There's a debate going on about exactly what Kevin Harvick said about his teammate Danica Patrick and we repeated a version of it, which makes us a part of that debate. Here's what was said and what we think it actually means.
Per motorsport.com, Harvick explains of his teammate:
She will always be behind. She's never going to catch up to what I do or what Jimmie Johnson does. She's never going to overcome those hurdles, because we've all done this for 20-some years.
It goes along with this headline:
Harvick took to Twitter to denounce this as twisting his words:
While it's definitely what he said, if you listen to the full context of the quote it's clear Motorsport drew too broad of a conclusion based on a very narrow, cynical read of that comment. It was mostly complimentary and doesn't appear to be making a final conclusion about the rest of her career, rather he's just explaining her current performance.
We also basically parroted that perspective, working off the Motorsport report. But after seeing the tweets and listening to the tape it's clear that's not quite what he meant. Granted, it wasn't a compliment, but he didn't say she will never be a top-level driver, just that while she's improved over last year there's a debt that she will only be able to make up for with experience.
It's not glowing praise but it's also not the diss it first appeared to be.
When asked later if he thinks she could one day be a championship contender he said "Hope so..."
Again, not glowing praise, but he's not saying it couldn't happen.
Ed Note: The original version of this article was built on the quote from Motorsport and their characterization of it, upon review their characterization seems wrong and thus we've changed the article to reflect that. - MH
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