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Daytona 500 Preview

NASCAR Previews

The NASCAR season kicks off with its signature opening race, the Daytona 500. We dive in and breakdown the field based on past winner's and team situations.

The opening race to kick off the 2021 NASCAR betting season is finally here. Fans can check out the Daytona 500 this weekend for Valentine's Day. 

This is an interesting event to bet on for NASCAR. You can think of this as NASCAR's “Super Bowl” but it also gives you a look to see how some drivers are ready to step into the spotlight. 

Race Details
Date: Sun, Feb 14, 1:30 PM
Watch on: FOX
Track: Daytona International Speedway

Betting Overview 

Before diving in and picking last year’s winner, there are some pieces of information to look at first. The last time a pole winner was able to win the Daytona 500 was back in 2000. In fact, 15 out of the last 19 races have shown the pole winner to finish the race right outside of the Top 10.

Looking back at last year's pole winner, they finished 20th while the second place starter finished not far behind at 24th. The point here is that any previous Speedweeks success that a driver has had before the Daytona 500 does not guarantee a good finish or a win. 

Dunkel Index For This Event 

The Dunkel Index is showing these top 10 golfers that could win this event. The following 10 are:

1    Denny Hamlin    80.000               
2    Chase Elliott    82.959          
3    Kyle Busch    85.281               
4    Joey Logano    85.889               
5    William Byron    86.267    
6    Alex Bowman    89.250                    
7    Ryan Blaney    89.392                    
8    Kyle Larson    89.604    
9    Brad Keselowski    90.070
10    Kevin Harvick    92.237                    

*index is subject to changes 

Drivers That Could Win 

Denny Hamlin (80.000)

Hamlin is looking like a favorite, but history is not on his side. No driver has ever successfully won three consecutive Daytona 500's and he enters this one with two straight on his resume. He is a favorite in the betting market, but can he make history?

Chase Elliot (82.959)

Elliott does not have history on his side either. Only five times in history has the reigning Cup Series champion won at Daytona the next February. The last time it happened was back in 2000 and only occurring twice since 1978.

Even as a moderate favorite, he also has finished 30th or worse in about half of his 10 Daytona starts. With past performances in the Daytona 500 of 37th, 14th, 33rd, 17th and 17th, respectively, does he get enough credit for being the Cup Series champion?

Joey Lagano (85.889)

Logano has looked very attractive on superspeedway tracks, as he has won four times on them. This Penske driver has five top-six finishes when looking at his last six Daytona 500 starts. Not only that, this includes a win back in 2015.

Potential Winning Pick

Joey Lagano (85.889)

Looking at the listed drivers above, it clearly can be anyone’s race. If history has anything to say about it, you can count out both Chase Elliot and Denny Hamlin. Of the top drivers to put up a good finish, Joey Lagano makes this an interesting pick. 

Keep up with the latest sports news coverage and betting pick previews at the Dunkel Index.
 

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