Richard Petty is ready to race Danica Patrick


Danica Patrick greets fans as she is introduced Sunday in Daytona Beach, Fla. (John Raoux / AP)

Last week, Tony Stewart challenged Richard Petty to a duel with Danica Patrick, saying he’d supply the cars in an plain-spoken response to Petty’s contention that Patrick would win in NASCAR “if everybody else stayed home.”

On Friday, Petty responded, saying essentially let’s start the engines.

“I’m 76 years old, okay?” Petty said on “Fox and Friends.” “It’s been 25 years since I’ve been in a race car. But I’ll take that challenge.”

Patrick, who races for the Stewart-Haas, had little to say about Petty’s remarks that she was a driver, not a racer last week. But Stewart was more than ready to yap.

“I think that [a race] would pretty much settle it once and for all, maybe get him to shut up a little bit, too,” Stewart said. “I will supply the cars. If he wants to race her, I’ll make sure they have exactly the same setup in the car and give him the chance. He can drive one of my 14 cars. I don’t care.”

Patrick had only one top-10 finish in her first year in NASCAR’s top level, finishing eighth in the Daytona 500 last year after becoming the first woman to win the pole. In the Nationwide Series, she had seven top-10 finishes and one pole in 60 races. Petty told Fox that he isn’t a sexist. “I judge by results,” he said.

A battle of the sexes isn’t likely to happen, though. Auto racing is a little more dangerous than Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs playing a tennis battle of the sexes. But if it were to happen and if Patrick were to win, Stewart had a suggestion for Petty and his … tailpipe.

“If I were her, I’d take [the checkered flag] over there and cram it up his [butt].”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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