Following a high-speed, rain-delayed race at Chicagoland Speedway, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series continues its pedal to the metal approach in Daytona International Speedway this Saturday night at the Coke Zero Sugar 400.
Alex Bowman made his first Cup series victory last week and he has +1800 odds to repeat, however, it’s Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski with chances of +700 who top the oddsboard.
Intertops includes Logano and Keselowski as the favorites at +700 followed closely by Denny Hamlin in +1000, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick in +1100 and Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney and Clint Bowyer in +1400 to round out the leading drivers on the oddsboard.
Ford has won five of the last ten races in Daytona and Toyota has won three runnings over that interval, including the last two in a row, while Chevrolet has just two victories.
There has not been a repeat winner in this course since Jimmie Johnson did thus in the two races in 2013. Denny Hamlin looks to become the latest driver to do it won the Daytona 500 in February.
Just once over the last 17 races in Daytona has got the winner started on the pole and that was Dale Earnhardt Jr. at 2015. The average starting position for the motorist who transported the checkered flag during that interval was 12.53.
Alex Bowman (+1800) picked up the first checkered flag of his Cup series livelihood last week in Chicagoland and has had great qualifying speed at Daytona recently. He’s started first or second in each of the past three runnings in this track, but has finished 10th or worse, so until he will come across exactly the same rate from the race, I will stay away.
Logano (+700) has had better success during the Daytona 500 than he has in the midseason race at this track. In the 500, he has an average finish position of 13.28, for example winning in 2015, but he’s an average finish position of 21.2 from the July race and has dropped in each of the past two runnings.
Keselowski (+700) has experienced a series of terrible luck at Daytona recently, with dropped in four of the past five races there, but six races ago at this course, he drove to victory lane. He’s five wins at Talladega, another restrictor-plate monitor, so he knows the way to compete in these races. Start looking for him to be at the hunt Saturday night.
Kyle Busch (+1100) less a favorite seems like an automatic wager, but Daytona has become the better of him most of his career. Busch won the July race in 2008, marking the only time he’s driven to victory lane at Daytona, and he’s just three top-five endings there over the last 14 races, however he was the most runner-up in this year’s Daytona 500.
I have been fading Kevin Harvick (+1100) all season long since he had not shown evidence of his former dominant self until last week. He looked powerful at Chicagoland, leading 132 of the 267 laps, but ultimately finished 14th. Harvick has dropped in four of the five races at Daytona since switching to Ford in 2017 but he led multiple laps at three of those runnings. Assuming that he keeps his nose clean, this could be a fantastic place for Harvick.
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