“I think when pressure’s on and when the spotlight’s on, I feel like it ultimately ends up becoming some of my better moments and my better races and better results. I just understand that if you put the hard work in before you go out there that you can have a little peace and a little peace of mind knowing that you’ve done everything you can and just let it happen.”

-Danica Patrick

YouWager’s NASCAR betting fans saw Patrick claim the pole position at Daytona on Sunday. This means Patrick is officially the first woman to secure the top spot for a race in the NASCAR premier circuit. This is big. It’s one of the top accomplishments in her career as a stock car racer.

Patrick is driving for Turner Scott Motorsports in the Nationwide series opening race at Daytona on February 23rd. Earlier, Patrick announced she would move full time to the Sprint Cup Series this year, for Stewart-Haas Racing. Patrick told a YouWager news source that she would like to be in 10 races for Turner, but she said 5 may be more realistic. “I feel we have a chance to win [Daytona], and that has me excited,” Patrick told YouWager’s source.

Patrick has made news –and auto racing history before, at Indianapolis. She says she is used to the attention. “I was brought up to be the fastest driver, not the fastest girl. That was instilled in me from very young, from the beginning. Then I feel like thriving in those moments, where the pressure’s on, has also been a help for me. I also feel like I’ve been lucky in my career to be with good teams and have good people around me. I don’t think any of it would have been possible without that,” Patrick said.

Patrick was certainly the fastest driver at Daytona on Sunday. Her lap at 196.434 mph topped everyone else. 37 other drivers took a shot at trying to top her time.

The only driver to get close to Patrick’s pole-winning time was four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon. Gordon was the only other driver to get above 196 mph. Gordon appeared to be a good sport about losing the pole position to a girl. “It’s great to be a part of history with Danica being on the pole,”Gordon told YouWager’s source that he was still the fastest man. “I think we all know how popular she is, what this will do for our sport. Congratulations to her. Proud to be on there with her.”

Dedicated auto racing bettors will remember that Patrick was the first woman to lead in the Indianapolis 500. She finished that race in third place, in 2009, and she became the only woman to ever win an IndyCar race when she won in Japan in 2008.

Patrick feels lucky. “For those reasons, I’ve been lucky enough to make history, be the first woman to do many things. I really just hope that I don’t stop doing that. We have a lot more history to make. We are excited to do it,” Patrick told YouWager’s source.