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 earned his first Cup series victory a week and he’s +1800 chances to replicate, however, it’s Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski with chances of +700 who top the oddsboard.
Intertops has Logano and Keselowski since the favorites at +700 followed by Denny Hamlin in +1000, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick at +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 during that interval, including the last two in a row, while Chevrolet has only two victories.
There has not been a repeat winner at this course since Jimmie Johnson did so in the two races at 2013. Denny Hamlin appears to become the most recent driver to perform it as he won the Daytona 500 in February.
Only once over the past 17 races in Daytona has got the winner started on the pole which was Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2015. The average starting position for the motorist who carried the checkered flag during the span was 12.53.
Alex Bowman (+1800) picked up the first checkered flag of his Cup series livelihood a week at Chicagoland and has had good qualifying rate at Daytona recently. He’s started first or second in each of the past three runnings at this course, but has completed 10th or worse, so until he will come across the same rate in the race, I’ll stay away.
Logano (+700) has had greater success throughout the Daytona 500 than he has at the midseason race at this course. In the 500, he has an average finish position of 13.28, for example winning in 2015, but he has an average finish position of 21.2 in the July race, and it has crashed in each of the last two runnings.
Keselowski (+700) has experienced a string of terrible luck at Daytona recently, having crashed in four of the last five races there, but six races ago at this course, he drove to victory lane. He has five wins at Talladega, yet another restrictor-plate monitor, so that he knows the way to compete in those races. Look for him to be at the hunt Saturday night.
Kyle Busch (+1100) less a favorite seems like an automated 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 only three top-five endings there over the past 14 races, however he was the runner-up in this season’s Daytona 500.
I’ve been fading Kevin Harvick (+1100) all season long since he had not shown evidence of his former leading self until last week. He seemed powerful at Chicagoland, leading 132 of the 267 laps, but finally finished 14th. Harvick has dropped in four of those five races in Daytona since switching to Ford in 2017 however he led multiple laps in three of those runnings. Assuming he keeps his nose clean, this could be a fantastic place for Harvick.