Danica Patrick celebrates securing the pole position with the fastest lap for the Daytona 500 with her crew chief Tony Gibson on Sunday. (REUTERS)
So what is it that Danica Patrick can take away from her history-making qualifying lap that earned her the pole position for next Sunday’s Daytona 500?
Well, right off the bat, she can add another column to her extraordinary racing curriculum vitae.
Patrick can also take a moment or two to bask in the fact that next Sunday when she gets behind the wheel of the No. 10 Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet she will be the first of her sex to lead the field of 43 cars to start the Great American Race.
These are not just the best stock car drivers in Florida, these are the best stock car drivers in the world and she will, for that moment on Sunday afternoon at least, be the best of the best.
Oh, yeah, and it will be only Patrick’s second time on the starting grid of NASCAR Sprint Cup’s most important race.
That fact was driven home by three-time champion Tony Stewart, who also happens to be her boss at SHR as she launches her first full-time Sprint Cup season.