Photos: Danica Patrick at Daytona

Photos: Danica Patrick at Daytona

Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 24: Danica Patrick, driver of the #7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying fot the pole position for the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 24, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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by Associated Press

azfamily.com

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 11:06 PM

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Danica Patrick has won the pole for the season-opening Nationwide Series race at Daytona.

Patrick became the first woman to secure the top qualifying spot in NASCAR's second-tier series since Shawna Robinson at Atlanta on March 12, 1994.The former IndyCar star turned a fast lap of 49.250 seconds around the high-banked speedway, averaging 182.741 mph.

Trevor Bayne qualified second, followed by Elliott Sadler, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Austin Dillon.

Patrick is entering her first full-time season in the Nationwide Series, driving for JR Motorsports and team owner Earnhardt Jr. She also is making her Sprint Cup debut in the Daytona 500 on Sunday.

Former open-wheel driver Sam Hornish Jr. qualified sixth, just ahead of defending Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart.

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