Adhering to a high-speed, rain-delayed race at Chicagoland Speedway, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series continues its pedal to the metal approach at Daytona International Speedway this Saturday night at the Coke Zero Sugar 400.
Alex Bowman made his first Cup series victory last week and he’s +1800 chances to replicate, but 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 in +1000, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick at +1100 and Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney and Clint Bowyer at +1400 to round out the top drivers on the oddsboard.
Ford has won five of the last ten races at Daytona and Toyota has won three runnings over that interval, including the last two in a row, while Chevrolet has only two victories.
There hasn’t been a repeat winner at this track since Jimmie Johnson did so in the two races at 2013. Denny Hamlin appears to become the most recent driver to perform it won the Daytona 500 in February.
Just once over the past 17 races at Daytona has the winner started on the pole and that was Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2015. The typical starting place for the motorist who transported the checkered flag during that 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 begun first or second in each of the past three runnings in this track, but has finished 10th or worse, so until he will find exactly the same rate from the race, I’ll stay away.
Logano (+700) has had greater success during the Daytona 500 than he’s at the midseason race at this course. In the 500, he’s 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 it has crashed in each of the last two runnings.
Keselowski (+700) has had a series of bad luck at Daytona lately, having dropped in four of the last five races there, but six races back in this track, he drove to victory lane. He’s five wins at Talladega, yet another restrictor-plate track, so he knows the way to compete in those races. Look for him to be in the hunt Saturday night.
Kyle Busch (+1100) less a favorite seems like an automatic wager, but Daytona has gotten 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 had been the most runner-up in this season’s Daytona 500.
I’ve been fading Kevin Harvick (+1100) all season long since he hadn’t shown signs of his former dominant self until last week. He looked powerful at Chicagoland, leading 132 of the 267 laps, but finally finished 14th. Harvick has dropped in four of those five races at Daytona since switching to Ford at 2017 but he led multiple laps at three of these runnings. Assuming that he keeps his nose clean, this could be a good place for Harvick.
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