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Danica Patrick Captures Pole For Daytona 500; Duel Race Lineups

Photo Credit: Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

By: Toby Christie – Follow on Twitter @Tobalical

That just happened. Sunday afternoon in Coors Light qualifying for the pole for the Daytona 500, Danica Patrick bested 44 other drivers to take the of the Great American Race. In doing so Patrick becomes the first female driver to ever capture a pole in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and she will also become the first female driver to ever start in the Sprint Unlimited, as she has secured a spot in 2014′s edition of the race with this pole.

Patrick had been fast all week long, and she was still fast when it counted most. Her lap — 196.434 mph — is the second-fastest qualifying speed in restrictor plate history at Daytona, and it was the fastest anyone had qualified at the famed speedway since Ken Schrader ran 196.9 mph back in 1989.

As long as Patrick can take care of her car for the rest of the next week in practice ans the Budweiser Duel race, she will lead the field to the green Sunday in the Daytona 500. Jeff Gordon will roll of the grid right beside her. Gordon locked his spot in the field for the Great American Race and he was the only other driver in the field to crack the 196 mph barrier.

The rest of the field will be set by the finishing order of the two Budweiser duel qualifying races. Drivers who qualified in odd number positions will make up the field for the first race, while the even numbered drivers will fight for their starting positions in the second qualifier.

Here is the starting grid for Budweiser Duel No. 1

[ 1 ] 10-Danica Patrick, 196.434 mph
[ 2 ] 21-Trevor Bayne, 195.976 mph
[ 3 ] 14-Tony Stewart, 195.925 mph
[ 4 ] 11-Denny Hamlin, 195.771 mph
[ 5 ] 22-Joey Logano, 195.767 mph
[ 6 ] 88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 195.584 mph
[ 7 ] 42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 195.508 mph
[ 8 ] 13-Casey Mears, 195.495 mph
[ 9 ] 99-Carl Edwards, 195.240 mph
[10] 56-Martin Truex Jr., 195.207 mph
[11] 48-Jimmie Johnson, 195.084 mph
[12] 2-Brad Keselowski, 194.961 mph
[13] 29-Kevin Harvick, 194.742 mph
[14] 16-Greg Biffle, 194.729 mph
[15] 38-David Gilliland, 194.654 mph
[16] 26-Michael Waltrip, 194.313 mph
[17] 78-Kurt Busch, 193.657 mph
[18] 95-Scott Speed, 193.540 mph
[19] 51-Regan Smith, 193.096 mph
[20] 47-Bobby Labonte, 192.563 mph
[21] 83-David Reutimann, 190.339 mph
[22] 87-Joe Nemechek, 190.046 mph
[23] 52-Brian Keselowski, 183.876 mph

Budweiser Duel No. 2 Starting Lineup

[ 1 ] 24-Jeff Gordon, 196.292 mph
[ 2 ] 39-Ryan Newman, 195.976 mph
[ 3 ] 5-Kasey Kahne, 195.852 mph
[ 4 ] 18-Kyle Busch, 195.767 mph
[ 5 ] 20-Matt Kenseth, 195.725 mph
[ 6 ] 17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 195.537 mph
[ 7 ] 27-Paul Menard, 195.503 mph
[ 8 ] 33-Austin Dillon, 195.385 mph
[ 9 ] 15-Clint Bowyer, 195.228 mph
[10] 31-Jeff Burton, 195.156 mph
[11] 1-Jamie McMurray, 195.042 mph
[12] 9-Marcos Ambrose, 194.793 mph
[13] 43-Aric Almirola, 194.742 mph
[14] 55-Mark Martin, 194.683 mph
[15] 34-David Ragan, 194.616 mph
[16] 35-Josh Wise, 194.254 mph
[17] 98-Michael McDowell, 193.544 mph
[18] 32-Terry Labonte, 193.515 mph
[19] 7-Dave Blaney, 192.996 mph
[20] 36-JJ Yeley, 192.094 mph
[21] 93-Travis Kvapil, 190.142 mph
[22] 19-Mike Bliss, 189.438 mph

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Toby Christie is the Editor In Chief for DailyPitstop.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly radio show. Christie is a proud member of the NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) and has covered the sport of NASCAR since 2007. He can be reached via twitter or email. Tweet him @dailypitstop or email him at tobalical@sicknissified.com.

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