Adhering to 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 last 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 as the favorites at +700 followed by Denny Hamlin in +1000, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick in +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 in 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 looks to become the most recent driver to do it as he won the Daytona 500 in February.
Just once over the last 17 races in Daytona has the winner started on the pole and that 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 career a week in Chicagoland and has had good qualifying speed at Daytona recently. He’s started first or second in each of the last three runnings at this track, but has finished 10th or worse, so until he will come across the exact same rate in the race, I will stay away.
Logano (+700) has had better success throughout the Daytona 500 than he has in the midseason race in this track. From the 500, he’s an average finish position of 13.28, including winning in 2015, but he’s an average finish position of 21.2 in the July race and has crashed in each of the past two runnings.
Keselowski (+700) has had a series of terrible luck at Daytona recently, with crashed in four of the past 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 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 seems like an automated wager, but Daytona has become the better of him for most of his career. Busch won the July race in 2008, marking the only time he has driven to victory lane at Daytona, and he’s just three top-five finishes there on the last 14 races, however he was the most runner-up in this season’s Daytona 500.
I have been fading Kevin Harvick (+1100) all season long since he had not shown signs of his former dominant self before last week. He seemed strong at Chicagoland, leading 132 of the 267 laps, but ultimately finished 14th. Harvick has crashed in four of the five races at 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 place for Harvick.
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