Danicamania: Patrick Tops NASCAR Merchandise Sales Before Daytona

Danica Patrick, who will be the first female to start a NASCAR in the pole position in Sunday's running of the Daytona 500, is leading in merchandise sales going into the Great American Race.

When Patrick won the pole last weekend, she brought in casual fans to the sport. NASCAR legend Richard "The King" Petty commented that Patrick put the sport on the front page of the newspaper instead of just the front page of the sports page.

Fanatics.com said sales of Patrick's merchandise are "are up more than 350 percent compared to the week leading up to last year's Daytona 500" are doing better than Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s. Earnhardt has been voted NASCAR's most popular driver for 10 straight years and usually dominates merchandise sales. Tony Stewart, the co-owner Stewart-Haas racing who is Patrick's boss, is third. 

After Patrick won the pole Jeff Gordon's and Jimmie Johnson's daughters asked Patrick for photos.

The merchandise sales numbers further prove how much buzz NASCAR received after Patrick won the pole.

All eyes will be on Patrick - and the sport - as NASCAR's season gets underway on Sunday with the running of the Great American Race. 

This will be Patrick's first full year in the Sprint Cup Series, which is NASCAR's top division. 


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