Currently, Danica Patrick is 27th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings and has one top 10 finish in 16 starts this season.
One former driver, Kyle Petty, says that is not good enough to be called a race car driver.
“She's not a race car driver,” Petty said on Speed TV. “There's a difference. The King [Richard] always had that stupid saying, but it's true, ‘Lots of drivers can drive fast, but very few drivers can race.'
“Danica has been the perfect example of somebody who can qualify better than what she runs. She can go fast, but she can't race. I think she's come a long way, but she's still not a race car driver. And I don't think she's ever going to be a race car driver.”
Petty admits he doesn't know what it takes to be a great driver. Petty had eight career Cup wins in 829 career starts.
“If I knew, I'd be a great driver,” Petty said. “I was not a great driver, and I'll be the first to admit it. I was a journeyman driver. Just like in the NFL or any sport, there are journeyman players.”
NASCAR's most popular driver doesn't share that opinion with Petty.
"I have to disagree with Kyle," Dale Earnhardt Jr. said Friday at Kentucky Speedway. "I think she's a tough competitor. She works really hard at what she does and she has run some really good races. On every occasion, she's outrunning several guys on the circuit."