Danica Patrick Leads Laps in Historic Daytona 500

She became the first woman to lead a lap in the famed race

By MARK LONG
|  Sunday, Feb 24, 2013  |  Updated 3:23 PM CDT
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Danica Patrick Leads Laps in Historic Daytona 500

AP

Danica Patrick stands by her car before the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway.

Danica Patrick has made more history at Daytona International Speedway.

Patrick became the first woman to lead a lap in the famed Daytona 500 on Sunday. She led two laps — Nos. 90 and 91.

Fans were on their feet as Patrick beat Michael Waltrip to the front of the field on a restart.

Patrick started the 200-lap race on the pole after becoming the first woman to qualify in the top spot. She failed to lead the first lap, though, falling behind three-time race winner Jeff Gordon.

Nonetheless, it was a big moment for NASCAR and Patrick.

Patrick also made history as an IndyCar driver. She led 19 laps as a rookie in the 2005 Indianapolis 500, becoming the first woman to lead open-wheel racing's premier event. She finished fourth.

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