February 17, 2013
Danica Patrick first woman to take Daytona 500 pole
By DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency

Danica Patrick picks up her trophy in victory lane as she celebrates securing the pole position for the upcoming Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday. (Reuters)

Danica Patrick made history — again — on Sunday, becoming the first woman to win the pole position for the Daytona 500, NASCAR’s most important race.

After a series of other remarkable racing achievements — the first woman to lead a lap in the Indianapolis 500, the first woman to win an IZOD IndyCar Series race and the first woman to have a top five finish in NASCAR Nationwide Series — Patrick’s pole win on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway tops them all.

Not only was it the first Daytona 500 pole for a woman, it was the first pole by a woman in NASCAR Sprint Cup history period.

Prior to Sunday the best a start by a woman in a Sprint Cup race was ninth — twice — by Janet Guthrie in 1977, at Talladega and Bristol.

Patrick also became the first rookie to win the Daytona 500 pole since Jimmie Johnson did it in 2002.



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