Danica Patrick wins Daytona 500 pole

Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 Chevrolet, was the center of attention after winning the pole position for the Daytona 500.

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 Chevrolet, was the center of attention after winning the pole position for the Daytona 500.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Blazing a trail that was previously paved by such pioneers as Janet Guthrie and Shawna Robinson, Danica Patrick set a new standard when she became the first woman in NASCAR history to win a pole position for a Sprint Cup race.

But it wasn’t just any race.


Patrick, 30, of Roscoe, Ill., claimed the pole position for NASCAR’s biggest race, the season-opening Daytona 500, when she turned a fast lap of 196.434 miles per hour in her No. 10 Chevrolet fielded by Stewart-Haas Racing.

Patrick, a contender for Rookie of the Year honors, toured the high-banked, superspeedway at Daytona International Speedway in 45.817 seconds, tightly hugging the apron all away around the 2.5-mile tri-oval.

Get Sports Headlines in your inbox:
The Globe's most recent sports headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Asked what her overriding emotion was after accomplishing her historic feat, Patrick replied, “Pride. I’m proud of all the hard work that goes into making a pole car. It’s not just me turning laps, it’s so many other things. It’s all the attention to detail these guys put in over the winter. I can’t be more proud off them.”

Sharing the same Hendrick-developed power that put Patrick on the pole, Jeff Gordon earned a spot on the front row of the 43-car grid with his lap of 196.292 m.p.h.

“Congratulations to Danica, it’s great to be a part of history,” Gordon said, before adding with a chuckle. “At least, I can say I was the fastest guy today.”

Michael Vega can be reached at
Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of