DANICA PATRICK CLAIMS POLE
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Danica Patrick has added another first to her resume. The NASCAR rookie turned in the fastest time in yesterday’s Daytona 500, becoming the first female to capture a pole position on stock car racing’s top circuit.
Patrick was the eighth driver to post a qualifying time. Then she had to wait two hours while 37 drivers tried and failed to beat her time.
Patrick’s best finish in 10 Cup races is 17th, and she has one top-five in 58 starts in the second-tier Nationwide Series.
The previous highest female qualifier in a Cup race was Janet Guthrie, who started ninth at Bristol and Talladega in 1977.
Jeff Gordon was the only other driver to top 196 mph in qualifying, giving him the other spot in the front row for next Sunday’s race.
The rest of the field will be set in dual qualifying races Thursday.