Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 11/19/14
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Danica Patrick made NASCAR history today during Coors Light Pole qualifying for the Daytona 500, becoming the first female driver to win a pole at NASCAR’s top level – the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. During qualifying for the sport’s marquee event, Patrick turned a lap of 196.434 mph (45.817 seconds), giving her the first starting position for next Sunday’s Daytona 500 (1 p.m. on FOX, FOX Deportes, Motor Racing Network Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio). It was the fastest Daytona 500 pole-winning speed since 1990. Patrick shattered the previous record for top starting spot by a female NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver. Janet Guthrie previously held the mark, twice starting ninth in 1977. She started ninth at Talladega Superspeedway on Aug. 7, 1977 and at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 28, 1977. The previous best starting position for a female in the Daytona 500 was 18th by Janet Guthrie in 1980. This is Patrick’s second NASCAR pole, also winning the Coors Light Pole for the season-opening NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona last season. The only other female to win a NASCAR national series pole was Shawna Robinson in a NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1994. Already a NASCAR record holder, Patrick set the mark of best finish by a female driver in NASCAR national series history when she finished fourth in a NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011. She finished 10th in the final 2012 NASCAR Nationwide points standings, the top finish by a female in NASCAR national series history. Patrick, who is running for the 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, is the first rookie to win the Daytona 500 pole since Jimmie Johnson in 2002. -NASCAR PR

Jim Harbaugh joins Twitter, racks up huge following

Chip Kelly now in charge of Eagles player personnel

Which wild card team has best shot at Super Bowl?

Aaron Rodgers and DeMarco Murray headline All-Pro team

Cardinals' Bruce Arians: 'No doubt' we beat the Panthers

Rajon Rondo: I haven’t played defense in a couple years


Broadcasters said “Redskins” 27 percent less in 2014

Le’Veon Bell ruled out of Steelers’ Wild Card game

NFC Wild Card preview: Cardinals vs. Panthers

Report: Braxton Miller could end up at Oregon

Ohio State's win: Why the playoff is awesome

42 of 43 analysts picked Alabama over Ohio State

WATCH: UCLA's Jim Mora brushes off Bill Snyder

WATCH: Rondo receives grand tribute in Boston return

WATCH: Ref pukes on ice, delaying Pens-Lightning game

Oilers trade David Perron to Pens for 2015 first-round pick

Five teams who should target new starting QBs in 2015

Return to blowout city: a full season of NFL beatdowns

Seminole semifinal aftermath: appreciating the FSU run

The transformative rise of Reshanda Gray

Is Urban Meyer a better coach than Nick Saban?

How can the NHL improve the Winter Classic?

Oregon players will be disciplined for taunt

Cardale Jones mocks 'third-string QB' sentiment

Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

WATCH: Rondo receives tribute in Boston return

Teams who should target new starting QBs

Return to blowout city: a full season of NFL beatdowns

5 things we learned after CFP doubleheader

Broadcasters said “Redskins” 27% less in 2014

What if Falcons never traded Favre?

ARI-CAR: Worst all-time playoff game?

Bowl season: What's been learned

Wild card teams' biggest injuries

Torrey Smith: Heinz Field grass 'terrible'

Ohio State upsets Alabama

Oregon players mock Seminoles chant

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.