Danica Patrick believes she can challenge for Daytona 500 pole

Danica Patrick is confident she can challenge for pole position for the Daytona 500 given her strong testing form ahead of her first full NASCAR Sprint Cup season

Danica Patrick believes she can challenge for Daytona 500 pole

Patrick was among the quickest in the group test at Daytona earlier this month in her Stewart-Haas Chevrolet.

"We all think that we maybe have a chance at the pole," said Patrick, who took pole for last year's Nationwide Series opener at Daytona.

"I'm thinking the top six seems very realistic and if everything goes right and we find a couple more speed items and put a good lap in, it could be pole.

"I want the pole after seeing how fast our car was at Daytona, but a top-six position will obviously take a lot of weight off our shoulders when it comes to the qualifying races."

No female driver has taken a pole at NASCAR's top-level, although both Patrick and Shawna Robinson have taken poles in the second-string championship currently known as the Nationwide Series.

While confident in her single-lap pace, Patrick underlined that she expects her race results to build up gradually in her biggest stock car season yet.

She contested a handful of Cup races alongside her Nationwide campaign in 2012.

"I'm sure that there are going to be some trying moments moving through the beginning of the year, but we know that it's going to be a challenge and there's a lot to learn," she said.

"We'll move through that together and keep our heads up.

"Small goals along the way are going to be top 20, then top 18, then top 16 - as opposed to 'oh we had a good race, now we're always going to shoot for the top 10'. That's not realistic."

shares
comments
Fan vote for NASCAR Sprint Unlimited race format

Previous article

Fan vote for NASCAR Sprint Unlimited race format

Next article

NASCAR sure new track-drying system will slash rain delays

NASCAR sure new track-drying system will slash rain delays
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR
Author Matt Beer
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020
Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy Plus

Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy

The last season of a retiring NASCAR great has shown promise, and may have resulted in another playoff push without small issues outside his control. 2020 won't be the year Jimmie Johnson would have wanted, but it won't be what he is remembered for

NASCAR
Sep 3, 2020
Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR Plus

Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR

Comparing Porsche's 919 HYBRID LMP1 to NASCAR is motorsport's equivalent of apples and oranges, but this weekend one of Weissach's top works aces will pit his skills against the regulars and revive the tradition of the 'road-course ringer'

NASCAR
Aug 13, 2020