NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie driver Danica Patrick became the first woman to win the pole position for next Sunday’s Daytona 500.
She posted a speed of 196.434 mph.
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“Pride. I’m proud of all the hard work that goes into making a pole car,” Patrick said. “I’m happy for them (the team). It was a fast Chevy. If you’re anywhere but the front row, it’s hard to see on race day. This just speaks volumes about Stewart-Haas Racing.”
The last time a woman took a pole position in a NASCAR race was in 1994. That’s when Shawna Robinson started in the No.1 position in a Nationwide race in Atlanta.
Jeff Gordon posted a speed of 196.292 — that was good for the No. 2 position.
“Congratulations to Danica,” Gordon said. “I can say I was the fastest guy today.”
Trevor Bayne, who became the youngest driver to win the Daytona 500 in 2011, was third.
Patrick, who won an IndyCar race and was the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500, raced 10 Sprint Cup races for team owner Tony Stewart last season to help prepare for her full-time Sprint Cup season this year.