Danica Patrick Wins Pole For Daytona 500

Danica Patrick won the pole for next week’s Daytona 500. She is the first woman to ever secure the pole position for any race in NASCAR’s top division.

Patrick took to the track eighth in Sunday’s qualifying sessions and laid down a time of 45.817 seconds. She averaged 196.434 on her trip around the two-and-a-half mile superspeedway.

After her qualifying turn, Patrick waited about two hours as 37 other drivers qualified. The only one that came close to her time was Jeff Gordon, who also topped 196 mph, reports Yahoo! News.

After finding out she won the Daytona 500 pole, Danica Patrick commented:

“We have a lot more history to make and we’re eager to do it.”

She and Gordon now have guaranteed starting positions in the first row for next Sunday’s race. The rest of the field will be sorted by how the drivers do in Thursday’s Gatorade Duels, notes The Detroit Free Press.

Owner and fellow driver Tony Stewart had high praises for Danica. He stated after the qualifying sessions:

“That’s a huge accomplishment. It’s not like it’s been 15 or 20 years she’s been trying to do this. It’s her second trip to Daytona here in a cup car. She’s made history in the sport.”

With her blistering track speeds, Patrick will likely be the one to beat come next Sunday’s race. Patrick has been the talk of Speedweeks for multiple reasons. Not only has she been able to post good speeds on the track, she also revealed her romantic relationship with fellow driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

This is Danica’s first full year in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series. Are you excited that Danica Patrick won the pole for next week’s Daytona 500? Who will you be rooting for?

[Image via Beelde Photography / Shutterstock.com]

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