Danica Patrick becomes first woman to win Daytona 500 pole

Danica Patrick, the 30-year-old NASCAR rookie from Roscoe, Ill., continued to blaze a trail set by such pioneers as Janet Guthrie and Shawna Robinson by becoming the first woman in NASCAR history to win the pole position for next Sunday’s 55th Daytona 500 pole.

Patrick, who was fastest in Saturday’s final practice session at Daytona International Speedway, put up a pole-winning speed of 196.434 miles per hour at the high-banked, 2.5-mile tri-oval. She was joined on the front row by four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon, who qualified second fastest in 196.292 m.p.h.

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