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Richard Petty willing to race Danica Patrick

The seven-time NASCAR champion says he would be all in for a challenge proposed by Patrick's teammate and team owner Tony Stewart.

February 21, 2014|By Matt Murschel
  • Car owner and seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty, 76, has said he'd be willing to race Danica Patrick.
Car owner and seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty, 76, has said he'd… (Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated…)

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" on 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.

Kyle Busch takes truck race

Kyle Busch outlasted a weather delay and a multi-truck crash before eking past Timothy Peters at the finish line to capture the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Friday night.

Peters led the race at the white flag before Busch took to the outside and pushed past for his first truck victory at Daytona International Speedway.

The 100-lap, 250-mile race was delayed for close to two hours after rain showers blanketed the area.

The track chaos began after Mason Mingus' No. 35 Toyota spun out after being tapped by Ross Chastain's No. 92 Ford, sending the 19-year-old into the wall in Turn 2 and starting a chain reaction involving most of the field behind the leaders. When it was over, 16 trucks had been involved — close to half the field — with most winding up back in the pits or into the garages in a collage of twisted metal.

"This now makes it where I've won four here. I was trying to get a truck win here and I got one," Busch said after the race on Fox Sports 1, highlighting his ARCA, Nationwide, Sprint Cup and now Camping World Truck wins.

Bike crash nearly sidelines Cassill

Landon Cassill qualified 18th for Sunday's Daytona 500 after 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," he 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 on 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 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 inductions scheduled for May 2015 at the Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.

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