Feb 22, 2013; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson during practice for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Daytona 500: Front Row Starters Rarely Win


This weekend is the biggest one of them all for NASCAR as all three of their top major touring series will open their seasons at the Daytona International Speedway. For Danica Patrick and Jeff Gordon, they have a front row ticket that puts them in an early advantage to win the most prestigious race on the schedule…the Daytona 500.

However, while starting on the pole is an honor and for Danica Patrick, historic, it’s not always a good thing. In the history of the Daytona 500, only seven drivers have won the race from the pole position.

The most recent winner from the pole position was Dale Jarrett back in 2000. Fireball Roberts, Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Buddy Baker, Bill Elliott, and Jeff Gordon are the only other drivers to accomplish that feat. Cale Yarborough and Bill Elliott not only did just that, but did just that twice and are the only two in history to do so!

Winning from the pole is rare, but to win from the outside pole is only more rare. Six drivers have done so in the history of the race: AJ Foyt, Geoff Bodine, Darrell Waltrip, Ernie Ervin and Dale Jarrett. Yet again, Dale Jarrett can take pride in being the last driver to accomplish this feat as well.

Can Danica Patrick add her name to the list or can Jeff Gordon add another rare accomplishment to his list? Tune in Sunday on Fox at 1pm for the green flag!

- Stats courtesy of the NASCAR Statistical Services & NASCAR Wire Service

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