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.
On the outside, life as a top-shelf racecar driver seems ideal. Driving fast for a living, getting paid boatloads of money for wins and sponsorship deals, traveling around the country – if not the world – all seems to have the making of a dream life. What many of us on the outside don't realize, though, is that achieving your dream comes with consequences, drawbacks and sacrifices.
A suicide during this weekend's NRA 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway will likely only add to the controversy behind the National Rifle Association's title sponsorship of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Kirk Franklin, 42, of Saginaw, TX, shot and killed himself in the infield of the track during late stages of the race Saturday night following an argument with other race fans.
Kyle Busch, reigning NASCAR Nationwide Series champ and the polesitter for today's 2010 season opener in Daytona, has a bone to pick with the media. Busch is irked that the overwhelming majority of the Nationwide Series TV coverage during the runup to the 2010 season kickoff has focused primarily (and not at all unexpectedly) on Danica Patrick's impending stock car debut. He calls the lopsided coverage "horrible," according to SceneDaily.com.
Jeremy Mayfield, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver with five career victories, has become the first driver suspended for substance abuse since the sanctioning body's no-nonsense policy took effect this season. Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president of corporate communications, would not say what the specific substance was, but he did clarify that it was not alcohol-related. As of last September, NASCAR tests all drivers and crew members at the start of the season, and randomly throughout the year.