NASCAR: Drivers with the Most Daytona 500 Pole Postions

Cale Yarborough, Buddy Baker And Bill Elliott Sat Took The Daytona 500 Pole Four Times

Cale Yarborough, Buddy Baker And Bill Elliott Took The Daytona 500 Pole Four Times

The Daytona 500 gives and takes when it comes to legendary drivers. In Dale Earnhardt‘s case, things went tragic after late successes.

Earnhardt struggled with the opening track, winning just one pole, in the 18th of 23 straight tries, and finally the race itself in the twilight of his all-time career (1998).

Then, the worst in 2001.

In 2015 (this coming Sunday, actually), Jeff Gordon, one of the greatest drivers of all time and in an act of, say, circular historical reference, will be at the pole in his final hurrah – but its for only the second time in his career. He’s won three 500’s, the last 10 years ago.

Even Jimmie Johnson, six-time NASCAR champion (five in a row between 2006 and 2010), has won Daytona just twice (and also earned the pole just twice).

Popular driver (in fact THE most popular driver the past 12 years in a row), Dale Earnhardt, Jr., has managed one pole, but does have two wins to his credit during that reign, including his second just last year.

Richard Petty, arguably the greatest NASCAR driver of all time, won a record seven 500’s on one pole in 32 tries.

But the best legendary 500 pole sitter was Cale Yarborough, who, along with Buddy Baker and Bill Elliott, captured it four times.

How do pole winners do anyway? I crunched all the numbers here. It is, in fact, better not to start at the pole, historically, if you want to win the Daytona 500.

DRIVER DAYTONA 500 POLE POSITIONS YEARS CARS
1. Cale Yarborough 4 1968, 1970, 1978, 1984 Mercury; Oldsmobile (1978); Chevrolet (1984)
1. Buddy Baker 4 1969, 1973, 1979-1980 Dodge; Oldsmobile (1979, 1980)
1. Bill Elliott 4 1985-1987, 2001 Ford; Dodge (2001)
4. Fireball Roberts 3 1961-1963 Pontiac
4. Ken Schrader 3 1988-1990 Chevrolet
4. Dale Jarrett 3 1995, 2000, 2005 Ford
7. Donnie Allison 2 1975, 1977 Chevrolet
7. Jeff Gordon 2 1999, 2015 Chevrolet
7. Jimmie Johnson 2 2002, 2008 Chevrolet
10. A. J. Foyt 1 1971 Mercury
10. Austin Dillon 1 2014 Chevrolet
10. Benny Parsons 1 1982 Pontiac
10. Bob Welborn 1 1959 Chevrolet
10. Bobby Allison 1 1981 Pontiac
10. Bobby Isaac 1 1972 Dodge
10. Bobby Labonte 1 1998 Pontiac
10. Carl Edwards 1 2012 Ford
10. Cotton Owens 1 1960 Pontiac
10. Curtis Turner 1 1967 Chevrolet
10. Dale Earnhardt 1 1996 Chevrolet
10. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 1 2011 Chevrolet
10. Danica Patrick 1 2013 Chevrolet
10. Darel Dieringer 1 1965 Mercury
10. Davey Allison 1 1991 Ford
10. David Gilliland 1 2007 Ford
10. David Pearson 1 1974 Chevrolet
10. Greg Biffle 1 2004 Ford
10. Jeff Burton 1 2006 Chevrolet
10. Jeff Green 1 2003 Chevrolet
10. Kyle Petty 1 1993 Pontiac
10. Loy Allen, Jr. 1 1994 Ford
10. Mark Martin 1 2010 Chevrolet
10. Martin Truex, Jr. 1 2009 Chevrolet
10. Mike Skinner 1 1997 Chevrolet
10. Paul Goldsmith 1 1964 Plymouth
10. Ramo Stott 1 1976 Chevrolet
10. Richard Petty 1 1966 Plymouth
10. Ricky Rudd 1 1983 Chevrolet
10. Sterling Marlin 1 1992 Ford

Photos: chevyhardcore.com / notinhalloffame.com / raceweekillustrated.com

Posted on February 15, 2015, in NASCAR / F1 / Auto Racing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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