DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Danica Patrick has won the Daytona 500 pole, becoming the first woman to secure the top spot for any Sprint Cup race.
It was the biggest achievement of her four-year NASCAR career.
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.
Gordon was the only other driver who topped 196 mph. He locked up the other guaranteed spot in next week's season-opening Daytona 500. The rest of the field will be set in duel qualifying races Thursday.
However the field unfolds, all drivers will line up behind Patrick's No. 10 Chevrolet SS for "The Great American Race."
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.