Petty says Patrick ‘not a race car driver’? It takes one to know one

I never thought I would be the one rushing to Danica Patrick’s defense, but here I come.

I’ve never been a big fan, and it has nothing to do with her being a woman. She’s always seemed to have a chip on your shoulder, and is personally guilty of more finger-pointing than a tour guide for the deaf.

But she didn’t deserve the criticism she received during Friday’s qualifying at Kentucky Speedway, and she definitely didn’t deserve it from Kyle Petty, a guy who spent more time riding his famous father’s coat tails rather than driving a competitive race car. He even referenced King Richard while slamming Princess Danica.

“She’s not a race car driver,” Petty said on the Speed Channel’s broadcast. “There’s a difference. The King (Richard Petty) always had that stupid saying, but it’s 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 can’t race. I think she’s come a long way, but she’s still not a race car driver. And I don’t think she’s ever going to be a race car driver.”

Funny that a guy who won only eight races in more than 800 career starts has such a handle on a relatively rookie. Unlike Petty, who needed eight seasons to get his first victory and failed to take a single checkered flag in his final 11 seasons, Patrick could be one of those drivers who gets better with experience.

Yes, Patrick has received a lot more help than the Average Joes who work their way up the ranks. She has better sponsors and better equipment and better people for something she has little control over – her gender. Sounds a lot like Kyle Petty, who got more mileage out of his last name than any driver not named Dale Earnhardt Jr. Patrick and Petty have more in common than just ponytails.

To my surprise, Patrick handled it better than I had imagined. Always quick to play the blame game on the track, she wisely dismissed Petty’s comments without taking the bait. In fact, she managed to make Petty look like an idiot for his comments on a factual basis, pointing out that she doesn’t qualify well at all, then lumped him in the same category as all the Danica-haters out there.

“I really don’t care, I don’t,” Patrick said. “It’s true that there are plenty of people that say really bad things about me. I hear about them, or I read them, or read them on Twitter – people want me to die – but at the end of the day, you just get over that kind of stuff and all you can do is trust that you’re doing a good job.”

It’s true that Patrick has a long way to go, both on and off the track. She has to learn to control her temper, realize that it’s not all about her, and learn how to stay out of trouble to be around in the end. But the one thing she doesn’t need is off-target criticism from one of the most overrated drivers in NASCAR history.

Patrick knows the only way to silence the critics is to start contending for wins, and actually winning races. Yes, much of the criticism is because she’s a woman, and that’s unfair and unfortunate. And much of it is dead on, and that’s to be expected. But until Friday, none of it was fiction from a pot calling a kettle slow.

Does Petty really believe he would have been able to race for 30 seasons if his name was Kyle Jones? Petty may be an expert at picking out who is and isn’t a race car driver. I have a similar talent for smelling B.S. from TV announcers looking to stir up trouble where there’s not any.

Comments

comments

Gamecocks bounce back, blow out UTEP in Conway

Gamecocks bounce back, blow out UTEP in ConwaySouth Carolina's debut in the Puerto Rico Classic at the [more]

Coastal shuts out Mercer, advances to face Clemson

Coastal shuts out Mercer, advances to face ClemsonFrantzdy Pierrot teamed up with Martin Melchor to give the [more]

Beach Ball Classic lineup has big names, top teams

Beach Ball Classic lineup has big names, top teamsThe 2017 Beach Ball Classic announced its schedule for the [more]

Redbirds top Gamecocks in opener of PR Tip-Off

Redbirds top Gamecocks in opener of PR Tip-OffThe South Carolina men's basketball team has home court of [more]

Chants go west in quest for first Sun Belt victory

Chants go west in quest for first Sun Belt victoryThe Coastal Carolina football team (1-9, 0-6 Sun Belt) will [more]

CCU men, women suffer narrow six-point losses

CCU men, women suffer narrow six-point lossesJaylen Shaw scored 17 points, but it was not enough [more]

CCU nets honors, enters SBC tourney as top seed

CCU nets honors, enters SBC tourney as top seedThe Sun Belt Conference announced its final weekly volleyball awards [more]

Chants win Sun Belt title, face Mercer in NCAA tilt

Chants win Sun Belt title, face Mercer in NCAA tiltCoastal Carolina men's soccer team gathered in the athletics field [more]

Golf: SJ's White inks deal; CF's Spencer closes strong

Golf: SJ's White inks deal; CF's Spencer closes strongSt. James High golfer Jordan White made her first hole-in-one [more]

Gamecocks invade Strand to compete in PR Tip-Off

Gamecocks invade Strand to compete in PR Tip-OffFresh off its first Final Four appearance, South Carolina travels [more]

Riptides Racing swimmers dive in for rare double dip

Riptides Racing swimmers dive in for rare double dipRiptides Racing team had a busy weekend with two squads [more]

Youth Soccer: BUFC, Coast claim four championships

Youth Soccer: BUFC, Coast claim four championshipsSixteen Coast  FA teams entered the Adidas Clash in Greensboro, [more]

CCU volleyball captures Sun Belt title, No. 1 seed

CCU volleyball captures Sun Belt title, No. 1 seedThe Coastal Carolina volleyball team clinched the number one overall [more]

CCU suffers ninth straight defeat to big-play Trojans

CCU suffers ninth straight defeat to big-play TrojansMarcus Jones returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a [more]

Late goal lifts Chanticleers into Sun Belt tourney final

Late goal lifts Chanticleers into Sun Belt tourney finalFrandzty Pierrott scored the winning goal in the 82nd minute [more]

NMB holds off Crestwood, goes to Lower State semis

NMB holds off Crestwood, goes to Lower State semisThe North Myrtle Beach High had to battle to keep [more]

Seahawks stunned on final play by Lower Richland

Seahawks stunned on final play by Lower RichlandShocking! That's the only word to describe Myrtle Beach's heartbreaking [more]

Class 5A: Tigers, Panthers defeated in second round

Class 5A: Tigers, Panthers defeated in second roundThis looked like it could be the year for Conway [more]

CCU men, women open seasons with big victories

CCU men, women open seasons with big victoriesCoastal Carolina University started the 2017-18 season in strong fashion [more]

Local trio of girls golfers playing in North-South

Local trio of girls golfers playing in North-SouthA trio of Horry County senior golfers are closing out [more]

Playoff Previews & Picks: Catch fire when it counts

Playoff Previews & Picks: Catch fire when it countsIt's not how you start, but how you finish. That [more]

CCU baseball announces 'ambitious' 2018 schedule

CCU baseball announces 'ambitious' 2018 scheduleHome games versus eight 2017 NCAA Regional teams and facing [more]

Carolina Forest, St. James top local list of signees

Carolina Forest, St. James top local list of signeesCarolina Forest and St. James had four student-athletes sign college [more]

Pierrot leads seven Chants on All-Sun Belt honor roll

Pierrot leads seven Chants on All-Sun Belt honor rollThe Sun Belt Conference has released its 2017 All-Sun Belt [more]

Photo Gallery: Seahawks soar to Class 4A state title

Photo Gallery: Seahawks soar to Class 4A state titleThe third time was the charm for the Myrtle Beach [more]

Gamecocks bounce back, blow out UTEP in Conway

Gamecocks bounce back, blow out UTEP in ConwaySouth Carolina's debut in the Puerto Rico Classic at the [more]

Coastal shuts out Mercer, advances to face Clemson

Coastal shuts out Mercer, advances to face ClemsonFrantzdy Pierrot teamed up with Martin Melchor to give the [more]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach