Petty ignited a firestorm of controversy Thursday, saying on SPEED’s NASCAR Race Hub that Patrick “has been the perfect example of somebody who can qualify better than what she runs. She can go fast, but she can't race.”
While the Stewart Haas Racing rookie clearly disagreed with Petty’s assessment, she declined to be lured into a war of words.
"I think it's funny how he said I can qualify (but) I can't race,” she said. “Those of you who actually watch what I do know I can't qualify for crap, and in the race things go much better. It's a little bit funny.”
Patrick said she long ago accepted the fact that some people don’t like her, and never will.
"I really don't care,” she said. “There are plenty of people who say really bad things about me. People want me to die. You get over that stuff.” She also said she prefers to simply tune-out the negativity and focus on those who are in her corner.
"Do you really think I will silence (my) naysayers?” she asked. “Every driver has them. You surround yourself with people that believe in you.''