Kyle Petty's "not a race car driver" comments about Danica are wrong

Kyle Petty is wrong about Danica Patrick, and here's why

6/29/13 in NASCAR   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Blog Photo - Kyle Petty's "not a race car driver" comments about Danica are wrongControversy seems to follow Danica Patrick, and the firestorm started anew yesterday with these comments from Kyle Petty on NASCAR Race Hub:
 
"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. I think she's come a long way, but she's still not a race car driver. And I don't think she's ever going to be a race car driver."
 
Many have already condemned Petty for those comments, but mostly by invoking his own career, essentially saying that because of Petty’s modest career and family connection, he has no room to talk. That isn’t fair to Kyle, who did win eight times on the Cup circuit and twice finished 5th in the championship. His comments though are still wrong.
 
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Is Danica overhyped? Of course. There’s almost nothing she could do to not be. Is Danica having a good year in Sprint Cup? Of course not. 27th in points and just one top ten can’t be spun as good or even adequate. There is a difference though between a race car driver not having a good season, and not being a race car driver at all.
 
The first problem with Petty’s comments is that the qualifying better than she runs thing. I’m guessing that comes from Danica’s Daytona 500 pole. However, in 12 of the 16 races so far this year, Danica has finished better than she qualified. Yes, that’s mostly because she’s qualified very poorly outside of Daytona, but the stats are what they are.
 
The other problem with saying Danica is not a race car driver is that it completely ignores her entire career prior to this year. It ignores her going to England as a teenager to drive junior formula. It ignores her seven years in IndyCar, where she finished in the top ten in points every year but her rookie season. Above all else, it ignores her Indianapolis 500 record. In seven starts, she finished in the top ten six times, twice in the top five. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a track record is a race that big means you don’t suck. You can't fluke your way into results like that.
 
That’s what burned me up about Petty’s comments. It’s the perception that certain people in NASCAR seem to have that a driver’s stock car career is the only thing that matters, and that any accomplishments elsewhere are meaningless. That’s an insult to anyone who dared to go into NASCAR via other means, and it’s specially an insult to Danica. No, she’s not particularly good at it yet, but she’s not a menace by any means. If she were doing things like this, I might be able to see it, but being towards the back while learning things on the fly? Get real.
 
The book on Danica Patrick’s NASCAR career is far from written. Yes, she’s always be overhyped, some of it her fault, most of it not, but she’s a race car driver. She’s been a race car driver since she was a teenager. No matter what the likes of Kyle Petty say.

(Photo Credit: UPI)
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7/1/13   |   JenX63   |   31554 respect

Eric_ wrote:
There is a difference between mediocre and not a race car driver at all.

From my experience, most NASCAR fans have no interest in IndyCar or any other form of racing save short tracks. I'm not surprised, since NASCAR the organization and its propaganda arms want IndyCar to die.

I'm not "most nascar fans".....and honestly, I think it is a small percentage you talk about except where the Nascar powers are concerned. I have not seen any overt moves to end Indy...the in fighting did that all by itself. I really hope it doesn't just go away, that would be sad. I have watched some of the Indy races, to be honest not a whole one.  It isn't my cup of tea. I can appreciate it though even without being a fan.

7/1/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

JenX63 wrote:
I disagree...she is mediocre at best.  I can debate her path, how she chose to portray herself in her sponsors commercials. She could of said NO, but didn't. She expected special treatment coming into Nascar and when she didn't get it, whined about it. I don't like whiners period, regardless of who they are and that includes Stewart. You have a bias towards Nascar and that's cool. I am not a fan of Indy....heck I didn't even know who Tony Stewart was til he came to Nascar. To say I can't debate her career shows a snobbish attitude. I'm a red neck and couldn't understand the high falutin Indy league is basically what you are saying. Once again, when she does something spectacular, I'll recognize, until then she is just another medicore, past Indy driver trying to make it in Nascar.

There is a difference between mediocre and not a race car driver at all.

From my experience, most NASCAR fans have no interest in IndyCar or any other form of racing save short tracks. I'm not surprised, since NASCAR the organization and its propaganda arms want IndyCar to die.

7/1/13   |   JenX63   |   31554 respect

Eric_ wrote:
Sponsors moved her up to Cup. She's not the first and won't be the last for that.

She had 1 career IndyCar win and a top points finish of 5th. She was solid, if unspectacular. No, she's not the most aggressive driver out there. Her specialty is bringing the car home, which she does do in Cup as well. Someone who isn't a real race car driver would be a menace. It's insulting, and if people actually believe that (which you clearly do), then they're too far gone to ever debate her career.

I disagree...she is mediocre at best.  I can debate her path, how she chose to portray herself in her sponsors commercials. She could of said NO, but didn't. She expected special treatment coming into Nascar and when she didn't get it, whined about it. I don't like whiners period, regardless of who they are and that includes Stewart. You have a bias towards Nascar and that's cool. I am not a fan of Indy....heck I didn't even know who Tony Stewart was til he came to Nascar. To say I can't debate her career shows a snobbish attitude. I'm a red neck and couldn't understand the high falutin Indy league is basically what you are saying. Once again, when she does something spectacular, I'll recognize, until then she is just another medicore, past Indy driver trying to make it in Nascar.

