Kyle Petty: Danica Patrick is 'not a race car driver'

Danica Patrick is still left trying to silence her doubters. (USATSI)

Danica Patrick has made believers out of many of her male counterparts, but apparently not former Sprint Cup racer Kyle Petty.

Patrick, in her first full season as a Sprint Cup driver, hasn't been terribly impressive, ranking just 27th in Cup standings. And Petty feels the reason behind Patrick's mediocre showing is simple: She's not a race car driver.

Kyle cites his father, legendary driver Richard Petty, in his description of Patrick's shortcomings.

“She’s not a race car driver,” Petty said on Speed TV, where he's an analyst. “There’s a difference. The King [Richard] 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 race car driver. And I don’t think she’s ever going to be a race car driver.” 

Petty, who admits that he was also not a great race car driver, had just eight career wins in more than 800 starts. But his criticism is hardly constructive, as he went on to say that he had no idea how to become a great driver.

“If I knew, I’d be a great driver,” Petty said. “I was not a great driver, and I’ll be the first to admit it. I was a journeyman driver. Just like in the NFL or any sport, there are journeyman players.”

Patrick has just one top 10 finish in 16 starts this season.

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