Ok I was going to leave this one alone and just let the chips fall where they may….. BUT….. Kyle Petty has changed my mind, not about Danica Patrick but about leaving this alone. His remarks at the recent Sound and Speed event which gets singers and race car drivers together for who knows what, were kind of brash coming from a driver who has the bloodlines of a Champion but the performance of a nag. Kyle said that Danica was a “marketing machine” well yeah, that is common knowledge and no one is doubting that, but she is also a race car driver, no she has not won a championship, nor has she won a ton of races at a top level, but neither had Kyle when he started, his daddy put him in a cup car in an ARCA race and he won, wow what an accomplishment……that is really getting it done. Kyle was one of the first drivers who took a ride on his daddy’s coattail, and floundered. Now Kyle said that Danica was “ Patrick is stepping into a situation with a car that has won races. If she gets in that car and doesn’t win races it’s not the car, it’s not the engines, it’s not the team. They only changed one thing.” well he is right about one thing, the car has won races … as the rules stood last year, your comparing apples to oranges to compare one year of a car to the next year of a car. And to say well the car has won she should, well Kyle stepped into a few cars that had won and he couldn’t get it done so is he speaking from experience?
Now don’t take this as the dr is defending Danica and jumping on the Danica bandwagon, I am not, BUT I believe that if you come into NASCAR and do it the right way why shouldn’t she ? She is not jumping straight into a cup car, like a few others have, she is doing what Penske called the old ABC program, some ARCA races , some Busch(now nationwide) and then some cup. Which is the right way.
But the real thing that really got to me was when Kyle said”But if she’s not successful the only impact she’ll have on the sport is she wasted two or three years on a car that a good driver could have been in and could have been developing.”!!! now boy ain’t that like the pot calling the kettle black! How many years was Kyle taking up a seat that a good up and coming driver could have had? How long did he prolong his career when he should of stepped down and put a decent driver in the car? Kyle never had a bit of talent, and I am sure King Richard was swearing under his breath ever time Kyle’s name was mentioned because he tarnished the name of Petty.
Now let’s look at what Danica has done so far, she was 12th out of 26 drivers on the first time in the car at Daytona, hummm has Kyle ever run in the top 12? this is her FIRST time in the car! Tony Eury Jr the same guy who sat on the box for Dale Jr said “”She’s doing really good,” said Eury. “Drafting is not something that you learn overnight. She has done really good learning how to stay in a pack, learning what the car does in different aero situations. We’re pretty pleased. I think I need a little more speed in the car just in single car runs. Overall, it has been a good successful day. We’ll come back here tomorrow and let her draft a little bit more and I think we will be game on.” Now keep in mind Eury Jr is not just a hired gun now he has a vested interest in this team as part owner.
On the final day of practice she and her team not only did on-track testing but also participated in pit road practice. She was 10th fastest in the No. 88A Chevrolet in the morning session with a lap of 180.238 and 19th fastest in the No. 88 Chevrolet with a speed of 179.197. In the afternoon session, she turned a total of 92 laps and posted a top speed of 182.082 mph, good enough for fifth best on the speed charts. Now that ain’t bad for the first test session she has ever been too.
Sprint Cup veteran Carl Edwards was hesitant at first, but thinks it’s a good thing for the sport bringing Patrick onboard.“Honestly, at first I thought there’s no way,” Edwards said. “Then I heard just (Friday) my buddy was telling me at testing that she was really, really fast. You never know. What I’ve been saying from the beginning is for her to be successful over here would be a huge benefit not only for her and her sponsors, but for our whole sport, so it’d be great.
“I hope she does well, but not better than me. It’s going to be tough just like it is for everyone.”
Her new car owner Dale Jr. said ““I’m going into it with an open mind. It’s going to be an uphill battle for her,” said the veteran Cup driver. “But I think she can. She’s a race car driver. She should be able to adapt and do whatever she needs to do. We’re real happy with what we’ve seen and we love her attitude. I don’t know how she’ll do, I really don’t.”
I know Kyle has lot’s of people listening to him because he is the son of the king but he needs to shut his mouth and wait and see before he starts bashing.
Danica may be the biggest flop in the history of NASCAR but until she takes to the track and runs a lap under green in a race no one knows, so why not wait and see, and THEN we will bash if needed. But until then I think we should give her the benefit of the doubt.