Daily Archives: February 26th, 2012

Daytona 500: To pole or not to pole… to victory

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.

English: Dale Jarrett's 2000 Daytona 500 winni...

Dale Jarrett's 2000 winning car... Image via Wikipedia

The last driver to win the Daytona 500 from the pole position was Dale Jarrett in 2000. In the 53-year history of the race, only nine pole sitters have won.

In 2009, Matt Kenseth won the race from the farthest starting position in the race history. Kenseth qualified 39th, but had to go back to the 43rd position due to changing to a back-up car.

Following are the Daytona 500 winners who won from the pole and those winners who started the furthest back in the pack.

Pole sitter victories

1962: “Fireball” Roberts

1966: Richard Petty

1968: Cale Yarborough

1980: Buddy Baker

1984: Cale Yarborough

1985: Bill Elliott

1987: Bill Elliott

1999: Jeff Gordon

2000: Dale Jarrett

Worst starting position to win Daytona 500

#43: Matt Kenseth, 2009

#34: Kevin Harvick, 2007

#33: Bobby Allison, 1978

#32: Benny Parsons, 1975

#32: Trevor Bayne, 2011

#19: LeeRoy Yarborough, 1969

#19: Michael Waltrip, 2001

#19: Ward Burton, 2002

#15: Lee Petty, 1959

#15: Jeff Gordon, 2005

Here’s a quick look at what pole positions have had the most victories in the Daytona 500. Of the 53 races, 38 (71.7%) of the race winners started in one of the first nine positons.

Pole Position, Daytona 500 wins

#1………. 9 wins

#2………. 7 wins

#3 through #9………. 22 wins

#10 through #19………. 10 wins

#20 though #29………. 0 wins

#30 through #39………. 5 wins

#40 or more………. 0 wins

Note: All of the last six winners of the Daytona 500 were first-time winners.

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