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RICHARD PETTY: Danica Patrick will only win ‘if everybody else stayed home’ !!!

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Richard Petty thinks the only way Danica Patrick will ever win a NASCAR race is if she’s competing against herself.

The all-time winningest driver with 200 victories in NASCAR’s top division, Petty made his comments while attending the Canadian Motorsports Expo. When asked about Patrick’s chances to win a Sprint Cup race, Petty answered decisively according to Wheels.ca (via Jim Utter of the Charlotte Observer).

Patrick is set to begin her second full year in Cup, and struggled mightily during her rookie season. In 36 starts the former IndyCar driver posted an average finish of 26.1, failed to finish five races due to accidents, and ranked 27th in the standings. Her lone top-10 came in the season-opening Daytona 500, where she placed eighth after becoming the first woman to win a Cup pole.

Patrick’s struggles didn’t go unnoticed by Petty. The seven-time Cup champion feels Patrick landed a premium ride with Stewart-Haas Racing solely because she’s female, which she’s leveraged to attract sponsorship. Petty, however, did acknowledge that the additional attention Patrick has brought to the sport has had benefits for all involved.

“If she’d have been a male, nobody would ever know if she’d showed up at a race track,” Petty said according to Wheels.ca. “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.”