Why pole position matters...

At Daytona, EVERYTHING has a purpose

February 21, 2017
Chase Elliott

USA Today

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I feel this year can be the year NASCAR gets back on the right track. 

All the new rules, mid-season changes and points confusion has driven folks like me...you know, the ones who grew up drinking Mt. Dew in sippie cups watching The Intimidator do whatever it took to take the checkered flag, even if it meant 'accidently' running someone into the wall. 

But this year could be the year NASCAR gets back to those roots.

Dale Jr and Chase Elliot
USA Today

21-year old Chase Elliott took the pole for Sunday's running of the Daytona 500, with Dale Jr. right behind him.  That in itself shows a layman like me that we'll start the season with a bit of the new school with the old school fighting to the finish.

But what are the odds that the pole position winner actually walks away the victor?

Well, my research finds that winning the pole really doesn't mean a whole lot.  Certainly, it's a great accolade to put on your stock car resumé, to show future employeers that you had the fastest car on an empty track under (sometimes) different weather conditions.  It's what happens on race day that really matters...

I was hoping to find some NASCAR statistic that showed me how many times a driver took pole and won verses those who did not - but in my endless Googling, I fell into a rabbit hole of You Tube vids of Dick Trickle wrecks (RIP).

So...here's to the fresh-faced Chase Elliott this weekend.  He's just old enough to buy beer, and honored to lead off one of the greatest American traditions...the Daytona 500.