Editorial: You go (fast), girl

  • Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 12:07 a.m.
Danica Patrick will be on the pole for Sunday’s Daytona 500.
Danica Patrick will be on the pole for Sunday’s Daytona 500.

For the first time in history, the fellow who turned the fastest qualifying lap at Daytona didn’t win the pole position for Sunday’s 500. This year, the honor goes to Danica Patrick, who turned the fastest lap overall, beating Jeff Gordon by a smidgen of a mph or so.

Patrick thus becomes the first woman to win the pole for a NASCAR Cup race. You’d have to travel back to 1977 and driver Janet Guthrie to find the previous highest female qualifier. She started ninth on the grid at both Bristol and Talladega.


While the accomplishment is historic, it shouldn’t be that surprising. Patrick won the pole for the Nationwide Series opener at Daytona last year, and in her rookie year at Indianpolis, she came close to capturing the pole before qualifying (and finishing) fourth.

Race cars don’t care who’s behind the wheel, and qualifying is vastly different from a 500-mile marathon. But this is an unqualified milestone in motorsports. Amid all the Danica mania — the media circus, the on-track flareups and, recently, her budding romance with fellow driver Ricky Stenhouse — this puts the focus back on track, where nothing matters but results.


Notice about comments:

Salisburypost.com is pleased to offer readers the ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. Salisburypost.com cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not Salisburypost.com. If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Full terms and conditions can be read here.

Do not post the following:

  • Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
  • Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
  • Personal attacks, insults or threats.
  • The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
  • Comments unrelated to the story.