196.434 miles per hour. That's the top speed hit by Stewart-Haas racing driver Danica Patrick during Saturday's qualifying for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Not only was that speed good enough to earn Patrick pole position for the race on Sunday, February 24, it is the fastest speed recorded in qualifying for Daytona since 1990.
"You can do anything you want to do, and gender doesn't matter," said Patrick. And she's right: Danica Patrick can now claim to be the first woman to win pole position in NASCAR's top racing division. Since this will be her first full year in the Sprint Cup, she's also the first rookie driver to score pole since Jimmie Johnson managed the feat in 2002.
So, how do you celebrate winning pole position at Daytona? "I'm probably gonna grab some beers," said Patrick. Sounds like a winning plan to us. Scroll down below to watch a video from NASCAR highlighting the historic event.