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Danica Patrick: NASCAR driver or just a 'hot girl?' Richard Petty rips Patrick

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Danica Patrick has had folks talking about her since the day she got behind the wheel of a car and wanted to race with the boys. Patrick knows that she is under the microscope more than any other NASCAR driver out today, but she seems to handle the pressure well.

However the latest harsh words have come from a living legend, and they weren't so kind.

According to a foxnewsinsider.com report on Feb. 11, Richard Petty said Danica Patrick has a shot at some wins this season on the track - that is as long as no one else shows up to race!

"If she'd have been a male, nobody would ever know if she'd showed up at a racetrack," Petty told reporters in Toronto. "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 has earned the right to speak his mind in the NASCAR arena, however the comments did seem a bit out of nowhere and pretty harsh.

Richard isn't the first Petty to speak his mind when it comes to Patrick's racing skills. In 2006, he said NASCAR is "not a sport for women," while his son, Kyle, has made similar comments about the history-making Patrick.

"She can go fast, but she can't race. I think she's come a long way, but she's still not a race car driver. And I don't think she's ever going to be a race car driver," Kyle Petty said last year.

The best way Danica Patrick can prove her peers wrong is to start winning races. Although she has yet to win a single NASCAR race, she still has done well overall for a rookie. Patrick finished eighth overall in last years Daytona 500, and 27th in the Sprint Cup standings in her rookie season.

If she can jump up to a top 10 finish overall this season, she may start to get some of the respect she deserves.

Do you think Danica will improve this season?

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