Danica Patrick Defended by Tony Stewart After Richard Petty's Slam

Image: Danica Patrick Defended by Tony Stewart After Richard Petty's Slam Danica Patrick, left, Tony Stewart, center, and Richard Petty.

Friday, 21 Feb 2014 09:15 AM

By Ronald Kessler

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Former NASCAR champion Tony Stewart delivered a stinging rebuke of Richard Petty's opinion of his teammate Danica Patrick Thursday.

Petty, NASCAR's all-time record holder with 200 circuit wins that earned him the nickname "The King," said Feb. 9 at the Canadian Motorsports Expo in Toronto that Patrick could win a Sprint Cup Series only, "if everybody else stayed home," according to the Los Angeles Times. 

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"If she'd been a male, nobody would ever know if she'd showed up at a race track," Petty added. "This is a female deal that's driving her. There's nothing wrong with that, because that's good PR for me. More fans come out; people are more interested in it. She has helped to draw attention to the sport, which helps everybody in the sport."

During a live appearance for the Performance Racing Network near the Daytona International Speedway, Stewart retorted Petty's harsh words.

"I think that (a race) would pretty much settle it once and for all, maybe get him to shut up a little bit, too," Stewart told the audience, according to ESPN. "I will supply the cars. If he wants to race her, I'll make sure they have exactly the same setup in the car and give him the chance. He can drive one of my 14 cars. I don't care." 

"If I were her, I'd take (the checkered flag) over there and cram it up his (butt)," Stewart added.

ESPN columnist Ed Hinton wrote he thought Stewart went too far in defending his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate. 

"We're still concerned about Tony Stewart's mending leg, but clearly his mouth is back to 100 percent – running wide open, set up real loose, so that the rear end is hanging out," Hinton wrote. "Petty is 76 years old, Stewart is 42 and Danica is 31. I have no idea how such a match race, preposterous at face value, would turn out. But as for the aforementioned celebratory gesture, I somehow doubt Stewart would succeed at such an endeavor. (I'm certain Danica has far too much class even to say such a thing, let alone try it.)"

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