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Monday, January 11, 2010

Kyle Petty’s remarks on Danica Patrick are honest, not sexist

It may be just because there’s not much news going on right now in NASCAR, but Kyle Petty is catching some heat for the comments he has made regarding Danica Patrick lately.

The latest comments came this past Saturday. Petty said that while Danica is “an incredibly talented driver” who can do great things for NASCAR if she succeeds, he wonders if she will be able to do that. In the scenario where she fails and goes back to NASCAR, Petty said: “If she's not successful, the only impact she'll have on the sport is she wasted two or three years on a car that a good driver could have been in and could have been developing.”

The reaction is quite predictable. Many people online are throwing their own insults at Petty, questioning his level of success in comparison with his father, and implying that Petty and other “good old boys” are just scared that they are going to be outperformed in NASCAR by a woman.

While I’m sure that attitude exists among some people in the garage (I recognize that in any given place, there are going to be some ignorant people), I would bet that this is not the case with Kyle. He’s just saying what everyone else is afraid to say.

While most people in the racing world may be trying to stay on Danica’s good side, Petty just said something that’s obvious from looking at the facts. Dario Franchitti, an Indycar champion, came to NASCAR and failed. Same goes for Formula 1 champ Jacques Villeneuve, and Indycar star Patrick Carpentier. Even great Indycar champs like Tony Stewart and Juan Pablo Montoya took a few years in stock cars to really get it and finish consistently well.

When you look at Danica’s stats, a grand total of 1 win in a handful of years, and compare it with these greats, there’s a very good chance that she will not succeed. It’s simple logic and statistics, nothing sexist there. She might do well, she might not. But the numbers just aren’t on her side.

He also correctly said she has no room for error, because she will be in equipment that has won races in the past.

"If she gets in that car and doesn't win races it's not the car, it's not the engines, it's not the team. They only changed one thing," Petty said.
And you case you think he’s hating again, he went on to say.”Initially, she'll have an impact on the sport. If she's successful, she'll have a huge long-term impact on the sport.”

So Kyle was just telling the truth. If Danica does well, he’ll probably be the first one to congratulate her.

All he’s saying is the truth: Danica has no stock car experience, but she’s taking over a top NASCAR ride that normally would be filled by a young up-and-coming stock driver who’s been in the business for years. If she fails, she will have taken up that seat for a number of years.

Call him whatever name you want, but I applaud Petty for being the only big name among NASCAR commentators to look at the Danica situation from a logical perspective.

As the saying goes, the truth hurts sometimes.

Almirola full-time ride in 2010
Congratulations to Aric Almirola, who will race full-time for James Finch at Phoenix Racing in 2010. He is a talented young driver who could develop into a Cup series competitor if he lands in solid equipment. This may be a stepping stone in that direction, after his career was derailed for a little while by the turmoil at DEI.
I just hope, for his sake, that the #09 car doesn’t start-and-park for most of the races this year, as that would be a waste of Almirola’s talents.

More congratulations
So Jimmie Johnson and his wife Chandra will soon be parents … Congrats to them, and I hope they have a healthy little baby who cries a lot and keeps them awake all summer and fall. I’ll take any distraction in the Johnson household during the 2010 Chase that could potentially help NASCAR fans avoid having to see a Johnson five-peat.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are too many bandwagons in this sport for the truth to come out far too many times. All Kyle did was look at Danica's stats, a little bit of reality and make a sensible observation. He didn't bash her, he didn't berate her talent, he said it like it is. The feeble attempt to bash him by comparing his record to his fathers is ignorant at best. Kyle has always presented himself as Kyle Petty. Just look at the pony tail. That has said just that for years. That he said what others are fearful of saying and that he said it in a way that did not demean Danica in any fashion, speaks volumes for Kyle. I think Kyle and all the Petty's have paid a high enough price in this sport to say as they damn well please and to not be criticized for it.

January 11, 2010 at 1:16 PM 
Blogger GinaV24 said...

I thought Kyle's comments were perfectly reasonable. Too bad that everyone has to be so PC that honesty can't be accepted.

If she runs great, that's fine. If not, well, then she gets to take the heat for that, too. She's had great opportunities and has made quite a reputation for herself as a "brand", now she has to live up to the hype.

January 11, 2010 at 6:33 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or she could turn out to be a Shirley Muldowney.Sooner or later a female driver of that skill will appear.It will be disgusting to watch the media slobbering all over themselves when she arrives.

January 12, 2010 at 6:10 AM 
Anonymous Carrie said...

It's been typical from day one that if anyone dares say anything less than glowing about Danica, no matter how true it is, they are going to be called sexist, jealous etc. and so forth.

January 13, 2010 at 8:42 AM 
Anonymous austin rivers said...

I think the drivers should wait to evaluate Danica on her performance on the track, and give her a opportunity to show she belongs.

February 3, 2010 at 1:53 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen to Kyle, he is SO right.

February 28, 2010 at 5:23 AM 

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