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

Pelicans help propel South to victory in All-Star Game

Pelicans help propel South to victory in All-Star GameA pair of Myrtle Beach Pelicans played key roles in [more]

NMB's Ballard, MB's Coble reconnect at North-South

NMB's Ballard, MB's Coble reconnect at North-SouthA pair of former teammates and rivals joined forces for [more]

Pelicans fail to finish .500 after losing first-half finale

Pelicans fail to finish .500 after losing first-half finaleThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans dropped their final game of the [more]

Ibarrondo comes to rescue to rally first-place Mutiny

Ibarrondo comes to rescue to rally first-place Mutiny The Myrtle Beach Mutiny needed a wake-up call late Saturday [more]

Pelicans split twinbill with Mudcats, play finale today

Pelicans split twinbill with Mudcats, play finale todayAfter the Myrtle Beach Pelicans fell 2-1 to the Carolina [more]

CCU's Biermann, Lancaster make All-American squad

CCU's Biermann, Lancaster make All-American squadCoastal Carolina shortstop Seth Lancaster and designated hitter Zach Biermann [more]

Pelicans lose fifth straight, play doubleheader today

Pelicans lose fifth straight, play doubleheader todayVictor Diaz's seven strong innings for the Carolina Mudcats were [more]

All-County Boys Tennis: Johnson, MB duo top list

All-County Boys Tennis: Johnson, MB duo top listThe future looks bright for the sport of high school [more]

Hess carves his way to Team USA surfing nod

Hess carves his way to Team USA surfing nodCarter Hess carved his way to a spot on the [more]

Pelicans' bullpen spoils Thompson's perfect start

Pelicans' bullpen spoils Thompson's perfect startAfter Keegan Thompson was removed following seven perfect innings for [more]

Piggot feasts, scores four goals to lead Mutiny win

Piggot feasts, scores four goals to lead Mutiny winThe Myrtle Beach Mutiny rolled to a 6-0 victory over [more]

CCU trio makes all-region; Lancaster an All-American

CCU trio makes all-region; Lancaster an All-AmericanCoastal Carolina shortstop Seth Lancaster was named to the Perfect [more]

Braves' icons Avery, Jones to appear at Pelicans game

Braves' icons Avery, Jones to appear at Pelicans gameThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans will welcome former MLB All-Stars and [more]

Coastal guard Labinowicz announces plan to transfer

Coastal guard Labinowicz announces plan to transferCoastal Carolina University men's basketball player Artur Labinowicz plans to [more]

Report: Myrtle Beach Bowl 'near lock' for 2020 kickoff

Report: Myrtle Beach Bowl 'near lock' for 2020 kickoffIn yet another development in the Grand Strand's booming sports [more]

Adaptive surfers depart for US Surfing Championship

Adaptive surfers depart for US Surfing ChampionshipLocal surfers, volunteers, and family members gathered at the Charleston [more]

All-County Boys Golf: MB's Jarman trades bat for club

All-County Boys Golf: MB's Jarman trades bat for clubIf things had worked out differently, Myrtle Beach High senior [more]

Gamecocks' season ends one win shy of Omaha

Gamecocks' season ends one win shy of OmahaThe University of South Carolina baseball team saw its season [more]

Pelicans' Ademan, Pereda, Peyton make all-star team

Pelicans' Ademan, Pereda, Peyton make all-star teamMyrtle Beach catcher Jhonny Pereda, right-hander Tyler Peyton and infielder [more]

Johnson wins at St. Jude, recaptures No. 1 ranking

Johnson wins at St. Jude, recaptures No. 1 rankingFormer Coastal Carolina two-time All-American and Myrtle Beach resident Dustin [more]

Gamecocks slam their way into final game with Hogs

Gamecocks slam their way into final game with HogsThe South Carolina baseball team scored five runs in the [more]

Pelicans win ninth straight, make late run at first place

Pelicans win ninth straight, make late run at first placeThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans racked up their ninth straight win [more]

All-County Girls Soccer: Gordon nets record, POY

All-County Girls Soccer: Gordon nets record, POYBlair Mueller remembers her first day on the job as [more]

Pelicans hammer their way to eighth straight victory

Pelicans hammer their way to eighth straight victoryKevonte Mitchell lashed three extra-base hits and the Myrtle Beach [more]

Gamecocks drop opener, face elimination Sunday

Gamecocks drop opener, face elimination SundayArkansas scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh [more]

Pelicans help propel South to victory in All-Star Game

Pelicans help propel South to victory in All-Star GameA pair of Myrtle Beach Pelicans played key roles in [more]

NMB's Ballard, MB's Coble reconnect at North-South

NMB's Ballard, MB's Coble reconnect at North-SouthA pair of former teammates and rivals joined forces for [more]

Leave a Reply

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

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach