Danica Patrick has fired back at Kyle Petty after the former driver publicly criticized her ability and questioned her place in NASCAR.
According to ESPN's Terry Blount, she said:
I really don't care. There's going to be people who believe in you and people who don't. Plenty of people say bad things about me. I see it on Twitter. Some people want me to die. But at the end of the day, you get over that stuff and trust you're doing a good job for the people who believe in you.
Petty had said that Patrick was good in qualifying but not very good when it came to the racing end of things. Patrick had a comical response. Per Blunt, she said, "It's funny he said I can qualify and not race. Anyone who has watched what I do knows I'm crap in qualifying. In the races, things go much better."
USA Today's Jeff Gluck also got a cogent response from Patrick about her general critics.
Danica, asked how she'll silence the naysayers: "You really think I will silence naysayers? That's the answer. You don't."— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) June 28, 2013
Gluck was very complimentary about Patrick's response to the whole situation.
Danica Patrick putting on an absolute clinic on how to handle situations like this. Deflecting, taking the high road...professional response— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) June 28, 2013
You really do have to give Patrick a ton of credit in this situation. She's had to deal with constant criticism about how she's not good enough to drive in NASCAR or the IndyCar Series. Clearly, she's learned how to deftly deal with all of the vitriol while not saying something she might later regret.
Who do you side with?
Patrick could have easily called the whole situation ironic, since this was started by Petty of all people. He is, of course, the son or Richard Petty, and that's about it. Most of his success stemmed from the fact that he was the progeny of "The King." The younger Petty had eight wins and 52 top-five finishes in 829 career races.
Instead, Patrick chose to deflect what Petty said and is moving on. It's unlikely, though, that this situation will die down anytime soon, as what Petty said is likely what many fans of NASCAR have believed and will continue to believe.