DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Richard Petty stood by his comments that Danica Patrick can't win a Cup race and the Hall of Famer said it was unfair he has been labeled a sexist.
Petty, the seven-time champion, took some heat when he said Patrick only gets attention because she's a woman, but added that publicity is good for NASCAR. He said the only way Patrick, the first woman to win the Daytona 500 pole, could win a Sprint Cup race was "if everybody else stayed home."
Petty said Saturday night that no one would make a fuss about his remarks if he was talking about a male driver.
"What's unfair is the sexist part," Petty said at Daytona International Speedway. "If her name had been Danny, OK, nobody would have said anything about it. So y'all are bringing up the sexist part of it, not me."
NASCAR's career victory leader, Petty added, "It was definitely not sexist, OK? Hey look, I've been married 55 years to the same woman. So I am not a sexist by any ways. I love women."
Patrick declined to fire back at Petty during Daytona 500 media day, politely stating that he was entitled to his opinion.