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Richard Petty Accepts Challenge To Race Danica Patrick After Disparaging Her Racing Ability

Richard Petty Accepts Challenge To Race Danica Patrick After Disparaging Her Racing Ability

02/21/2014

Richard Petty isn’t backing down from his criticism of Danica Patrick’s racing abilities and has accepted the challenge to race against Patrick that Tony Stewart had suggested.

Richard Petty Accepts Challenge To Race Danica Patrick

"I'm 76 years old, ok?" Petty said on Fox News Channel. "It's been 25 years since I've been in a race car. But I'll take that challenge."

When the surprised hosts asked, "Really? You're going to do it, Richard?,” Petty assured them, "Oh yeah. When is this going to happen?"

The idea for the challenge came about after Petty, who is a seven-time NASCAR champion, claimed that Patrick’s gender, rather than her skills, is the reason why she’s a known name in the sport. "If she'd have been a male, nobody would ever know if she'd showed up at a race track," Petty told Fox and Friends. "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."

Tony Stewart, Patrick React To Petty's Diss

Stewart, who is teammates with Patrick, had enough of the NASCAR legend’s trashtalk. "I told her she should challenge Richard to a heads-up race," Stewart said during an interview with Performance Racing Network. "I think that would pretty much settle it once and for all. Maybe get him to shut up a little bit, too.”

If Patrick wins a Cup race, Stewart had another idea: "If I were her, I'd take [the checkered flag] over there and cram it up his [expletive]. If it were me. That’s just me.”

When asked about Petty’s comments, Patrick’s answer was far more level-headed and tempered than Stewart’s. After all, she’s grown accustomed to contending with those who have their doubts about her talents. "People have said things in the past, they're going to say things in the future," Patrick said.

"I still say the same thing: Everyone's entitled to their own opinion," she added. "People will judge what he said, whether they judge it well or not, and I'm just not going to (judge).”

At the Daytona practice session on Friday, Patrick recorded the third-fastest time of her peers, acording to NBC Sports. In first was her boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Greg Biffle was the second-fastest driver.

– Chelsea Regan

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Read more: Richard Petty, Danica Patrick

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