- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
- Budget deal to get quick vote in the House
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro ‘marriage’
- Sebelius calls for review of Obamacare rollout woes
- American dream dying, but many see free market as solution: Poll
- Air Force base in South Carolina boots Nativity scene
- Israel poised for a $173M boost from the U.S. for missile defense
- Leon Panetta named as source of ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ scriptwriter’s information
- Mandela service sign language interpreter: ‘He made up his own signs’
Petty says Patrick ‘isn’t a race car driver’
SPARTA, KY. (AP) - Kyle Petty continues to doubt Danica Patrick's future as a NASCAR driver.
During a Thursday night appearance on SPEED's "Race Hub" program, the former driver and current TV analyst said Patrick is more of a marketing machine than a race car driver and doubts the 30-year-old will ever be one "because I think it's too late."
Patrick is a Sprint Cup Series rookie with Stewart Haas Racing following an open wheel career in the IZOD IndyCar Series highlighted by an historic 2008 victory at Motegi, Japan. She won the pole and finished eighth in the season-opening Daytona 500 but her average starting and finishing positions are 32nd and 25.8 respectively.
Former boss Dale Earnhardt Jr. disagreed with Petty's assessment, saying Friday that Patrick "is outrunning several guys on the circuit."
That likely won't stop Petty, 53, son of seven-time Cup champion Richard "The King" Petty and an eight-time race winner, from criticizing Patrick. An analyst for TNT and Fox/SPEED, he understands the widespread interest in Patrick, who has been featured in racy TV ads for sponsor Go Daddy and was IndyCar's most popular driver for several years.
Patrick's driving skills, in Petty's opinion, don't justify the hype.
"That's where I have a problem," he said. "Where fans have bought into the hype of the marketing, to think she's a race car driver. She can go fast, and I've seen her go fast. She drives the wheels off it when she goes fast."
Asked if she has learned to race, Petty continued, "she's not a race car driver. There's a difference. The King 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."
As someone who gave Patrick a chance to transition to stock cars over three years in the Nationwide Series at JR Motorsports, Earnhardt calls Patrick a tough competitor who works hard and said she wouldn't have a ride if she couldn't stay with the pack or finished last every week.
"If she was not able to compete," Earnhardt said at Kentucky Speedway, "I think you might be able to say Kyle has an argument. But she's out there running competitively and running strong on several accounts. I think that she has got a good opportunity and a rightful position in the sport to keep competing and she just might surprise even Kyle Petty."
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Teen thugs in DC run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- New budget accord saves $23 billion -- after $65 billion spending spree
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- More than a quarter million sign up for Obamacare in November
- Gov't Motors: Obama fudges math on auto bailout, $10.5 billion loss for taxpayers
- MILLER: Dick Heller challenges D.C.s gun registration, files for summary judgement in Heller II
- Obama's antics at Nelson Mandela tribute: Jovial conversation, handshake with Raul Castro
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
An objective, analysis-based perspective of D.C. sports as seen through the eyes of lifelong D.C. sports enthusiast, John Heibel.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Human interest stories to feed interest, satisfy curiosity and see outside the box.
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow