Early this week, Danica Patrick became the first woman in the history of NASCAR to win a pole position and she did it for the biggest race of the year. When I first heard this, I really didn't give it a whole lot of thought. They don't give out trophies for winning the pole and since 1988, the pole winner has only gone on to win the Daytona 500 just two times. I started thinking a bit more and came up with two questions below.
Can Danica Patrick win the Daytona 500? She is certainly cable of doing it. Her pole speed of 196.434 mph is the fastest since Dale Jarrett's 196.498 mph in 1995. In 2009, when she was still on the Indy circuit, she finished third in the Indianapolis 500.
If Danica Patrick wins the Daytona 500, where would that rank as far as accomplishments in women's sports? NASCAR is a sport that is completely dominated by men. There is not a Women's league like there is in other sports. If you are a women driver, you complete directly against the men. The Daytona 500 the biggest race of the year. If she were to pull out a victory, she would not only be the first woman to win a NASCAR race, but it would be on the grandest stage. It would be the biggest single accomplishment in the history of women's professional sports. Period.
Millions of people will tune in on Sunday to see if she can make history. I hope she does.
Labels: Danica Patrick, Daytona 500