First of all, to be honest, I don't follow the sport closely...I'm an innocent bystander...but the Kyle Petty/Danica Patrick controversy caught my attention. Petty is certainly correct that Patrick is a marketing machine, no doubt about that. But is she a good race car driver? Petty sites her qualifying position vs. her finish race position as evidence that Patrick isn't particularly good. Patrick responds that the evidence proves otherwise since she has been qualifying at an average of something like 32nd position, but finishing races in the 26th position, on average. She says that this shows that she is a better race driver than qualifier; she drives well in race conditions, being able to move up in the field. But....if you are in a race with 40 drivers and begin the race at 32nd position and then during the race six drivers ahead of you go out of the race due to accidents or mechanical issues, it seems to me that you finish in 26th position by simply staying in the race, driving conservatively and avoiding accidents (and breakdowns). In this case, you're not a good driver, you moved up due only to other drivers misfortunes. As I said, I'm not conversant in the sport, but am I correct? Could somebody clue me in? Thanks.
Personally I think this is just Petty being Petty. Kyle has been a pretty good "marketing machine" in his own right. And then there are all his championships...oh, wait. Look, Danica is a racer and has been her entire life. It's her rookie year and the Sprint Cup, not some dirt track two counties yonder. Cut her some slack. She'll make it..or she won't.
Good drivers can't be judged by just one or two parameters. A top funded team can help a driver win more races and be higher in the standings, but that doesn't make him/her a better driver. Jimmy Johnson driving the #93 car, a severely underfunded team, would NOT look like a good driver from his standings or finishes. He is equally skilled in either the #48 or #93 car, but in one he would be the champion and in the other be in 35th place in the standings. This is just one example of how just one variable can make a tremendous difference in the stats with the same driver. To me some of the things I look for in a driver are, how do they do in a race with an ill handling car, or how do they handle adversity like getting 1 or 2 laps down. I guess the main thing to me is how they race others. Danica racing for 26th place can be just as exciting as Jimmy racing for the lead. It takes the same skill to pass 10 cars in a race whether it's going from 40th to 30th or from 10th to 1st. Sometimes it's even harder and takes more skill the further back you go. I've seen many races where a driver says that being up front is easy cause the car handles very well and is usually very fast. Later in the same race if that same driver gets put back in the pack their stats, speed, and total performance goes down the toilet. Their driving skill didn't change at all, but their stats did. Don't make the mistake of judging a drivers skill and ability strictly on statistics. If so you have to conclude that Dale Earnhardt had very little driving talent during the last part of his racing career. I, for one, don't believe that for a minute.
Kyle Petty is an idiot.
Danica got a 3rd and two 4th at Indy 500; she got a 5th, a 6th, a 7th and a 9tih in Indycar championship standings. When KP says that she's not a race driver, he just ignores all that and runs with his own prejudice. He implies that it doesn't take a race car driver to get good results at Indy 500; that's just absurd.
Now, I don't know if Danica will ever make it in Nascar, specially since she's been rushed up to Cup level. That is to be seen. But to go and say she's "not a race driver", that is just such a huge pre-concept, and then to say "she'll never be one", that's such unbelievable arrogance - as if he had a crystal ball.
Patrick says that she finishes much better than she qualifies!! How does one qualify such a statement when you're 4 laps down? Her statement is based on her counting her position from the leader..Want to know why? Take a look in the garage at the race drivers who have wrecked or suffered mechanical failure..THAT'S WHY SHE HAS ADVANCE..NOT FROM PASSING ANYONE. There should be a rule that any car who has been lapped should show their polition based on the last spot (43) not from the front. She buzzes around at the back and waits for the front runners to wreck or fail..THAT'S HOW SHE ADVANCES..Then you have those like DW in the broadcast booth telling us how great she is doing..6 LAPS DOWN...SHEEESH
Kyle petty as I'v no him over his raceing history has how many bragging right's not one I know of and if I'm wrong someone correct me. I remember Kyle Petty's last two years of full time raceing and his finishes were worse than Danica's very first full season and the season is not over yet. So at least give her one season before you judge Kyle Petty and remember if it was not for you being the son of the king you would not even have the job you have now. Jack Olsen.Tucson AZ.
Mr. Petty should APOLOGIZE.
