DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- What does Danica Patrick winning the pole for 55th running for the Daytona 500 mean for Patrick and NASCAR?
Well, the Great American Race is getting a bump with all of the talk about the girl beating the good ol' boys. But in reality, winning the pole in a restrictor plate race is more about the car and crew and less about the driver.
Give Patrick credit. She did turn the fastest lap, but winning the pole at Daytona does not mean much in the big scheme of things. Only nine of the 54 pole winners have gone on to win the race. The last 10 pole winners finished an average of 19th.
Patrick ran ten races in the Cup series last year without a single top 10 finish. This is reason to think she might have a better season, but it's a long way from saying Danica Patrick is ready to contend for the checkered flag at Daytona or a points championship.
Patrick's start from the pole will be big for FOX. It will bring more eyeballs to the television screen and it has brought abuzz to the sport. Now, Danica Patrick needs to back it up with a strong run on Sunday. Join Action Sports 360 for "Victory Lane," a FOX30 sports special after the checkered flag.