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Richard Petty stands by Patrick remarks

February 16, 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (AP) — NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Richard Petty is standing by his comments that Danica Patrick can’t win a race and says it’s unfair he has been labeled a sexist.

Petty, a seven-time NASCAR champion, said last week the only way Patrick could win a race was “if everybody else stayed home.” He also said Patrick only gets attention because she’s a woman, but added that publicity is good for NASCAR.

Petty said Saturday at Daytona International Speedway that his remarks wouldn’t have been controversial if he was talking about a male driver.

“If her name had been Danny, OK, nobody would have said anything about it,” he said. “So you all are bringing up the sexist part of it, not me.”

He added, “I am not a sexist by any ways. I love women.”

Patrick brushed off the criticism this week at the Daytona 500, saying Petty is entitled to his opinion.

Patrick became the first woman to win a NASCAR pole in her Daytona 500 debut last season. She led the race for five laps and finished eighth.

But she never came close to duplicating that Daytona success in the rest of the season for Stewart-Haas Racing, finishing 27th in the final standings.

Petty said he would not curb his comments in the future and become politically correct for the sake of the sport.

“What I said is what I said and that’s what I believe, OK?” he said.

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