While Formula 1 fans will be watching the testing action this week in Barcelona, over in the United States the NASCAR stock car world is all a-Twitter thanks to the events in qualifying for the Daytona 500 on Sunday.

The 500 is the first round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup and is traditionally the biggest event of the NASCAR year, with a prize fund likely to top $20 million for the first time and a TV audience expected to be at least 30 million and probably more given the excitement that surrounds this year’s event.

The viewing figures are likely to go through the roof as a result of Danica Patrick lapping the two and a half mile superspeedway in 45.817 seconds, at an average speed of 196.434mph in her Stewart Haas Racing Go Daddy Chevrolet. She even had the temerity to knock her team boss Tony Stewart off pole.