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Danica Patrick has become the first woman to claim pole position for a NASCAR Sprint Cup race, qualifying fastest for the iconic Daytona 500 in her brand-new Chevrolet SS racecar.

Patrick hit a top speed of 196.434mph (316.130km/h) in her bright green No. 10 Go Daddy Chevrolet SS in Sunday’s two-lap qualifying session to put her at the head of the field for this weekend’s opening round of the NASCAR season at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida.

The Stewart-Hass Racing team driver’s pole position is the best qualifying performance by a female in the top tier of the NASCAR championship, eclipsing Janet Guthrie’s starting position of ninth back in 1977.

Patrick’s qualifying speed was the quickest recorded at Daytona in 23 years, and made her the first Rookie of the Year candidate to claim pole at the circuit since Jimmie Johnson in 2002.


Patrick told CNN the result was another step towards breaking down barriers in a male-dominated sport.

“I’ve heard stories about a kid, a boy or a girl, saying, ‘But mummy, daddy, that’s a girl that’s out there racing’,” she said.

“And then they can have that conversation to say, ‘You can do anything you want to do and gender doesn’t matter. Your passion is what matters.’ And that’s cool.”

Patrick’s pole position matches her Daytona qualifying performance in last year’s second-tier Nationwide Series, although she plans to improve on her 38th-place finish from that race this weekend.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FFLU42DZJ4E23NZKHN3UXJU44Q Aazz

    Bodes well for the new SS Commodore

    • Sydlocal

       Couldn’t think of a better way for it to be marketed in the US…

  • Dave W

    See? Who says you can’t drive while applying makeup?

  • Sturmgewehr

    a win for women in male dominated sports and a win for STRAYA!

    • Darryl

      That would be the massive amount of Strayan engineering that’s obviously gone into this car then.

      • Chris Buckley

        Yep… all the engineering into that Body shell…. those decals… the long nights… the blood, sweat and tears…. Australian engineering at it’s best… yay.. go Holden … /end sarcasm

        • Schah7

           MAGIC Chris, Spot-on. lol.!!

      • Sturmgewehr

        apple is an american company selling british engineered (cortex A9 apu), chinese made products. no one cares where products are engineered/manufactured, they only care where the cashflow ends up

  • Stooge

    Any bogan can drive around an oval. It’s easier still now that the 2013 nascars handle slightly better than their predecessors and the 2013 ss (commodore) is aerodynamically a better car.

    • Mad Max

      So Stooge, I guess that means you are going to be out driving a NASCAR some time soon? I guess somebody needs to tell Juan Pablo Montoya and Marcos Ambrose they are hopeless coz they don’t win on ovals and Stooge says driving on ovals is easy! But maybe they are not bogans and thats why they don’t win…

      • Tommy

         Mad Max, your logic is flawed.

        • Igomi Watabi

          Not flawed. Perhaps poorly expressed. Driving on an oval is by all accounts a very hard skill to master. Just look at those clowns on Top Gear – they’ve, on several occasions, done high speed testing on bowls and commented on how hard it is.

    • horsie

      yea. thats why they pay them millions of dollars. 

    • Sydlocal

       Interesting considering one of the best tin top drivers to ever come out of Australia still can’t crack a win on an oval yet. That must say alot about the ability, or lack there-of (which is exactly what you are implying with that comment) of the rest of the current V8 Supercar drivers then. They must all be club level racers with no real talent at all…

  • Dave S

    Great to see a win for the new SS Chevrolet and a great win for Women in motorsport. I would love to see some women in the drivers seat of new V8 supercars. haveing said that Leanne Tander does some great work for women in motrsport here.

  • David Salter

    Bonus win for Holden, better get the cars in the showrooms quick.