7/1/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

JenX63 wrote:
So maybe Danica should of stayed in Nationwide. The past serves as a great teacher. Joey Logano comes to mind as someone that should of stayed and got the experience. I know the cars are different, but look at Matt Kenseth and Junior himself, both drove Nationwide for a couple of years before moving up.
I also looked up her stats and I didn't see a win, just something about the "podium" in Indy. (not sure what that is exactly)

it's funny that they mention other drivers and their Indy jaunts or careers but not hers so much. I agree with Kyle and like I said, I imagine it's what a lot of the other drivers are thinking whether anyone wants to admit  it or not. At least she isn't being shoved down our throats so much. Hopefully that won't change.

Sponsors moved her up to Cup. She's not the first and won't be the last for that.

She had 1 career IndyCar win and a top points finish of 5th. She was solid, if unspectacular. No, she's not the most aggressive driver out there. Her specialty is bringing the car home, which she does do in Cup as well. Someone who isn't a real race car driver would be a menace. It's insulting, and if people actually believe that (which you clearly do), then they're too far gone to ever debate her career.

7/1/13   |   JenX63   |   31554 respect

kramer wrote:
I know it wasn't on American soil, but yes she did win an IRL race a few years ago in Motegi, Japan.

A  win in racing is a win...thanx

7/1/13   |   kramer   |   11003 respect

JenX63 wrote:
So maybe Danica should of stayed in Nationwide. The past serves as a great teacher. Joey Logano comes to mind as someone that should of stayed and got the experience. I know the cars are different, but look at Matt Kenseth and Junior himself, both drove Nationwide for a couple of years before moving up.
I also looked up her stats and I didn't see a win, just something about the "podium" in Indy. (not sure what that is exactly)

it's funny that they mention other drivers and their Indy jaunts or careers but not hers so much. I agree with Kyle and like I said, I imagine it's what a lot of the other drivers are thinking whether anyone wants to admit  it or not. At least she isn't being shoved down our throats so much. Hopefully that won't change.

I know it wasn't on American soil, but yes she did win an IRL race a few years ago in Motegi, Japan.

7/1/13   |   JenX63   |   31554 respect

Eric_ wrote:
Well, Stewart has a Cup team, Junior doesn't, thus Danica switched.

Kyle didn't say "besides IndyCar" because he is paid (and likely it's his worldview regardless) not to acknowledge IndyCar's (or other series) existence. In their worlds, non-NASCAR accomplishments mean nothing. I suspect that trickles down to most NASCAR fans.

So maybe Danica should of stayed in Nationwide. The past serves as a great teacher. Joey Logano comes to mind as someone that should of stayed and got the experience. I know the cars are different, but look at Matt Kenseth and Junior himself, both drove Nationwide for a couple of years before moving up.
I also looked up her stats and I didn't see a win, just something about the "podium" in Indy. (not sure what that is exactly)

it's funny that they mention other drivers and their Indy jaunts or careers but not hers so much. I agree with Kyle and like I said, I imagine it's what a lot of the other drivers are thinking whether anyone wants to admit  it or not. At least she isn't being shoved down our throats so much. Hopefully that won't change.

7/1/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

JenX63 wrote:
Well, I want to know why Junior let her go to Stewart? He defended her, but, I am not sure how much I believe.  I mean if she is that great and going to be that great, wouldn't you want to hold on to her and develop that talent. The only thing I see wrong with Kyle's statement is, maybe he should of said besides indy racing she isn't a race car driver. Has she even won a race, ever....
I imagine Kyle said what a lot of drivers are really thinking......

Well, Stewart has a Cup team, Junior doesn't, thus Danica switched.

Kyle didn't say "besides IndyCar" because he is paid (and likely it's his worldview regardless) not to acknowledge IndyCar's (or other series) existence. In their worlds, non-NASCAR accomplishments mean nothing. I suspect that trickles down to most NASCAR fans.

7/1/13   |   orangemen90   |   5785 respect

Condemned sounds like he deserves a death sentence for speaking his thoughts,,,,for all its worth Patrick has a sponsor that pays for her to drive a car.. so that's what she does...maybe next year she will become competitive...clearly her experience is demonstrated each race...

6/30/13   |   JenX63   |   31554 respect

Well, I want to know why Junior let her go to Stewart? He defended her, but, I am not sure how much I believe.  I mean if she is that great and going to be that great, wouldn't you want to hold on to her and develop that talent. The only thing I see wrong with Kyle's statement is, maybe he should of said besides indy racing she isn't a race car driver. Has she even won a race, ever....
I imagine Kyle said what a lot of drivers are really thinking......

6/30/13   |   kramer   |   11003 respect

Switching from Indy Cars to stock cars or vice versa is no easy task.  I've also said this before, and I'll say it again, it appears everyone in NASCAR uses Tony Stewart as a measuring stick.  He turned out to be lightning in a bottle, and everyone that has come from open wheel to NASCAR since hasn't had the success that Smoke has, so that leads the likes of Kyle Petty and others to feel that these drivers don't belong in NASCAR.  That is ridiculous!