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Daytona 500 2012: How Important Is Winning the Pole?

Watching the Bud Shootout jump start the 2012 NASCAR season may have actually given the impression that where a driver begins the Daytona 500 is important.Of the top-five finishers in that race, two of them actually started in the top five. Kyle Busch, the eventual winner, started second. This gives a false impression.The other three top-five starters finished 16th or worse out of 25 total cars. Pole winner Martin Truex Jr. was caught up in an accident and finished in 19th, unable to complete the final 20 laps.It should be noted that the starting positions were randomly drawn, and that the Bud Shootout was a severely truncated version of the Great American Race.It did wet our appetites, though.However, the Daytona 500 is a different beast a...

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