yes, there is a difference between a driver and a racer.

    I have no problems with women being on the track going nose to nose with the men. I’m a fan on Patty Moise, Tammy Jo Kirk, Shawna Robinson, Simon di Silvestro, Pippa Mann, the Force sisters, and Milka Duno. They are/were on the track to race, not as a gimmick or marketing tool.

    Besides, as long as The King was a driver and has been a team owner, he can spot racing talent and knows the difference between a driver, a racer, and a marketing gimmick. As does anyone who’s been following racing for more than couple of years.

  23. The Old Guy Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    @ Greg. Yes, Kyle did get off to a slow start and his own Father fired him.

    When Danica has won as many races as Kyle won and has lead 499 laps of a 500 lap race, the she will be, at least, as good as Kyle Petty was.

    @ Tim. I sure like to see a link to something showing Richard Petty making that Statement.

    @Richard, your article, and comments, are spot on. Richard, and Kyle, have had the balls to say what most others are really thinking.

    And, off topic, did anyone else notice that Kurt Busch was the highest Qualifying SHR Car. And done with an absolute new team. Of course Harvick finished 2nd in the first race with a car that wouldn’t pass post race inspection.

  24. Bobby Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    The King hit the nail on the head. Tony once again put his little foot in his big mouth. I wish his foot were bigger so he couldn’t speak. He only takes up for Danica because of the money she brings to Stewart Hass. Hope fully he’ll learn to keep his mouth shut , or someone shuts it for him. By the way hopefully he finds the wall on the 1st lap Sunday.

  25. SpacemanSpiff Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    I think Richard should take up Stewart’s offer to race Danica…except he should pull a couple of cars out of his museum, take them to Martinsville, and they could race 500 laps. Old school racing…no power steering, bias-ply tires that give up grip, no driver “cool-suits,” etc. Yup, I would pay to see that. Heck, make it even more interesting…put Pearson and Yarbrough out there too.

  26. voice of reason Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 3:44 pm


    You really have to be kidding! Jealousy and Fear of Danica! Nobody in their right mind would ever be jealous of a proven tramp who committed Adultery, who can’t drive a race car, and who poses for slut photos, including a ’selfie’ [google it] nipple shot she took of herself and sent to SI in hopes they would publish it, especially not a Man of Moral Conviction and extreme Honesty like Richard Petty who has been married to the same wife Linda for 42 years. Richard Petty rightfully wouldn’t give a tramp like her the time of day.

    That topless nude ’selfie’ that Danica took of herself didn’t work out well for her though as SI didn’t want a photo of her that showed her ‘ nipple’ . What an absolute self-righteous tramp she is.

    People don’t fear losers under any stretch of the imagination. I know that I as a retired Army Combat SOUTHERN Veteran of 20 years can avow with all certainty I fear nobody, especially losers..That is only what you and other Danica ‘worshipers’ do.

    Danica, not Richard Petty , is the one who had to shake her butt to get Sponsorship Dollars. All Richard had to do was successfully drive and win in a Race Car., which 200 wins is exactly 200 more wins than tramp and under achiever Danica has amassed. Richard Petty would never even place a Beer or Liquor decal on His race cars because morally He is against alcohol. He sure lost revenue because of that stance alone, including many ‘Busch Clashes’ he would not allow himself or his cars to participate in because he wouldn’t allow the decal on His cars. So it is your tramp that sells herself for Sponsorship, not Petty.

    Hopefully , your boyfriend will allow you back in the house soon and you can be a little more pleasant, respectful, educated and less clueless in your ranting. But until then, you may have a better chance at winning Him back if you quit wearing Danica’s dresses.

    All in all you come across as a pretty much illiterate, wimpy a$$ fool , and an absolute lunatic whose mouth has a severe case of Diarrhea. You made yourself to be shown for exactly everything that you fear, which is your being the racist, sexist and a homosexual. No wonder you loathe Danica so much. That is because you worship anything immoral, unrighteous and loser.

    As The Drill Sgt Hulka in the movie ‘Stripes’ said, “Lighten up Francis.”

