2013 Daytona 500: Danica Patrick wins pole

Patrick Smith

Danica Patrick is the first woman to ever win the pole at Daytona 500.

Danica Patrick has been making off-track news lately regarding her relationship with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., but today made an even bigger splash: She became the first woman to ever win the pole for the Daytona 500. Her fastest lap tallied at 196.434 miles per hour, which was the fasted among her peers.

Only one other woman has ever even placed in the top 10 in any points event, and that was Janet Guthrie in 1977 (Bristol and Talladega).

From USA Today:

When Fox analyst Darrell Waltrip asked Patrick to compare winning the Daytona 500 pole to winning the Indianapolis 500 pole, she responded:

"It would definitely be a high point memory. I think Daytona has such a legendary following. Somebody said winning the pole for the Daytona 500 was the fourth-biggest race. It's clearly a very important moment in the year," she said. "... What the fans need to understand is we're holding it wide open, but it's not just a car. There's so many little things the team does to be ready to go out there."

Congratulations to Patrick on this incredibly significant accomplishment. This should give her fans (and critics) something to talk about relating to her professional accomplishments, rather than her personal life.

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