Danica Patrick is "not a race car driver," TV analyst Kyle Petty said Thursday.
Appearing on SPEED's NASCAR RaceHub program, the FOX Sports/TNT analyst and former NASCAR driver said Patrick is a "marketing machine" but not a racer.
"Danica has been the perfect example of somebody who can qualify better than what she runs," said Petty, the son of NASCAR's "King" Richard Petty. "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."
Asked by interviewer Matt Clark why Patrick wouldn't ever be a race car driver in Petty's eyes, the eight-time race winner said it was "too late to learn."
Patrick, in her first year as a full-time Sprint Cup driver, finished eighth at February's Daytona 500 after becoming the first woman to win the pole in a Sprint Cup race. Patrick also has seven top-10 finishes in 60 career Nationwide Series races.
Petty, who began his NASCAR driving career in 1979, said he couldn't tell what makes the difference between a good driver and a great driver, because he never figured it out for himself.
"If I knew, I'd be a great driver," he 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."
Petty won eight times and compiled 173 top-10 finishes in 829 races during his thirty-year stint in NASCAR's premier series. He won his first race in 1986 during his sixth year as a full-time Cup driver.
Prior to joining NASCAR, Patrick spent seven years driving in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Patrick, who was the first woman ever to lead a lap at the Indianapolis 500, made history in Japan in 2008 when she became the first female in history to win an oval-track race in auto racing's big leagues.
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PHOTOS: Danica Patrick's NASCAR career