Danica Earns Daytona 500 Pole; Mainstream News Outlets Take Notice
Danica Patrick landing on the pole position of next Sunday’s Daytona 500 was treated as one of the day’s top news stories on the network news shows this morning. NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon said Patrick’s pole position victory “is about as much exposure as this sport could possibly get.” USA Today’s Christine Brennan said Patrick “has been a lightning rod, and if she were to win the race it would silence every critic.” Brennan added that if Patrick does win the Daytona 500, “she will be instantly the most famous female athlete on earth” (“GMA,” ABC, 2/18). CBS’ Charlie Rose said, “Just another woman doing great things” (“CBS This Morning,” CBS, 2/18).
Patrick's starting position "certainly is a gender breakthrough for the male dominated motor sports arena," as she became the first woman to win a pole in the Sprint Cup Series. It also is a "serious jolt of star power for NASCAR." Patrick "helped get #Daytona500 trending on Twitter" yesterday afternoon as NASCAR's "marketing machine revved into high gear" (USA TODAY, 2/18).