DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Danica Patrick made NASCAR history Sunday, becoming the first female driver to win a pole position for a race in the circuit's top series.
Patrick logged the fastest lap during qualifying for the Daytona 500, one day after also recording the quickest lap overall in practice.
Her qualifying lap of 196.434 mph (45.816 seconds) on the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway track guaranteed her the top starting position for the Feb. 24 season opener of the Sprint Cup Series.
This year's Daytona will mark the rookie's 11th career Sprint Cup start, following 10 in 2012.
Sharing the front row with Patrick will be three-time Daytona winner Jeff Gordon, who completed a lap of 196.292 mph (45.850 secs.).
The remainder of the Daytona starters will be determined Thursday during twin qualifying races.