Richard Petty: Danica can only win if no one else races

I do not follow NASCAR closely, so most of this is just asking for clarification.

Apparently Danica has only placed in the top 10 once out of 36 races.

That certainly doesn’t seem very impressive, but when I do catch a race on the telly, there are a lot of cars out there. Surely there are drivers with equally nonillustrius records out there, who hang on just enough to stay in the circuit?

I also don’t want to get in to the debate over how she got fast-tracked to NASCAR before spending enough time grinding it out on lower circuits.

She can drive a race car, but like you say, lots of other drivers do also, even if their chances for a win are dismal at best.

In my opinion, she’s got a ride because of the attraction and the sponsorship money she brings in.

If/when GoDaddy gets bored with her, it remains to be seen if she’ll get another chance.

She got fast-tracked to NASCAR because she was the first woman to lead laps at the Indy 500, and placed 4th. She was the first woman to win an Indy race at the Twin Rings of Motegi (Japan) in 2008. She consistently placed in the top ten throughout the season in her last two years in Indy cars. She was a better Indy driver than many, and usually ran right up front with the big money drivers (Target/Chip Ganassi and Penske; She was on Team Green/Andretti).

Also, Indycars is not “grinding it out on the lower circuits.” Very different driving skills from NASCAR, but it’s a top-tier circuit. I think the reason she didn’t win more in Indy is because she’s not strong on road courses. She’s much better on ovals, which is what made her a good candidate for NASCAR. She even straddled the fence a bit and spent a couple seasons driving both before making the final tran$tion to NA$CAR.

Old bitter White guy realizes that no one is paying attention to him and opens mouth.
Something sexist or racist comes out.
This is news?

Lindbergh said Earhart was a lousy pilot. While there’s no way to separate ageism, sexisim and just plain generationism in Petty’s comments, the evidence is that Patrick is a mediocre NASCAR driver. Maybe she’ll find the groove and turn into a champion. However, I know just enough about racing to know that few drivers are really successful in other forms - the fine, fine skills needed to compete at the top of Indycars (or whatever the hell they’re calling the Champ car circuit these days, and which one) are different from those for top-level NASCAR or F1 or pretty much any other top-tier circuit. She may be, say, one of the 1,000 best race drivers on earth, but if she lacks that fine gloss NASCAR needs, all her fine Champ skills will be of no help.

Michael Jordan. Baseball. That is all.

ETA: There are confirmations that Amelia Earhart had guts and drive and many other good things but couldn’t really fly all that well. Dancing bear case, maybe.

She is equivalent to a lot of the “pay” drivers in F1. It’s not that she’s a horrible driver or anything, but she’s in a top-tier team because she brings a ton of sponsorship and merchandizing money.

Outside of crapshoots like Daytona and Talladega, she’s tended to run closer to the single-car teams that are trying not to be start-and-parks than to the other teams with comparable equipment. A generic male driver with those results would either be out, or at least not be feeling very secure in the seat.

Or, you know, someone asked him. Anyway, here’s the full quote:

Basically, he’s saying that she’s a mediocre driver that gets attention because she’s female. Which isn’t really a big deal. There’s a lot of drivers that rarely win but get a lot of attention because of who they are (Dale Jr.)

Only one top 10 finish… For context, how many cars are there usually competing in a race? Is that only one top 10 out of 15, or only one top 10 out of 500?

Huh, I had forgotten she was in Indy car driver. Thanks for the reminder.

Didn’t she race ‘trucks’ or something in between?

Hey, they don’t call him Richard petty for nothing. [Rimshot]

It took Michele Mouton8 years to win a WRC event. Although to be fair, she only competed in one or two a year for most of those early years. She went on to win 3 more, and come second in the 1982 drivers championship.

Patrick is the only other woman to win an event in top line competition. She’s had two seasons and 40 odd starts. I’d say give her another couple of seasons and she might pull of a win.

How much strength and endurance does NASCAR competition require as compared to Indy Racing?

I’d have to agree w/ Mr. Petty. My humble opinion is that a woman will not beat a man in this type of contest (motor racing). When the chips are down, and the only way to stay in front is to take a death-defying risk, a woman is probably not going to cross that line. I’m not trying to be a sexist ass, though it probably sounds that way. I feel that women are generally *smarter *than men, and therefore will hold back out of a sense of self-preservation. Whereas the guy racer – before making the death-defying risky move - would think something like, “fuck it if I crash; I wanna win”!

Disclaimer: I think Danica is great for the sport, and I’d love to see more women in motorsports. I am hoping that one day my stupid theory (above) will be proven wrong.

Probably some truth to this. I remember reading about a model of aircraft that was considered really reliable because it had only crashed two times. And both times, Earhart was the pilot.


She may win, she may not win. Who knows? There are so many variables in NASCAR racing that it’s impossible to say one way or the other. She isn’t the most talented driver out there to be certain, but she’s good enough to be out there on the track, which is more than most people can say.

Maybe she’s sitting in 10th place at Daytona or Talladega when there’s a Big One while everybody is jockeying for position, they all wipe out in front of her, and she takes a green-white-checkered win. Or maybe she catches the draft just right, gets some help, and shoots past everybody. Or maybe she just gets the perfect setup with some perfect pit stops and dominates a race from beginning to end. She has the equipment for it, and stranger things have happened.

It seems presumptuous of Richard Petty, great as he was, to say that. Racing has pretty much passed him by. His team hasn’t been a factor for decades.

Demonstrably untrue - Patrick herself has won an Indycar race and Mouton won four WRC rallies. And rallying is more death defying than NASCAR in my opinion. Here’s some footage of Mouton -. Car stuff starts at 1:22.

A lot of people are of the opinion that she was not a great pilot.

Her initial fame came in aviation but not as a pilot. She became famous as being the first woman to be flown across the Atlantic. But all she did was keep the flight log. She was not trained in instrument flying at the time.

So Petty Enterprises (of which Richard is part owner) fields two cars. Drivers are Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola. Yeah, those are household names there.:rolleyes:

Richard Petty is a 70 something year old redneck from a small town in North Carolina. Why are we surprised he has these views? I’m sure he thinks she should be back in the trailer making the real drivers a sandwich or something.

Yeah everyone from a small town in North Carolina lives in a trailer

stop being prejudiced