Nationwide Series Pole Gives Danica Patrick Confidence Boost in Daytona

Michael DixonAnalyst IIIFebruary 24, 2012

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  Danica Patrick, driver of the #7 Chevrolet, signs the Coors Light Pole Award board after qualifying for 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)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Good news for Danica Patrick, her team, and the future of NASCAR has come in from Daytona, as ESPN is reporting that she has won the pole for the season-opening Nationwide Series race. 

This has to be a tremendous confidence boost for Patrick, especially coming off a crash in the Gatorade Duel 150. While she is certainly an accomplished race car driver, crashing in the week before her NASCAR debut cannot be good for the confidence. 

Hopping right back into the stock car and running a great qualifying lap to earn a poll is the best thing that could have happened for Danica. 

Also, no matter what happens in the race, this is going to give her at least a few good looks at the Daytona track. When you're in first place, you not only get the racing experience, but also get to avoid the kind of traffic that got Patrick in trouble at the Duel 150.

That is the exact kind of experience that will come in handy for someone who's still getting used to stock cars. 

Part of being in competition is that bad things will happen. That is what happened to Patrick at the Duel 150. How a competitor responds to that adversity is what's really important. By bouncing right back with a killer qualifying performance, Danica showed that she has the mettle to compete in NASCAR. 

With all of this coming before her rookie season has even gotten underway, Patrick has to have a great mental state going into the big event.