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NASCAR 2014 Schedule and News: Danica Patrick and Richard Petty Feud

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First Posted: Feb 14, 2014 03:03 PM EST
danica patrick
(Photo : flickr / Parker Anderson)

Will Danica Patrick ever win a NASCAR race? That's a fair question to ask considering all of the hype that she gets. 

It turns out that somebody did pose that very question to NASCAR legend Richard Petty during the Canadian Motorsports Expo.

Petty didn't mince words in his answer.

"If everybody else stayed home [she could]" Petty said.

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Ouch.

But Patrick is taking that negative comment in stride.

"You can't try any harder in the car," Patrick told reporters during NASCAR Media Day on Thursday. "I think that's something every driver would tell you. When someone questions our effort level, you can't try any harder.

"You're doing everything you can. Maybe subconsciously there's some motivation, but I can't tell. I'm giving it my all every single time I get in the car. ... It is what it is. People are entitled to their opinions, and that's fine."

She continued her remarks by stating that's she's received flak in the past.

"People have said things in the past and they're going to say things in the future," Patrick proclaimed. "I still say the same thing: Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

But is their opinion fair? What if Danica Patrick wasn't a woman?

"People are going to judge what he said, whether they judge it well or not, and I'm just not going to."

She has not time to worry about criticism. Patrick's a full-time, highly paid professional racer and she wouldn't have it any other way. Plus, she still thinks she has a lot to learn about stock cars, after starting her professional career in Formula 1.

"I still feel like I'm figuring stock cars out and will for a long time," Patrick said. "I will never stop learning, but figuring out the basics of how it works? There's still stuff that I look underneath the hood and I really don't know what I'm looking at."

Petty would probably have something sexist to say about her lack of knowledge as well. Irregardless, Patrick is adamant that she doesn't care about what other people think.

"It really just doesn't matter," Patrick added. "It's interesting conversation, and I'm fortunate I'm in it. ... The last time that somebody said something that was not so positive for me, it spawned so many positive articles. There's a positive side to it, too. More than anything, I love the conversation it creates in the sport and across the board it makes sports interesting. It makes life interesting when people have different perspectives, and that's fine with me."

Positive press is never a bad thing right?

"(My attitude on this) has nothing to do with where (the opinion) comes from," Patrick remarked. "The people that matter the most to me are my team, my sponsors and those little 3-year-old kids that run up to you and want a great big hug and say they want to grow up to be like you.

"That's the stuff I really focus on."

I like her attitude.

Do you think Danica Patrick has the skills to compete in NASCAR? Or do you believe that she was given a free pass into NASCAR because of her gender? Let me know in the comments section below.

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