Although Danica Patrick is 394 points behind Elliott Sadler in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings with only three races left, she is on the verge of making history. If Patrick, currently 10th, remains in the top 10, she will become the highest-finishing female in national series history.
Just 16 points behind ninth-place driver Brian Scott, Patrick has three top-10 finishes this season (eighth at Texas, ninth at Bristol and 10th last weekend at Kansas). She has one top-five finish in her career; that came last season (fourth at Las Vegas, setting the record for the highest-finishing female in a national series race).
Sara Christian, who raced in NASCAR’s premier series in 1949-50, is the only other female to post a top-five finish in a race. She finished the 1949 season in 13th, the current top spot for a female.
Perhaps the most celebrated female driver in the 1970’s was Janet Guthrie (1976-80). Her highest standings finish was 23rd in the 1977 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
Currently, Patty Moise (1986-98) has the most starts for a female in a national series – 133 in the NNS. However, her highest points finish was 22nd in 1990.