Danica Patrick Has Fast Start, Chance To Be First Female Driver To Win Pole For Daytona 500

Danica Patrick had a fast start at trials for the Daytona 500, giving her a shot of becoming the first female driver ever to win pole position for the race.

Patrick finished the second Sprint Cup practice with a fast lap of 196.220 mph, eight-tenths of a second faster than Joey Logano’s best lap of 195.410 in the morning session, ESPN noted.

“I suppose being the fastest going into qualifying is as good as you can hope for,” said Patrick, who was third-fastest in the morning session. “Everything that we do is to make sure we do whatever we can to be on the pole. That’s what we all are shooting for.

“But tomorrow is a whole other day. You’ve got to hope the weather stays very consistent.”

Danica Patrick‘s fast start could earn her the first pole in a Sprint Cup race in her career. In 10 races last season, her best start was a 23rd she earned at Atlanta. Patrick started first at Daytona last season, when she competed full-time in the Nationwide Series.

It would be quite an accomplishment if Patrick could replicate the top start this year on NASCAR’s premier circuit, USA Today noted.

“It would be really nice,” Patrick said of winning the 500 pole. “It’s a very big pole of all of them in the year for attention, especially for [sponsor] GoDaddy, who is on the car. There are other races throughout the year that as a driver you feel more pleased or proud of yourself to get, but this one is a whole team effort.”

Danica Patrick has been in the news for reasons other than her fast start and her shot at the Daytona 500 pole. A few weeks ago she confirmed that she’s dating fellow NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., though the couple has tried to keep quiet about their personal life.