NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty does not believe Danica Patrick will win a Sprint Cup race.
Petty was asked by a reporter if Patrick could win on the circuit while speaking at the Canadian Motorsports Expo on Sunday.
"If everybody else stayed home," Petty said. "If she'd have been a male, nobody would ever know if she'd showed up at a race track.
"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 sports, which helps everybody in the sport."
Patrick finished 27th in the Sprint Cup standings in her rookie season last year. She drove the No. 10 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing.
She opened the season by becoming the first woman to win the Daytona 500 pole and finished eighth in the race. It is her only top-10 finish in 46 Sprint Cup races. Previously, she raced to seven top-10 finishes and one pole in 60 Nationwide Series races over four years.
Patrick's 2008 win in the IndyCar Series race in Japan is the only major open-wheel victory by a woman. She has finished in the top 10 in the Indy 500 six times. Her highest finish in the race was third in 2009, which is the best ever by a woman.