Danica Patrick NASCAR
Patrick spent most of her 2012 season on the Nationwide Series with seven Top 10 finishes and one pole. Reuters

Despite a horrifying crash that injured over two dozen fans, NASCAR will move ahead with the 55th running of the Daytona 500 Sunday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway.

Twenty-eight fans were injured during a final-lap crash that sent debris from rookie driver Kyle Larson’s car through the catch fence and into the stands during the Nationwide Series at Daytona Saturday afternoon.

No driver was injured, but the crash could overshadow NASCAR’s seminal weekend that features perhaps its biggest audience draw in decades.

Danica Patrick, the first woman to ever win the pole at Daytona, leads off the race with veteran Jeff Gordon right behind her. Patrick is looking to build off her work from last season in the Nationwide series, and improve on her poor 38th place showing at Daytona.

The 30-year-old Patrick can not only be the first woman to win America’s race, but the first pole victor to wave the checkered flag in 13 years. Dale Jarrett completed the feat back in 2000.

Before Jarrett, Gordon also took the pole at the 500 in his 1999 victory, and is seeking his fourth trip to the winners circle at Daytona.

Patrick will represent Stewart Haas Racing, and her teammate and team owner Tony Stewart is the huge favorite heading to the race. The three-time Sprint Cup champion was victorious yesterday just as the crash spilled into the stands.

Stewart has never won America’s Race, but that might be a good thing. No winner at Daytona has ever gone on to win the Cup.

Coverage of the race begins at 1 p.m. Eastern time and will be broadcast by FOX.

The starting grid can be found below:

  1. 1. Danica Patrick
  2. 2. Jeff Gordon
  3. 3. Kevin Harvick
  4. 4. Kyle Busch
  5. 5. Greg Biffle
  6. 6. Kasey Kahne
  7. 7. Juan Pablo Montoya
  8. 8. Austin Dillon
  9. 9. Jimmie Johnson
  10. 10. Clint Bowyer
  11. 11. Kurt Busch
  12. 12. Matt Kenseth
  13. 13. Tony Stewart
  14. 14. Mark Martin
  15. 15. Brad Keselowski
  16. 16. Paul Menard
  17. 17. Casey Mears
  18. 18. Jeff Burton
  19. 19. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  20. 20. Jamie McMurray
  21. 21. Joey Logano
  22. 22. David Ragan
  23. 23. Bobby Labonte
  24. 24. Marcos Ambrose
  25. 25. David Gilliland
  26. 26. Aric Almirola
  27. 27. Joe Nemechek
  28. 28. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  29. 29. Michael Waltrip
  30. 30. Dave Blaney
  31. 31. Scott Speed
  32. 32. Josh Wise
  33. 33. Trevor Bayne
  34. 34. Ryan Newman
  35. 35. Denny Hamlin
  36. 36. Carl Edwards
  37. 37. Martin Truex Jr.
  38. 38. Michael McDowell
  39. 39. Terry Labonte
  40. 40. Regan Smith
  41. 41. JJ Yeley
  42. 42. David Reutimann
  43. 43. Travis Kvapil