Following a high-speed, rain-delayed race at Chicagoland Speedway, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series continues its pedal to the metal Strategy at Daytona International Speedway this Saturday night at the Coke Zero Sugar 400.
Alex Bowman made his first Cup series victory a week and he’s +1800 odds to repeat, however, it is Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski with chances of +700 who top the oddsboard.
Intertops includes Logano and Keselowski since the favorites at +700 followed by Denny Hamlin at +1000, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick in +1100 and Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney and Clint Bowyer at +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 just two victories.
There hasn’t been a repeat winner at this track since Jimmie Johnson did thus in the two races at 2013. Denny Hamlin appears to become the latest driver to do it won the Daytona 500 in February.
Only once over the last 17 races at Daytona has got the winner started on the pole which was Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2015. The average starting position for the motorist who transported the checkered flag over that span 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 begun first or second in each of the last three runnings in this track, but has finished 10th or worse, so until he will find exactly the same rate in the race, I will stay away.
Logano (+700) has had greater success throughout the Daytona 500 than he has in the midseason race in this course. From 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 in the July race and has crashed in each of the last two runnings.
Keselowski (+700) has had a string of terrible luck at Daytona lately, with dropped in four of the last five races there, but six races ago at this track, he drove to victory lane. He’s five wins at Talladega, yet another restrictor-plate track, so he knows how to compete in these races. Look for him to be at the search Saturday night.
Kyle Busch (+1100) less a favorite sounds like an automated bet, 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 has only three top-five finishes there over the last 14 races, but he had been the most runner-up in this year’s Daytona 500.
I have been evaporating Kevin Harvick (+1100) all season long as he had not shown signs of his former dominant self before last week. He looked powerful at Chicagoland, leading 132 of the 267 laps, but ultimately finished 14th. Harvick has crashed in four of those five races in Daytona since switching to Ford in 2017 but he led multiple laps in three of those runnings. Assuming he keeps his nose clean, this may be a fantastic spot for Harvick.
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