Patrick leads laps in the Daytona 500

Daytona Beach, FL (Sports Network) - Danica Patrick made more NASCAR history on Sunday by becoming the first female to a lap in the 55-year history of the Daytona 500.

Patrick led lap 90 and ran in front for one more circuit around the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway before Denny Hamlin took the top spot away from her.

During a caution, Patrick exited pit road in first during a round of stops. Michael Waltrip did not pit and the led the way for the restart, but Patrick quickly charged ahead of Waltrip to take the lead.

One week ago, Patrick earned the pole position for the Daytona 500 after posting the fastest lap in time trials. She became the first woman to win a pole for a race in NASCAR's premier series. Just before Patrick led the field of 43 cars for the start of this race, she said to her No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing team over the radio, "Let's have a smooth, flawless race."

Patrick is a rookie contender in the Sprint Cup Series this season. During her rookie season in the IndyCar Series in 2005, she was the first female ever to lead in the Indianapolis 500. Patrick finished fourth in that race.


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