I think its safe to take off the tin foil hat on this one. All of the Stewart Haas cars were fast and I wouldn't exactly say qualifying at Daytona is something overly difficult. Most of the work on being fast there is done by the crews in the shops.
And she never ever qualified better than 23rd last season in the same SHR cars.Man i need to keep up. Didnt know we had gen-6 cars last year.
And she never ever qualified better than 23rd last season in the same SHR cars.There is a MASSIVE difference in a team that's planning to run the full season vs. part time in this sport (to me, anyways). I'm sure the people working on #10 team last season were a lot less dedicated and had a lot of personnel turnover from race to race in comparison to the full-time group she has working for her this season. Having a consistent team that completely focused an entire off-season on getting this car prepared for Daytona can really make all the difference in the world. There's no way you can convince me the same time, effort and dedication put forth by her current team existed when she attempted with the part-time team assembled last year.
The third factor that played into her getting that pole was the wind factor. From seeing the laps of the ghost cars against Danica, it was pretty obvious that played a major factor in her earning the pole.