Patrick seemed to question the need for the program in a back-and-forth exchange with a reporter.
"I've never benefited from NASCAR's diversity program," she said. "... Well, clearly, then I wouldn't think there needs to be a diversity program if I'm here and I didn't get in.
"It wasn't like they asked me to be in it. They didn't give my team or me any money, they didn't say, 'We'd love you,' you know? So I would say that you have to just make it. I'm not saying that being a girl hasn't helped, but I didn't need a program to make it happen."
Friday night, Jim Cassidy, senior vice president of racing operations, provided the following statement to the Observer in response to Patrick's comments:
"We're fortunate that there are many different paths of entry into our sport for our participants. We have seen a growing number of talented diverse and female drivers compete in NASCAR thanks to our Drive for Diversity program started in 2004. We’re very proud of the program, which also recruits and trains pit crew members, and remain more committed than ever to it."