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 has +1800 odds to repeat, however, it’s Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski with chances of +700 who top the oddsboard.
Intertops includes Logano and Keselowski as 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 in +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 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 course 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.
Just once over the past 17 races at Daytona has got the winner started on the pole and that was Dale Earnhardt Jr. at 2015. The typical starting place for the motorist who carried the checkered flag over that span was 12.53.
Alex Bowman (+1800) picked up the first checkered flag of his Cup series livelihood a week in Chicagoland and has had good qualifying speed at Daytona recently. He’s started first or second in each of the past three runnings at this course, but has finished 10th or worse, therefore until he can come across the exact same speed from the race, I’ll stay away.
Logano (+700) has had better success during the Daytona 500 than he has at the midseason race in this track. In 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 from the July race and has crashed in each of the past two runnings.
Keselowski (+700) has had a series of bad luck at Daytona lately, having dropped in four of the last five races but six races ago at this course, he drove to victory lane. He has five wins at Talladega, yet another restrictor-plate monitor, so that he knows the way to compete in these races. Start looking for him to be at the hunt Saturday night.
Kyle Busch (+1100) not as a favorite seems to be an automated bet, 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 forced to victory lane at Daytona, and he has just three top-five finishes there on the last 14 races, however he had been the runner-up in this season’s Daytona 500.
I have been evaporating Kevin Harvick (+1100) all season long as he had not shown evidence of his former dominant self until last week. He looked strong at Chicagoland, leading 132 of the 267 laps, but ultimately finished 14th. Harvick has crashed in four of the five races in 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 may be a good spot for Harvick.
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