SPARTA, Ky.—Former Sprint Cup driver Kyle Petty doesn’t consider himself a great racecar driver.
But it is probably safe to assume he thinks he was better than Danica Patrick.
Petty, speaking on Speed’s Race Hub program, questioned Patrick’s ability, saying “she’s not a racecar driver.”
A rookie in Sprint Cup and in her fourth year of racing stock cars, Patrick is 27th in the Cup standings.
“She’s not a racecar driver,” Petty, an analyst for Speed and TNT, said before offering the definition of a racecar driver as determined by his father, seven-time Cup champion Richard Petty. “There’s a difference. The King (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 racecar driver. And I don’t think she’s ever going to be a racecar driver.”
Patrick, who struggled in the Nationwide Series before moving to Sprint Cup this season, has just one top-10 finish in 16 starts this season. She won the pole and finished eighth in the season-opening Daytona 500. Her best finishes since then were 12th at Martinsville and 13th at Michigan. She 13 finishes of 24th or worse, including 29th last week at Sonoma, where she wrecked twice.