It’s Good To Be The King

It’s Good To Be The King

by February 11, 2014 0 comments

Richard Petty has earned his title of “The King” with 7 NASCAR Championships and a career that spans 34 years. He has 1184 Sprint Cup Series starts, 123 poles and 200 wins. He has become an icon in the sport, he is a racing legend and when he talks, people listen.

Yesterday at the Canadian Motorsports Expo, Petty was asked if he thought Danica Patrick would ever win a Sprint Cup Series race. His response:

“If everybody else stayed home…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.”

Words that could only come from “The King”. If anyone else had said them, they would have been publicly mocked and ridiculed. They would have been hauled up on the stage of public opinion and given a good thrashing. Not “The King” though, Richard Petty gets to speak his mind when it comes to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing.

It’s not that Danica isn’t a skilled race car driver, with what she’s accomplished in IndyCar, that point simply can’t be argued. The problem is that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series requires something different from it’s drivers. Being a great IndyCar or Formula One driver doesn’t automatically mean you will be a excel in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, just look at Juan Pablo Montoya.

Danica has accomplished a lot in NASCAR. She has brought unprecedented attention and tons of new fans to the sport but the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series isn’t the kind of place that tolerates mediocre performance for very long. This season may be make or break for her. If she can’t turn the corner this season and get some top-10 and top-5 finishes, people other than “The King” may start to make public comments.

I’m pretty certain that the first part of Richard Petty’s answer was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but he only said what I’m sure a lot of others in NASCAR are thinking. If Danica Patrick was a guy, there is no way in the world he would have the ride that she currently has. For a sport that has been dominated by men since it’s beginning, giving special treatment to someone because they are female, just rubs some the wrong way.

Danica may very well prove all the doubters wrong and get a win this season. However, we are all entitled to our own opinions. Those of us without Richard Petty’s credentials tend to keep them a bit guarded for fear of having our reputation ravaged on Facebook and Twitter. Those with a lot at stake in the sport keep them guarded from to other reason. “The King”, he gets to speak his mind whenever he dang well pleases. It’s good to be the “The King”

Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas

Christopher Neal
Christopher is a happily married father of 3 very active boys. He is a full time law enforcement officer and part time web designer. Chris is currently the chief editor of as well as has personal blog

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.

Leave a Comment