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Kyle Petty on Danica Patrick: 'She's not a race car driver'

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Thursday, Jun. 27, 2013

Part III of Matt Clark's sit-down with NASCAR on Fox/Speed analyst Kyle Petty was a candid one. Petty, a regular analyst for NASCAR RaceDay, was quite open with his thoughts on NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Danica Patrick.

Matt Clark: What's your take on Danica Patrick?

Kyle Petty: I've said it from the very beginning; she's just a marketing machine. That's a fact, Jack.

Clark: She's hot...

Petty: Yeah, she's hot. She's a hot commodity and rightfully so. In a market where everybody that crawls into a race car on a Sunday afternoon in Cup racing is male; she's the female. I don't have a problem with her being a marketing machine - more power to her.

Clark: Where's she at as a driver?

Petty: That's where I have a problem. Where fans have bought into the hype of the marketing, to think she's a race car driver. She can go fast, and I've seen her go fast. She drives the wheels off it when she goes fast.

Clark: ...but has she learned to race?

Petty: She's not a race car driver. There's a difference. 'The King' (Richard Petty) always had that stupid saying, but it's true, 'Lots of drivers can drive fast, but very few drivers can race.' 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.

Clark: Why?

Petty: Because I think it's too late to learn.

Clark: Then what makes a difference between a good driver, and a great driver?

Petty: If I knew, I'd be a great driver. I was not a great driver, and I'll be the first to admit it. I was a journeyman driver. Just like in the NFL or any sport, there are journeyman players. ...



Utter: 704-358-5113; Twitter: @jim_utter
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