Danica Patrick can’t escape Richard Petty controversy

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A possible showdown between Danica Patrick and Richard Petty has moved one step closer to becoming a reality. Petty, a seven-time NASCAR champion, was on “Fox and Friends” Friday and told the news channel that he would be all in for a possible race between himself and Patrick.

“I’m 76 years old, OK?” Petty said, according to USA Today. “It’s been 25 years since I’ve been in a race car. But I’ll take that challenge.”

The challenge was issued by Patrick’s teammate and team owner Tony Stewart, who was upset with the legendary driver for comments he made about Patrick’s chances of ever winning on the NASCAR circuit.

“I think that (a race) would pretty much settle it once and for all, and maybe get him to shut up a little bit, too,” Stewart told Performance Racing Network during an event outside Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday. “I will supply the cars. If he wants to race her, I’ll make sure they have exactly the same setup in the car and give him the chance. He can drive one of my 14 cars. I don’t care.”

After qualifying third for Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Patrick was asked to respond to the news of Petty’s acceptance of a race.

“At the end of the day, the most important thing is my team owner believes in me,” she said before ending her media session.

Wreck of a different sort almost sidelines Cassill

Landon Cassill qualified 18th for Sunday’s Daytona 500 following Thursday night’s Budweiser Duels at Daytona International Speedway, but a freak bicycle accident almost kept the driver out of this weekend’s action.

Sporting a black eye, the 24-year-old Cassill told reporters his harrowing tale.

“I was riding my bicycle in Daytona on Saturday and got hit by a car,” Cassill said. “It was pretty bad, but I’m all right now.”

Cassill said he was checked out by NASCAR’s medical staff before qualifying for the race.

“It’s actually healed pretty well,” Cassill added. “I’m really lucky.

“Got some road rash on my arms and legs, and the inside of my knees were bruised up pretty badly. But my face took most of the fall.”

According to Cassill, who will drive the No. 40 Hillman Racing Chevrolet Sunday, the fault for the accident falls on the motorist.

“I mean I blame myself a lot for the position I put myself in,” Cassill said. “I was in the bike lane and had the right of way.

“It’s really not funny. I could have gotten really hurt,” he said, adding, “but I made the Daytona 500 and she doesn’t know that.”

Hall of Fame field announced

NASCAR announced the nominees for its 2015 Hall of Fame class on Friday. Buddy Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, Bill Elliott, Ray Fox, Rick Hendrick, Bobby Isaac, Terry Labonte, Fred Lorenzen, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Larry Phillips, Wendell Scott, Bruton Smith, Mike Stefanick, Curtis Turner, Joe Weatherly, Rex White and Robert Yates are the 20 individuals up for consideration. Voting on the class will take place May 21, with the enshrinees inducted in May 2015 at the Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.


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