The term “pole position” comes from horse racing, where the fastest qualifying horse would be placed on the inside part of the course, next to the pole. Though Qualifying takes several different forms, all drivers want the pole position.
In 1979, Busch Beer started sponsoring the pole award in the Winston Cup Series, with the pole award winners would race in the Busch Clash, before the Daytona 500. The Busch Clash lasted from 1979 until 1997, when it became the Budweiser Shootout in 2001, to 2012. The sponsorship spread to the Xfinity Series and the Truck Series as well. Anheuser-Busch dropped the sponsorship in 2012, and Molson took over. In the Cup and Xfinity Series, the pole award is sponsored by Coors Light. In the Truck Series, the pole award is sponsored by Keystone Light. With the new sponsor came these small flags given to the drivers and crew members of the pole winners.
This version is given to pole award winners who are under 21. The flag is 19 inches long, and 12 inches wide, is only printed on one side, and is in good condition. In 2015, nobody in the Cup series under 21 won the pole award. In the Xfinity Series, Erik Jones won pole awards at the Drive4Clots.com 300 at Fontana, the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas, and the Drive to Stop Diabetes 300 at Bristol. Darrell Wallace Jr. won the pole at the Buckle Up 200 at Dover. Finally, Ben Rhodes won the pole at the Road America 180 at Road America.
In 2015, nobody in the Cup series under 21 won the pole award. In the Xfinity Series, Erik Jones won pole awards at Fontana, Texas, and Bristol. Darrell Wallace Jr. won the pole at the Dover. Finally, Ben Rhodes won the pole at Road America. In the Truck Series, Erik Jones won the pole at Kansas, Texas, Gateway, Iowa, Pocono,and Phoenix. Bobby Pierce won the pole at Eldora, and Cole Custer won the pole at Martinsville. This flag was given to one of their race teams at some point.
This flag was from 2015 at Dover, and would have been awarded to Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, or Ryan Blaney. It’s the same size as the under 21 flag, The flag is 19 inches long, and 12 inches wide, is only printed on one side, and is in good condition. These pole award flags are small when compared to a full-sized checkered flag, this one from the 2010 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Miami Grand Prix.What I find odd is that Coors Light sponsors the pole award, and they have a contest where the driver who wins the most Coors Light Pole Awards will win $100,000. While this is a great idea, for some reason, it’s never mentioned on any NASCAR telecast EVER! Why? Coors Light has done a terrible job promoting the pole award, and the fact that they are the Official Beer of NASCAR. While Monster Energy is the most promoted official beverage, followed up by Coca Cola, Coors never seems to get mentioned. Why is Coors Light not making more an effort?
Anyhow, next week will feature Driver Suit Blog favorite Jack Beckman.