Tony Stewart Sounds Off On Richard Petty

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Stewart has never been known to mince words during his NASCAR career. The outspoken driver has constantly found himself in the spotlight for voicing his opinions on anything and everything. Richard Petty is the latest target of Stewart’s pointed words after Petty made some interesting comments earlier in the week about Danica Patrick. When Petty was asked about Patrick’s chances of winning in NASCAR, he had the following to say to the media:

If everybody else stayed home. If she’d have been a 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.

When given the chance to clarify his seemingly sexist comments, Petty decided to stand his ground.

What I said is what I said, and that’s what I believe, OK? What’s unfair is the sexist part. If her name had been Danny, OK, nobody would have said anything about it. So y’all are bringing up the sexist part of it, not me.

For those of you that aren’t aware, Stewart and Patrick are teammates and more importantly, Stewart owns the team. After Petty made his comments, it was only a matter of time before Stewart came to the defense of his driver. During an episode of PRN Fast Talk Stewart was asked about Petty and the comments that he made.

I told her she should challenge Richard to a heads-up race. I think that would pretty much settle it once and for all, maybe get him to shut up a little bit too. He drove in an era when he had cars that were superior to what everybody else was running. I think he forgets that, that NASCAR has changed a lot since he was a driver and how hard it really is now.

Stewart brings up a good point in that NASCAR today is much different than NASCAR during the time of Petty. The cars, technology and competition are all neck and neck with each other in today’s NASCAR. That aside, Petty never should have made the comments that he did. He should have realized that his comments were going to be received in a negative light. Hopefully moving forward, Petty will steer clear of discussing Patrick.

As far as the two of them racing? I don’t think it’s fair to put someone of Petty’s age behind the wheel with any of NASCAR’s current drivers, female or not.

Christopher Olmstead is a NASCAR writer for Follow  him on Twitter @WhooYouKnowIt “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google  

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  • david95

    I completely disagree with this article. This is sports. Talk is always a part of sports, and has always been a part of NASCAR. Richard is correct. EVERY year they talk about each other in this manner. The ONLY difference in this case is Danica is a female. And if she wasn’t, this would never have been an issue. So again, Richard is correct, HE did NOT bring of race, YOU GUYS are. If you cannot except that Danica is a HUMAN instead of ONLY a female. Then you need to find another job. I have no issues with Tony firing back at Richard. But his suggesting of a race is absurd, never should happen. And he also suggested violence, though we all know Tony doesn’t have the guts to follow through holding Richard down while sticking something up his @$$.

    Yes, none of this would have happened, if Richard followed the mob rules mentality and only said things the people allow him to say. But again, this is sports, and sports people talk. Tony didn’t talk, he spewed illogical and disrespectful nonsense.

    BTW. I have been telling people since the end of last year that my favorite driver is Richard Petty, it has been since 1970. So I pull for the 43. But I am not a huge Aric Almirola fan, but again, I still pull for the number 43. My favorite driver right now IS Danica Patrick. I just like her because of all the haters. So I am NOT a Danica hater. She is actually my favorite driver in a car, since Richard isn’t in one. I pull for the number 43 first, then for Danica second, over everyone else. (I also pull for Marcos Ambrose since Richard Petty owns that car too).

    Also, since we are analyzing the two, let’s complete it. Tony insinuated that Richard had better equipment. This is true for most of his career. But was it always? He started racing in 1959, but did not get STP sponsorship until 1972. Tony Stewart started in 1998/1999 (bush then Sprint). But not like Richard. he started with awesome equipment from Joe Gibbs racing. Which Bobby Labonte and Joe Gibbs already got going.

    Tony Stewart created his own team. With his own cars? No. With the best cars in NASCAR, Rick Hendricks. Why did Hendrick give Tony his cars and not Reed Sorenson? Because Tony has established his career already through open wheel?. He earned it? Just as Richard EARNED the sponsorship he received. The sponsorship did cause him winning, just as Gibbs and Hendrick didn’t cause Tony to win, it only escalated their already winning ways.

    Tony has been fed with a golden spoon throughout his NASCAR career. Richard had to earn it first before he received what he did. Tony has absolutely no room to talk when he is the luckiest driver in the sport. Every driver out there would love to have been given the opportunity Tony has received.