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.