Tony Stewart rips Richard Petty, defends Danica Patrick

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Stewart came to the defense of Danica Patrick, strongly criticizing Richard Petty for saying she would never win a NASCAR race.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- If Danica Patrick ever wins a NASCAR race, Tony Stewart knows exactly what she should do with the checkered flag: give it to Richard Petty in a very specific manner.

"If I were her, I'd take it over there and cram it up his ass, if it were me," Stewart said while appearing on the Performance Radio Network program "Fast Talk Live" Wednesday. "But that's just me."

Stewart would also like to stage a head-to-head race between NASCAR's seven-time champion and the only woman to win a pole in a Sprint Cup race. Stewart said he would supply the cars and ensure each was setup equally, and even offered to let Petty drive his No. 14 Chevrolet.

"If I were her, I'd take it over there and cram it up his ass, if it were me." -Tony Stewart on Richard Petty's criticism of Danica Patrick

"I think that would pretty much settle it once and for all, maybe get him to shut up a little bit, too," Stewart said.

Stewart was referencing recent remarks Petty made saying the only way Patrick would win a NASCAR race was "if everybody else stayed home." Petty also insinuated that Patrick only landed with a premiere team because she was a female.

"If she'd have been a male, nobody would ever know if she'd showed up at a race track," Petty said. "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 sport, which helps everybody in the sport."

Last week, Patrick dismissed Petty's criticism saying she wasn't concerned about what anyone else thought about her outside of her fans, family and her Stewart-Haas Racing team. Stewart has continually defended Patrick's ability, and tried to "steer away from" responding to Petty publicly.

"But it's like, man, did he really think about what he said before he said it?" Stewart said.

Stewart further suggested Petty, who won a NASCAR-best 200 races in his Hall of Fame career, didn't face nearly the same level of competition as Patrick does now.

"He drove in an era when he had cars that were superior to what everybody else was running a lot," Stewart said. "I think he forgets that NASCAR has changed a lot since he was a driver and how hard it really is now."

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