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Danica Patrick Makes Daytona 500 History

Posted 2/25/2013 7:00 am by
Danica Patrick hugs boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr. before the Daytona 500.

Danica Patrick hugs boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr. before the Daytona 500.

Two years ago, Danica Patrick was racing in the Indy 500.  During her time in the IndyCar series, she made history there as the first woman to lead laps at the Indy 500, among other historical feats.  Not too shabby.  Now, two years later, she’s made the jump to NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series, with the occasional race with the big boys on the top circuit in North American racing.  Yesterday, Danica  Patrick made NASCAR history.

“You spend a lot of time thinking about what to do when the time comes,” said Patrick.  “I kept asking up above what was working.  You needed a hole, you needed people to help you out.  I had a little bit of help today here and there, but I felt like if I was going to dive low, I had a feeling I was going to get freight-trained. … At the end of the day, it was a solid day.”

Not only was Danica’s eighth-place finish the highest ever for a woman (Janet Guthrie finished 11 in 1980), she also became the first woman to win the pole position at NASCAR’s premier race AND the first woman to lead laps at the Daytona 500.  Danica led five impressive laps during the race, and was in third as the final lap began before fading near the finish.  Not too shabby for someone best known as a Go Daddy spokesmodel.

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