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Danica Patrick has become the first woman to win the pole position at a NASCAR top-division race and she did so today during qualifying for the biggest event of the year, the Daytona 500.
It’s official – Danica Patrick will be making her NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in the 2012 season-opening 54th annual Daytona 500.
Patrick’s schedule with Stewart-Haas Racing will begin on Feburary 26 with “The Great American Race.” Other races on her schedule include Darlington, Bristol, Atlanta, Dover, Texas and Phoenix.
“Each year, the Daytona 500 produces unforgettable moments that forever change the lives of fans and drivers,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. This year’s race sees Patrick as the third woman to compete in the Daytona 500. She follows Janet Guthrie, who made two Daytona 500 starts in 1977 and 1980, and Shawna Robinson, with one Daytona 500 start in 2002.
Reports are coming in that Danica Patrick is leaning towards a full-time move to NASCAR for 2012, running a full Nationwide Series with JR Motorsports and limited Sprint Cup Series races with Tony Stewart’s team. One shake-up in any agreement with Patrick however is that she still desires to run in the Indy 500 even if it complicates her Nationwide championship hopes.
“I would like for her to run fulltime, and I’m sure she is considering that, and I think she would enjoy it,” said JR Motorsports co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. peaking at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “I feel confident that she’s content where she is and happy with what we’re doing. I think things are looking positive for us to put something together.”
It appears that Patrick’s NASCAR driving aspirations are positive, with both Stewart and Earnhardt Jr. giving her plenty of praise and both looking forward to getting her behind the wheel of their race cars. Whether or not a deal can be worked out so that she can juggle the busy schedule involved with the Indy 500 during the month of May makes things interesting for Patrick’s 2012 season.
[Source: Associated Press]
With this past weekend’s Formula Drift 2010 season opener in Long Beach, one thing was noticeably missing from the roster: a female driver. Years past, we have seen a couple of female entries including Yoshie and her S14. Popular magazines have done articles (more in mockery than in editorial) of import models learning how to drive alongside a professional drifter.
While women as a whole have been showcased as eye-candy within the automotive market, many worldwide are making a statement by showing off their skills of going sideways. There are plenty in America alone, many of whom are looking forward to stepping it up to the next level of professional drifting and making a name for themselves. Perhaps we’re not too far off in having a “Danica Patrick” of drifting.
Over in Japan, where drifting “originates”, many girls and women are taking it to the guys. They’re working on the cars themselves, driving, testing and tuning – and many of them are doing it extremely well. In the video after the jump, a “Girl’s Drift Festival” is captured on film with girls piloting all sorts of S-chassis going sideways, and fast. Check it out!
After much speculation that IRL star Danica Patrick would enter NASCAR for the 2010 season, the hopes of those wanting to see the racing diva behind the wheel of a stock car seemed dashed when her IRL schedule was confirmed. But now it appears as though Patrick will also race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2010, with a limited schedule. The car will be sponsored by Go Daddy and will be a part of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s team. An official announcement is expected later today in Phoenix, where Go Daddy is headquartered.
Patrick is likely to make her NASCAR debut on February 13th in Daytona Beach, FL. She has never actually raced competitively in a stock car but did do testing for the Nationwide Series back in 2002.
The Sporting News reports that earlier this year, every single NASCAR team owner expressed interest in hiring Patrick but said they would like her to get competitive in the Nationwide series before heading to Spring Cup. That seems to be the route she is taking.
We can only imagine the marketing potential that having a woman like Danica Patrick in NASCAR could create.