  27. Tony Geinzer Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Rich, I think we are in an uncomfortable area where Hard Work beats Talent beats Last Name and we, like it or not, as a Stock Car and NASCAR Community have to A. Establish and Reestablish 25 Year Names, not just 25 Year Olds, B. Stay what’s okay and what’s not okay and C. With Smoke, he is increasingly losing customers because he is not respectful to the earlier history of this sport and that is not sitting well with the paying brass, even in 2014.

  28. Ken Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    First of all, Rich, welcome back, and glad everything is on the mend!

    Second, a seven time Champion and Hall of Fame inductee is allowed his opinion, whether right or wrong.

    As for us males being jealous because of a female competing in a man’s sport, might I suggest you do a little homework and read up on some of the early history of NASCAR. back in 1950, I think that was the year, there were more women competing in NASCAR’s top division that competed in the 80’s and 90’s combined. Look up Louise Smith, Sara Christian, and Ethel Mobley, whose maiden name was Flock! As in Tim Flock, Fonty Flock, and Bob Flock, her three brothers. When you have three brothers who race, why wouldn’t you? And the suggestion that anyone who agrees with what Richard Petty said is an ignorant, sexist pig, needs to talk to some race fans about Danica. I have been a NASCAR fan since the early 60’s. I have attended maybe 50 races live. What I object to is this so-called driver being rammed down our throats. With the equipment she has at her disposal, and her alleged talent, she should be a top qualifier every week, and challenging for wins every week. She isn’t! As for saying that she finishes ahead of many guys every week, think about this: The male drivers she beats drive for teams that have a yearly budget that is probably less that what Danica has for a single race. And if we are so sexist, why is it that we know about other female drives who we feel are better racers that Danica, and could run rings around her if they had the equipment Danica has, and we all wish tat someone would give them a chance, young ladies like Kenzie Ruston, Mackena Bell, Chrissy Wallace (a Wallace, for crying out loud!), Maryeve Dufault, and especially Johanna Long! Johanna did a great job in her substandard equipment. Last year, during one of the televised practice sessions, even Kyle Petty acknowledged Johanna’s talent! Sometimes, I wonder how old some of these fans are who defend Danica, and how long they have followed NASCAR. I wonder this when I read someone asking about how many races someone has won when they criticise Danica.

    Last, you would think that, after shooting off his mouth about blocking, then he blocks Michael Waltrip and proceeds to cause a wreck that destroyed 25 race cars, Tony Stewart would learn to shut his mouth. But then again, we are talking about Tony, arguably one of the biggest jerks in racing.

  29. Sue Rarick Says:
    February 22nd, 2014 at 9:52 am

    First things first… Glad to see your home from the hospital.

    Petty can say what he wants. It’s a free country and like many here I am tired of all the PC garbage.

    While I don’t think Danica is the greatest driver of all time I do think she was a good Indy car driver and her results don’t mirror how good she was in those cars.

    That said, look at the results Montoya had in Nascar and can anyone say he isn’t one of the best open wheel drivers. Or how poorly Kimi did in his one Nationwide race. He did so poorly he basically gave up on Nascar. Is Kimi a bad driver too? Or how about Hornish… How many years did he try and figure out how to drive a Stock car and he’s an Indy car champion.

    Open wheel and Nascar cars are totally different in everyway. There are very few drivers that have been able to excel in both, in the modern era.

  30. Chip Says:
    February 22nd, 2014 at 10:41 am

    SHR aka Hendricks Motorsports…..gets 30 million a year to field cars for Crashica. They spend 10 million a year fixing all of her tore up racecars. That 20 million in the black. Nuff said on that. I once ask Tony to sign a diecast car for a child that sick at Eastbay raceway when the track was shutting down for the nite . He told me he ’s not gonna start any of that crap right now. If he wants his cash cow to race Petty in a match race , they should pull out some of Petty’s 3800 lb Plymouths with no power steering and go 200 mph. I will assure you she wont be able to get out of the garage.

  31. Greg Says:
    February 22nd, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Too bad some on here do not read what’s posted before defending Kyle Petty.

    My original post was comparing Kyle to Danica after 1 year ( same time frame ) in the cup series.

    For Kyle’s stats it took him 7 years to win his first race and another 7 years to win the next 7 for a grand total of 8 WINS in cup , lets see where Danica is after 7 years to really compare