After Kyle Petty launched a media firestorm with his comments on SPEED's "NASCAR Race Hub" show saying Danica Patrick was "not a racecar driver," Patrick faced so many demands from the media for a response that she met with the press at Kentucky Speedway, site of this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series round to address them.
What was your reaction to Kyle's comments?
“Read it, yes. I just think that it's funny how he said that I could qualify, but I can't race because those of you that actually watch what I do would know that I can't qualify for crap. In the race things go much better. It's a little bit funny, but the most important thing to me is that I can keep my team happy, we're moving in the right direction, that Go Daddy is happy and that when you walk out of the garage or walk around the track and meet a little girl that wants to grow up to be like you then you're doing something right -- those are the things that feel right.”
Does it matter to you what people say about you? And, does it motivate you when people say negative things like this?
“Thanks Kyle, thanks for motivating me! (laughs). I really don't care. It's true that there are plenty of people who say really bad things about me, I hear about them or I read about them or read them on Twitter. People want me to die! At the end of the day, you just get over that kind of stuff and all you can do is trust that you're doing a good job and that's all that matters and the people around you believe in you.”
What do you feel you have to do to silence the naysayers?
“You really think that I will silence naysayers? That is the answer -- you don't. I am sure every driver has them on some level. There are going to be people that believe in you and those that don't. You surround yourself in people that believe in you. And that is what matters.”
“The most important thing to me is that I can keep my team happy,” Patrick said. “We're moving in the right direction. (Sponsor) GoDaddy's happy. And then, when you walk out of the garage or walk around the track and you meet a little girl who wants to grow up to be like you, you're doing something right.”