Danica Patrick’s pole position should not increase expectations, team boss says image

Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick’s team boss, has warned that her historic pole position for the Daytona 500 should not increase expectations for her first full NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver became the first female pole winner in Cup and Daytona 500 history, with the former IndyCar driver holding off four-time champion Jeff Gordon to secure the top spot on Sunday.

Tony Stewart wants Patrick to be able to complete her rookie season without unnecessary pressure even though the Daytona pole will raise expectations.

„I think she’s got potential. I think she’s got a lot to look forward to. I think she’s going to turn some heads this summer. Whether it’s consistent or whether it’s one or two races at a time, none of us really know. But I believe in her. The team believes in her. Our organisation believes in her. We’re going to do everything we can to make her consistent and fast every week,” Stewart-Haas Racing’s co-owner was quoted as saying by Autosport.

“The thing that I caution everybody over is that since she’s got here, everybody has put her under such a strong microscope. Nobody said, ‘Tony Stewart is going to be a top-15 car every week’ the first or second year. Nobody cared. But everybody is so focused on what she’s going to do. You just strictly have to wait and see. It’s still a rookie year for her,” Stewart added.