(NEW YORK) — NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty doesn’t believe Danica Patrick will ever have a chance of winning a Sprint Cup Series title.
Patrick finished 27th in the Sprint Cup Series standings last season and had only one top-10 finish.
“If everybody else stayed home,” Petty told reporters at the Canadian Motorsports Expo, when asked if Patrick will ever win. “If she’d have been a male, nobody would ever know if she’d showed up at a racetrack.”
“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.”
Petty believes Patrick is one big PR stunt.
“When NASCAR Cup racing first started, it was racing,” he said. “Over a period of years, with our sponsorships, what we had to do for TV, to get the fans to come, the first thing you know is that the race is secondary, because all the rest of it is buildup, buildup, buildup.”
Petty won 200 races in a career that spanned from 1958-1992.
“It’s sort of like, say, watching the Super Bowl; it was a lot more exciting watching the buildup than the game,” Petty continued. “The game just happened to break out in the middle of a good party. We’re not quite that far along but in order for us to do what we need to do on race day, the sponsorship and the fan stuff, we have to do all this other stuff.”
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
John Newsome and Anne Woolsey, CNN