Richard Petty (pictured above) made some rather disparaging remarks about IndyCar veteran and current NASCAR driver Danica Patrick (inset) while at the Canadian Motorsports Expo, implying that the 31-year-old could only win a NASCAR race if the rest of the field stayed home. Patrick's best NASCAR finish was eighth place at the 2013 Daytona 500, where she recorded the first pole position for a woman in the sport. She also led the race briefly.
"If she'd have been a male, nobody would ever know if she'd showed up at a race track," Petty told Wheels.ca. "This is a female deal that's driving her. There's nothing wrong with that, because that's good PR for me. More fans come out, people are more interested in it. She has helped to draw attention to the sport, which helps everybody in the sport."
Patrick's sole race win was an IndyCar victory in 2008 at Twin Ring Motegi. She moved to a full schedule in the junior varsity NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2012, where she finished the season tenth, with seven top tens and a pole. Patrick jumped to a full Sprint Cup Series schedule in 2013, finishing her rookie season in 27th position.