Tony Stewart has finally spoken out about comments that were made by Richard Petty regarding his driver, Danica Patrick.
Stewart told Performance Racing Network that he suggested that Patrick challenge the 76-year-old Petty, NASCAR’s all-time leader in wins to a race.
“I told her she should challenge Richard to a heads-up race,” Stewart said. “I think that would pretty much settle it once and for all. Maybe get him to shut up a little bit, too. He drove in an era when he had cars that were superior to what everyone else was running a lot. I think he forgets that NASCAR has changed a lot since he was a driver and how hard it really is now.”
Stewart even offered his cars. “I will supply the cars. I don’t care. If he wants to race her, I’ll make sure they have exactly the same setup in the car and give him a chance. He can drive one of my 14 cars. I don’t care.”
Doug Rice of PRN suggested to Stewart that if Patrick did win a race, that she could present the checkered flag to the King to autograph.
Stewart replied, “If I were her, I’d take it over there and cram it up his (expletive). If it were me. That’s just me.”
“I’ll be honest, that’s the first time I’ve said anything about it. I tried to steer away from it. But it’s like, man, did he really think about what he said before he said it?”
Petty criticized Patrick during an appearance at the Canadian Motorsports Expo earlier this month, saying that the only way she would win a race was “if everyone else stayed home.” He also commented that if she was male, “Nobody would ever know if she’d showed up at a racetrack, ” because “it is a female deal that is driving her. ”
Petty did see some good in that though, “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.”
When Petty was asked about his comments, he said he stood by them, “What I said is what I said and that’s what I believe, OK?”
Patrick brushed off the 200-race winners comments, “I still say the same thing: Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. People will judge what he said, whether they judge it well or not, and I’m just not going to (judge).”