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Danica Patrick Wins Pole For Daytona 500

First Woman to Win Any Pole For a Sprint Cup Event

DANICA PATRICK, THE FEMALE SPEED DEMON who moved from Indy Cars to the NASCAR circuit, has won the pole position for next week's Daytona 500. 

Danica Patrick with her crew chief, Tony Gibson,
after securing the Daytona 500 pole.  (Reuters / Blanco)

Associated Press is reporting:

Patrick went out eighth in the qualifying session Sunday and covered the 2½-mile superspeedway in 45.817 seconds, averaging 196.434 mph.

She waited about two hours as 37 fellow drivers tried to take her spot. Only four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon even came close to knocking her off.

"That's a huge accomplishment," team owner and fellow driver Tony Stewart said. "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. That's stuff that we're proud of being a part of with her. It's something she should have a huge amount of pride in.

Gordon was the only other driver who topped 196 mph in qualifying. He locked up the other guaranteed spot in next week's season-opening Daytona 500.

Patrick, age 30, raced the open-wheeled Indy cars regularly until last year when, after doing some part-time stock car racing, she switched to NASCAR full time in 2012 in the 2nd-tier circuit with some entries in the Sprint Cup.  This is her first full season in the top-level Sprint Cup circuit and her skill came through.

 

Fox Sports has more details HERE.

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