I've followed Kyle's career for a long time and believe he is an expert where it comes to not being a good driver. For YEARS, my dad (who is only a casual NASCAR fan at best) and I would joke about how Kyle Petty could always manage to be 2 laps down only 5 laps into the race. Frankly Kyle, at least the last decade of your career you were not a good race car driver. Who knows, Danica may be able to get better. It beats starting at the top and working your way down. Having said that, guess what? I am STILL a Kyle Petty fan... and a Danica Patrick fan.
BOY!!! after just glancing the headline 'Petty diss's Danica', I nearly blew my top! How can that wanna be, washed up, has been, you'll never be your daddy, quitter, dare comment on anything about anybody! GGGGRRRRrr... oohhsooo maaad, that punk couldn't even finish his own motorcycle charity program. Xyle, (yes, thats EX-ile) why doncha stick to announcing where you can be among some other wanna-be racers talkin what they can't walk... And to all of the other fans who think Danica isn't carrying her weight, just compare her first year stats to YOUR driver in their early years, or is that why so many dislike her. Myself?, I think ole girl is doing QUITE WELL, thank you very much.
Kyle Petty is right in what he said, he even admitted that he wasn't great himself. for the ones who think he is just an announcer, let me bring you up to speed. he was a contender back in the early 90s, back before nascar sold out and was known as the winston cup. he had a really bad wreck and never seemed to bounce back, like most drivers in the 90s since safety wasn't as good as now. then his son was coming up and he became more focused on him and not his own racing. adam tragically died and kyle had a really rough time. he drove the 45 car in honor of his son for several years. Danica is only where she is in nascar (not taking anything from her indy career) because of her name. Jr funded her nationwide and now stewart is paying her way. one of the labonte brothers should be in that car, but they dont have the name to go with the nascar audience of today, so it wouldn't market well. but instead nascar is about money, hence dropping the name of winston cup to nextel cup and allowing toyota into the sport.
Very nicely said. I agree. Kyle comes from one of the better race car families in this country. I feel he does a good job commentating on the races. He tells it like it is!!!!
Danica, if nothing else she can really get the people talking about her. Marketing machine..... hellya!!! A woman in a sport dominated by men, yes, I agree with Kyle Petty. She drives like a racer, looks like a racer and probably smells better than most drivers so, must be a driver. She's on the track finishing races and following the strategy of her CC. That's what a driver is suppose to do. She been racing all her life and dealing with controversy the entire time. Is she a racer?? I think so although not the best or a top 10 driver but it is her first full season in the NSCS which definitely makes her a rookie. Her boyfriend Ricky Jr was back-2-back NNS champion and is a rookie this year also. Not much being said about Ricky. I admire Danica (and everyone else) for making the transition from F1 to NASCAR and to be 27th in points says something for her abilities. She's ahead of both Labonte's, Nemochek and just 1 point behind Mark Martin, The history, knowledge and accomplishments of those 4 drivers is remarkable and to run a race with those guys and be ahead of or so close to them in points also compliments her abilities. I'm sure all my fellow couch potatoe's and arm chair racers will continue to bash Danica, that's expected but she is a rookie, trying to make a name for herself just like every other driver/racer has done. JJ was a rookie and so was Jr, Carl, Clint, Matt, Jeff, etc etc etc. She will learn and become better or suck and go elsewhere. The future is unknowing and we just need to sit back and watch it develop. I'm not a fan of Danica but wish her luck in doing something that I wish I could do.
Here's the reality people.
In Indycar, she rarely finished a season ahead of any team that was funded as well as her. Her strength is that she's a she. And, as a result, a marketing dream. A man wouldn't have been around as long with her record.
The same with the Nationwide series. Sure, she finished 13th in the standings. Ahead of every part time or underfunded team.
And, so far, in Sprint Cup, she's doing the same thing. But, she's a marketing, and NASCAR's, dream.
In Richard Petty's last race at Daytona in 1994, he qualified 2nd. NASCAR had arranged another marketing dream by setting up Petty to be on the pole. A wonderful marketing opportunity. Sterling Marlin messed it up, though, by not going slow enough. Oh well. Petty hadn't been competitive for the previous 8 years. Petty was 26th at the end of the first lap.
Did NASCAR do the same thing with Danica at the Daytona 500? Probably. And, look at all the publicity NASCAR has received.
It will be interesting to see how she does this time without the "fix" being in.
Yes you pretty much summed it up, if Danica was a plain looking lady I doubt we would hear much about her, but she is not plain and they are using her as much as they can to gain interest in the sport, I like her but I don't think she is much of a NASCAR driver yet.. Time will tell.
Put a wart on her nose and pull two of her front teeth and then lets see how good of a driver she really is!!!!