Danica Patrick: Kyle Petty, the son of NASCAR legend Richard Petty, says he doesn't think Danica Patrick is a qualified NASCAR driver. What does Patrick say?
Kyle Petty continues to doubt Danica Patrick's future as a NASCAR driver.
During a Thursday night appearance on SPEED's "Race Hub" program, the former driver and current TV analyst said Patrick is more of a marketing machine than a race car driver and doubts the 30-year-old will ever be one "because I think it's too late."
Patrick is a Sprint Cup Series rookie with Stewart Haas Racing following an open wheel career in the IZOD IndyCar Series highlighted by an historic 2008 victory at Motegi, Japan. She won the pole and finished eighth in the season-opening Daytona 500 but her average starting and finishing positions are 32nd and 25.8 respectively.
Former boss Dale Earnhardt Jr. disagreed with Petty's assessment, saying Friday that Patrick "is outrunning several guys on the circuit."
That likely won't stop Petty, 53, son of seven-time Cup champion Richard "The King" Petty and an eight-time race winner, from criticizing Patrick. An analyst for TNT and Fox/SPEED, he understands the widespread interest in Patrick, who has been featured in racy TV ads for sponsor Go Daddy and was IndyCar's most popular driver for several years.