Gender-busting history has been made, as Danica Patrick won the pole position at the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series. She says she was born to be the fastest driver, not the fastest female driver. Patrick is not the only women to be “the fastest qualifier” in stock car races, but she the only woman to have won the Daytona 500 pole position. The details are below, along with one of my previous Rule 5 posts featuring ‘Danica on the pole:’
Her qualifying speed of 196.434 m.p.h. around the 2.5-mile Daytona tri-oval was no fluke either; she was one of only two drivers – Jeff Gordon being the other – to turn in an average better than 196 m.p.h.
She and Gordon will each start on the pole in one of two 150-mile qualifying races on Thursday, and each is guaranteed their positions atop the 42-car lineup for Sunday’s 500-mile race, regardless of the outcome of the 150-mile races. Other qualifiers will have to race their way into the Daytona lineup, via a combination of qualifying speed and finishing positions in their respective 150-milers. Source: NY Times
With the “pole” big in our culture today, we’re teaching our children to do their gymnastics on it. Soccer Mom’s say they keep in shape on the pole. Danica Patrick’s pole is of a different nature. She is the first woman to win a NASCAR pole position since Atlanta in 1994. Today she led the Nationwide Race at Daytona, the Drive4COPD 300 off the start and at Turn 3 on lap 50 of 120 was bump-drafted and spun out. She wasn’t happy and the driver who tapped her, Cole Whitt, got an earful. Danica was out of the race.
UPDATE 2-17-12: After another rain delay today for the Daytona 500, Danica was involved in the third wreck in three days.
The accident just minutes after the green flag dropped Monday night began when Elliott Sadler nudged five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson. He shot into the wall, then rolled back down the track.
Patrick was coming along behind the accident and was caught in the chaos. She took her car to the garage to repair the damage.
It marked yet another incident in what’s been a rocky SpeedWeeks for Patrick. She was wrecked in Thursday’s qualifying race, and after winning the pole for the Nationwide Series race, she was wrecked by JR Motorsports teammate Cole Whitt.
Her tally is three wrecks in three races, and none were of her doing.
Danica’s car went in for repair and she re-entered the race on Lap 62 at 40th place.
Bonus: Milka Duno – Venezuela Driver. Duno holds the record for the highest female finish in the 24 Hours of Daytona, placing 2nd overall.
‘Back in the day’ when I was posting a Rule 5 each week, the following are some of those garnering the most interest. The Danica post above is the all-time favorite.
My Top Dozen Rule 5s (click here to see all):