Danica PatrickI don’t follow car racing much, other than to occasionally see highlights on TV and read a bit in the paper (and I did see Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, recently). But the Daytona 500 is definitely one race that I’m familiar with. It’s held in Daytona, Florida each year around this time, and it’s a highlight of the NASCAR season.

I’m not sure what process the drivers go through in qualifying for the race and how the grid gets laid out, but apparently Danica Patrick (pictured), who is one of the few women drivers in professional racing, has a firm grip on the pole position as the #1 qualifier for Sunday’s race. Again, I’m no expert, but my impression of Patrick was that she was the car racing equivalent of tennis player Anna Kournikova — famous as much, if not more, for her looks than her success in competition.

Patrick’s long-time sponsor is GoDaddy, which has a reputation for producing salacious TV ads featuring hot women that have both censored and uncensored versions. In NASCAR she drives for JR Motorsports, which makes her a teammate of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Cole Whitt.  Patrick won the pole position at Daytona with a qualifying speed of 196.434 miles per hour. And on Sunday she’ll try to win the actual race.

You can read more in this CBC report.