Saturday, January 9, 2010

Not Everyone is Thrilled to See Danica Patrick in NASCAR

You have to give Kyle Petty credit for pointing out that Danica Patrick isn't going to get very far in NASCAR if she blames the cars she uses if she isn't successful:
Most of NASCAR is throwing out the welcome mat for Danica Patrick. Former driver-turned-TV analyst Kyle Petty is a bit more cautious about what her arrival means for the sport and the risks she's taking.

"I've said it from the very beginning, she is an incredibly talented driver. Can this be huge for her and for NASCAR? Yes, it can," Petty said Saturday. "Obviously, open wheel built what the sport is now off of her because it was a floundering sport. They took her and that marketing machine that she is and they went there."

Petty spoke at Sound and Speed, one of the events that marks the unofficial start of the racing season and features country music singers and NASCAR drivers mingling with fans from across the country. One of the bigger topics for 2010 is the arrival, at least on a part-time basis, of Patrick from open-wheel racing.

She'll be driving for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the ARCA and Nationwide series before and after her commitments for the IndyCar Series are completed.

Petty, the son of NASCAR's all-time wins leader Richard Petty, said Patrick is stepping into a situation with a car that has won races.

"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. Initially, she'll have an impact on the sport. If she's successful, she'll have a huge long-term impact on the sport.
The unspoken rule, though, is that you can't criticize anything Patrick says or does; then it becomes "unfair." Until there are more women in auto racing, who are able to follow Patrick into the ranks of the sport, statements like this one from Petty are going to open him up to criticism.

1 comment:

  1. I dont think there is any reason for drivers to comment oh her ability without first seeing how she performs.