Adhering to a high-speed, rain-delayed race at Chicagoland Speedway, the Dragon 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 has +1800 odds to repeat, but it is Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski with chances of +700 who top the oddsboard.
Intertops has Logano and Keselowski as the favorites at +700 followed by Denny Hamlin at +1000, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick at +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 10 races in Daytona and Toyota has won three runnings over that span, 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 from the two races in 2013. Denny Hamlin looks to become the latest driver to do it 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 place for the driver who carried the checkered flag during the span was 12.53.
Alex Bowman (+1800) picked up the first checkered flag of his Cup series career a week in Chicagoland and has had good qualifying rate at Daytona recently. He has begun first or second in each of the last three runnings in this course, but has completed 10th or worse, therefore until he will find the exact same rate from the race, I will stay away.
Logano (+700) has had greater success during the Daytona 500 than he’s at the midseason race in this course. From the 500, he has an average finish position of 13.28, including winning in 2015, but he has an average finish position of 21.2 in the July race, and it has dropped in each of the past two runnings.
Keselowski (+700) has experienced a string of bad luck at Daytona recently, having dropped in four of the last 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 sounds to be an automated wager, but Daytona has gotten the better of him for 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 endings there over the past 14 races, however he was the most runner-up in this season’s Daytona 500.
I’ve been fading Kevin Harvick (+1100) all season long as he hadn’t shown evidence of his former leading self until last week. He looked strong 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 however he led multiple laps in three of those runnings. Assuming he keeps his nose clean, this may be a fantastic place for Harvick.
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