Danica Patrick teaches Jeff Gordon's daughter lesson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- On a bright, sunny afternoon at Daytona International Speedway, fans and NASCAR dignitaries alike hung around to soak up a bit of history Sunday.
Danica Patrick added to a growing list of history making moments by becoming the first woman to win the Daytona 500 pole.
But before she did any interviews or posed for pictures with her team, Jeff Gordon approached with his family to ask for a quick favor.
DANICA: She makes Daytona 500 history
Would Patrick mind taking a photo with the Gordons?
Patrick happily obliged, posing in between Gordon, wife Ingrid Vandebosch, their 5-year-old daughter Ella and 2-year-old son Leo.
Gordon then asked for one more shot: A photo with just Patrick and Ella together. Patrick nodded her head and smiled.
Like she does with so many young girls who look to her as a role model, Patrick knelt down and introduced herself to Ella, then put an arm around her and posed for the picture.
ivandebosch Ingrid Vandebosch
Ella, her dad said, hadn't even realized girls could grow up to be race car drivers until Patrick came along. When a driver becomes the first female in NASCAR history to win a Cup Series pole position – and at the Daytona 500, no less – even daughters of four-time NASCAR champions are impressed.
When Patrick won the pole – edging Gordon for the top spot – Ella requested a meet-and-greet like she'd done with Kasey Kahne (because he's cute), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (because he's popular) and Jimmie Johnson (because he's a five-time champ).
"I'm flattered to take pictures with kids," Patrick said later. "… Especially Jeff Gordon's daughter, it's even more so an honor."