Tony Stewart: Let’s see a race between Danica Patrick and Richard Petty

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Tony Stewart is obviously a very protective boss.

Even The King, Richard Petty, will suffer Stewart’s wrath when it comes to protecting one of his drivers, Danica Patrick.

Appearing on Performance Radio Network’s “Fast Talk” (the episode with Stewart can be heard at GoPRN.com), Stewart made it very clear what he would like Patrick to do if she wins a Sprint Cup race this season.

“If I were her, I’d take (the checkered flag) over and cram it up his (expletive),” Stewart said of Petty. “If it were me, that’s just me.”

That outburst was in response to the suggestion that Patrick might take the flag to Petty for his autograph to prove that she can indeed win a race in NASCAR.

This obviously all stems from Petty’s comments nearly two weeks ago in an appearance at the Canadian Motorsports Expo in Toronto, where he said the only way Patrick would win a Sprint Cup race was “if everybody else stayed home,” according to Wheels.ca. It’s a story that has grown wheels since, necessitated a rebuttal from Patrick, and then forced Petty to mildly backtrack.

But wait, it gets better.

Stewart then suggested that Petty climb back into a race car for the first time in 22 years and have a match race with Patrick in a two-car IROC-style shootout.

“I told her she should challenge Richard to a heads-up race,” Stewart said. “I think that would pretty much settle it once and for all, maybe get him to shut up a little bit too.

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

 

Petty is 76, while Patrick turns 32 on March 25.

For the record, Petty’s last win in a Sprint Cup car was 30 years ago in 1984 (Firecracker 400 at Daytona International Speedway). But let’s not forget Petty is NASCAR’s all-time wins leader with 200 Sprint Cup victories, not to mention being tied with the late Dale Earhardt for most Cup championships by a driver (seven).

Even at his age, Petty likely still has a few racing tricks up his sleeve — or firesuit, depending on your perspective.

Patrick, meanwhile, has yet to win a race in NASCAR, either Sprint Cup or Nationwide, and has just one race win to her credit during her previous days on the IndyCar circuit.

“I will supply the cars, I don’t care,” Stewart said. “If he wants to race her, I’ll make sure they have exactly the same set-up in the car and give him a chance. He can drive one of my 14 cars I don’t care.”

Somewhere, there HAS to be a promoter already trying to find a way to make this happen. It’d be a natural for the legendary Humpy Wheeler, and just think of the potential good it could do.

A Petty-Patrick match race could raise a ton of money for charity and give NASCAR perhaps its biggest story in years.

If Petty would agree to take part but is reluctant to do it on an actual track – maybe they could do it on a computer game instead of the real thing, if necessary.

Who do  YOU think would win?

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

MRTI: Juncos signs Carlos Cunha for Pro Mazda campaign

Photo: Juncos Racing
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Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.

Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.

“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”

Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”

Follow @KyleMLavigne