Patrick optimistic about her chances in the Daytona 500, bookmakers – not so much image

The pole-sitter for the Daytona 500, Danica Patrick, is confident about her chances for victory in NASCAR’s greatest race.

Asked if she believes she can win the Daytona 500, Patrick briefly replied on Friday: “Yeah, absolutely.” Her team, Stewart-Haas Racing, is so confident in Patrick’s chances that she didn’t even participate in Saturday’s final Daytona 500 practice session. Patrick’s veteran crew chief, Tony Gibson, was even more convinced that the No. 10 Chevrolet could win.

“I have 100 percent confidence in her skills and her ability. She’s got the talent and she’s got the ability and she’s already proven in the Nationwide Series. From what I’ve seen on the speedway stuff, she definitely gets the respect and people know she’s fast,” Gibson was quoted as saying by

“She can draft, she knows how the air works – she gets a lot of that from IndyCar. So I have 100 percent confidence that she can win the Daytona 500,” Gibson added.

However, most of the Las Vegas odds-makers favor dozens of drivers over her, although Patrick paced the practices and won the top starting position. Statistics don’t lie: the race has been won from the pole only nine times in its 54-year history. Dale Jarrett did it last in 2000.