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Press Box: Patrick win Daytona pole position

The SportsXchange

Danica Patrick became the first female driver to win a pole for any race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series when she won the pole for the Feb. 24 Daytona 500 during Sunday's time trials at Daytona International Speedway,.

She was one of only two drivers to top the 196 mph mark. The other was Jeff Gordon. He and Patrick locked in their starting spots for the Daytona 500 and will lead the field to green in the in their respective Budweiser Duel 150 qualifying races on Thursday and in the Great American Race three days later.

"I'm proud of all the hard work that goes into making a pole car," said Patrick, already the highest female finisher in the history of the Indianapolis 500 (third in 2009) and the highest female finisher in any one of NASCAR's top three series (fourth in the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas).

The eighth driver to make a qualifying attempt, Patrick ran her first timed lap in 46.420 seconds (193.882 mph) and improved to 45.817 seconds (196.434 mph) on her money lap.

SOCCER

--Landon Donovan will rejoin the Los Angeles Galaxy in the final week of March, the team announced on its website Sunday.

Donovan, 30, had said last fall he was not sure whether he wanted to keep playing, and when he returns, it will end a break of nearly four months.

The Major League Soccer season begins March 2, and the Galaxy plays its first game March 3. Donovan is expected to miss at least the Galaxy's first three games.

NHL

--Montreal forward Brendan Gallagher suffered a concussion as a result of a hit from Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn during Saturday's game, the Canadiens' official website reported.

Gallagher, who has five goals and three assists in 13 games this season, is expected to miss at least Monday's home game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

--The Dallas Stars announced that goaltender Kari Lehtonen was placed on the injured reserve list with a groin injury. Lehtonen, who is 7-2-1 record with a 2.12 goals-against average, is ineligible for Sunday's game against the Calgary Flames and Thursday's game against the Vancouver Canucks.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

--Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree, a projected first round pick in the coming NFL draft, was recently arrested for a DUI.

Ogletree's agent, Pat Dye Jr., told NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk that his client was pulled over by police for speeding and committing a lane violation.

Ogletree led the Bulldogs with 111 tackles even though he was suspended by coach Mark Richt the first four games of the season for failing drug tests.

GOLF

--Jiyai Shin of South Korea beat out No. 1 world-ranked Yani Tseng to win the Australian Women's Golf Open by two shots Sunday in Canberra, Australia.

Shin fired a 1-under par 72 to also hold off 15-year-old amateur Lydia Ko, with whom she shared the third-round lead.
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