First IRL Pole for Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick beat teammate Buddy Rice by a mere two thousandths of a second to pole position for the Indy 300 at the Kansas Speedway today, the Rahal-Letterman rookie taking the first pole position of her IRL career

First IRL Pole for Danica Patrick

This was also the second time in IRL history that a woman will begin a race from pole - Sarah Fisher started from pole at the Kentucky Speedway three years ago.

Patrick bumped Rice, last year's winner, from provisional pole with a lap of 214.668 (25.491 seconds), and with Rice's second fastest time being 214.650mph - 25.493 seconds - this is one of the closest front row result in the series' history.

Patrick is still chasing her first career win and she said after today's qualifying she is ready to grab it in tomorrow's race.

"Have I learned enough to win? I hope so," Patrick said. "Am I ready to win, as in wanting it? I've been waiting 14 years for this moment. Let's do it."

Third on the grid will be Victor Meira - giving the Rahal-Letterman team the first top-three qualifying sweep since Cheever Racing did it in 2002 at Michigan International Speedway.

"We are repeating the story," Meira said. "Last year it was me and Buddy, first and second, and now we are first, second and third. It doesn't get much better."

Tomas Scheckter will start fourth, alongside Darren Manning in fifth and Dario Franchitti in sixth. IRL points leader Dan Wheldon will start from 13th.

The Indy 300 Grid:

Pos Driver Speed (mph) 1. Danica Patrick 214.668 2. Buddy Rice 214.650 3. Vitor Meira 214.546 4. Tomas Scheckter 214.543 5. Darren Manning 214.321 6. Dario Franchitti 214.214 7. Scott Dixon 213.778 8. Tony Kanaan 213.411 9. Scott Sharp 213.376 10. Sam Hornish Jr. 213.116 11. Ryan Briscoe 213.063 12. Tomas Enge 212.973 13. Dan Wheldon 212.750 14. Helio Castroneves 212.507 15. Kosuke Matsuura 212.212 16. Bryan Herta 210.697 17. Roger Yasukawa 210.682 18. Alex Barron 210.113 19. Ed Carpenter 209.550 20. Patrick Carpentier 209.190 21. Jimmy Kite 209.182 22. A.J. Foyt IV 208.956 
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