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NASCAR Cup: 2020 Daytona 500 preview

during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 61st Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2019 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

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The Daytona 500 is just around the next turn. We are heading down the super stretch and making that final left turn before the 2020 Great American Race weekend begins.

We are less than a month away from the race that kicks it all off. On Sunday, February 16th at Daytona International Raceway in South Florida, 5.9-liter V8 engines will be revving and ready to tear around one of the most exciting tracks in all of auto racing. The first major race just so happens to be what many consider to be the biggest one of the year.


The Favorites


Denny Hamlin won the Daytona 500 last year. And he is one of the favorites to do so again in 2020. Hamlin who has won twice in the last few years– 2019 and 2016– and is a serious threat to do so again at +1000 on the Vegas odds boards. Denny Hamlin has a mountain of experience and success at Daytona, it is a great opportunity for bettors to win some quick bucks especially taking into consideration the odds being offered at the best sportsbooks.

Let’s have a quick look at his last 12 races on this course:

July, 2019 26th
Feb, 2019 1st – D500
July, 2018 38th
Feb, 2018 3rd – D500
July, 2017 24th
Feb, 2017 17th – D500
July, 2016 17th
Feb, 2016, 1st – D500
July, 2015, 3rd
Feb, 2015, 4th – D500
July, 2014, 6th
Feb, 2014 2nd – D500

Hamlin drives particularly well under the pressure of the Great American Race. It’s amazing to think that he has won two of the last six Daytona 500s and finished in the top in five of six, taking two thirds and a runner-up in that span.

If there is any driver that should be on the top of your fantasy sheet to stand on the podium, it is this guy. But Hamlin isn’t alone as a favorite. There are a handful of others at +1000 as well.

Joey Logano is also +1000 to win the checkered in February. The #22 car has also been consistent at Daytona in February. He took 4th last season, then 4th again in 2018, 6th in 2017 and 2016, and he finished 1st in 2015. He isn’t quite as prolific as Hamlin here, but he’s better at Daytona than most. Team Penske is counting on Logano to have another good race to start their season.

Brad Keselowski is another that is tied for the favorite at +1000. This one is interesting because he hasn’t done particularly well at Daytona in the last couple of years. In fact, he has had some great qualifying runs, then finished pretty far back in the pack. Last July he started 3rd and finished 39th due to an accident. During last year’s Daytona 500, he started 35th and finished twelfth, which is pretty solid. But he crashed in his four previous appearances, finishing no higher than 27th. That said, he did win the Coca Cola 400 back in 2016 … but that is sandwiched between a handful of not even top 20 finishes. Keselowski seems to be a magnet for collisions at Daytona, so I wouldn’t count on him finishing in the Top 5.

Chase Elliot is the 4th horseman when it comes to favorites in this year’s running. He has crashed in the four races at this track and has never finished in the Top 10 at Daytona in the Monster Energy Series. So, again, I feel like the bookmakers are trying to steer people towards a sucker bet. Now, Elliott does qualify well. He has taken the pole at this track three times in his eight appearances and started 2nd and 4th. So, in five of eight, he has qualified in the Top 5. That doesn’t change the fact that Hendrick Motorsports just can’t seem to put it together on this track. He led for 39 laps back in the 2017 Daytona 500, and still ended up falling back to 14th. In 2016, he took the pole, but finished 37th in running order … so I wonder what it will take for him to get a win here? The track gods just seem to have it out for him in Daytona. I wouldn’t even put Chase Elliott on my fantasy driver roster, let alone throw money on him to win.

Of the favs, I’ll take Logano and Hamlin. Beyond them, Kevin Harvick, Kurt & Kyle Busch, along with Jimmie Johnson should all be on your short-list of drivers who could podium and at least finish Top-10.

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Posted by on January 21, 2020. Filed under Breaking News,Cup Series,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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