The Wisconsin native set a time of 45.817 seconds at a speed of 196.434 mph beating the likes of 4 time champion Jeff Gordon, 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne and team mates Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman to the top spot. Patrick had earlier set the pace in the second Saturday practice session after being third fastest in the earlier one.
Pole comes as a welcome distraction for the media in Danica's case after most of the week's attention had focused around her recently revealed relationship with fellow rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr. However, she was quick to downplay the achievement stating “I appreciate the recognition, but I think it falls 90 percent on Tony (crew chief Tony Gibson) and his guys who give me the cars and maybe 10 percent on me”.
Despite being her first Sprint Cup pole, it's not Danica Patrick's first NASCAR pole. She claimed pole for the first Nationwide race of the season in 2012, again at Daytona International Speedway.
Top 5 Danica Patrick MomentsDanica Patrick is often in the spotlight and always has a huge load of expectation on shoulders. She doesn't always live up to such expectations but she has shined on more than one occasion.
Posting a speed of 182.741, Danica Patrick became only the second female driver to achieve a Nationwide pole position after Shawna Robinson in 1994. The first race of her first full time season in NASCAR racing, this was Patrick's fourth visit to Daytona. The pole was to be the high point of her weekend and she crashed out of the race, then crashed in the Daytona 500 two days later too.
Becoming the fourth woman to compete in the Indianapolis 500, Danica Patrick got everyone's attention back in 2005 by achieving the fastest practice speed of 229.88 mph for Indy Car's landmark event. She was unable to achieve pole position though, clinching fourth, the highest ever starting position for a woman in the Indy 500. During the race she became the first woman to lead a lap in the Indy 500 but was unable to score a remarkable win after stalling in the pits and spinning during a caution period. She rallied back to clinch fourth place, finishing where she started.
Danica Patrick later went on to clinch rookie of the year honours in 2008 before achieving a higher finish in the Indy 500, crossing the line third in 2009.