Daytona 500 - NASCAR Picks, Preview, Odds, Best Bet Predictions 2/16/20
Race: Daytona 500
Date: Sunday, February 16, 2020
Location: Daytona International Speedway
We start the NASCAR season at the Daytona International Speedway. The Daytona 500, which is also known as the Great American Race, will start the NASCAR Cup Series in spectacular fashion. This is the biggest race of the year and the most unique thing about is that is kicks the year off instead of ending it. Everyone will have their eyes on this race because the winner of this race creates a little bit of history in the process.
This is the first race since last November when Kyle Busch got his second NASCAR Cup Series championship. While this race isn't necessarily a preview to who will win the Cup this season, it does give us a sneak peak into who has the handling, horsepower and teamwork on point right off the bat. We think that momentum will carry over for those who finished toward the top of the league last season.
Joe Gibbs racing is representing some of the top teams in NASCAR this season with Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch putting together some solid performances towards the end of last season. Between the three of them, they combined for four wins, nine Top 5 finishes and 14 top 10 finishes. However, Penske Racing had a great year as well with Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney combining for one victory, five Top 5 finishes and eight Top 10 finishes. There are also some familiar names that will be looking to come out of the gate hot and those include Alex Bowman, Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson. If they don't start out on a hot note, they may be looking at similar results for the 2020 season.
One year ago, Denny Hamlin was crowned the winner of the Daytona 500. In this race, the were nine different leaders with 15 lead changes. When compared to prior races, this is a low number. One of the main reasons we didn't see as many changes throughout the race was because of the staggering 10 caution periods. When all was said and done, Kyle Busch finished second behind Hamlin by just 0.138 seconds in an exciting finish to the race.
When talking about contenders for this year's Daytona 500, we have some ideas on who you should be watching. First off, below are the odds for some of the top racers.
Joey Logano 10-1
Denny Hamlin 10-1
Chase Elliott 10-1
Kyle Busch 10-1
Brad Keselowski 11-1
Kevin Harvick 12-1
Martin Truex Jr. 14-1
Ryan Blaney 16-1
Jimmie Johnson 20-1
William Byron 20-1
Alex Bowman 20-1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 20-1
Joey Logano won the 2015 Daytona 500 and was won at this track 4 times between Daytona and Talladega's oval tracks. In 2019, Logano did well in big ovals and earned 4th place finishes in both Talladega and Daytona. He's been a hot racer and has earned one win and 5 Top 5 finishes over the past 2 seasons. While Joey Logano continues his impressive career, we'll be watching and looking to see if Vegas nailed this one. We tend to agree with them in that he is a contender to watch out for. Logano has veteran savvy already and understand racing in the draft and when to make your move.
Denny Hamlin is another racer to watch for in the Daytona 500. He took home the win in both the 2016 and 2019 Daytona 500 and looks to do it again this weekend. In recent years, Hamlin has showed up to Daytona Speedweeks with plenty of speed. In the last six years, he's won two Duel races and he's won two of his last six Busch Clash exhibition races in Daytona. In his career at Daytona, Hamlin has led around 450 laps, which is surprising considering he's only won twice. Between his Daytona and Talladega starts, Hamlin has one win and four Top 5 finishes. He'll be another driver to keep an eye on this weekend.
Kyle Busch will be looking to get back in the win column this weekend in the No. 18 Toyota. He's taken home a victory at Daytona but has yet to take home the win at the Daytona 500. In his career at oval tracks, he's turned in a mixed bag of spectacular finishes and horrible DNF's. That being said, he's never lacked speed, and has over 400 laps led at Daytona. He's a guy that is always at the front of the pack so it wouldn't surprise us to see him take home the win this weekend.
Who will win the Daytona 500?
Guy's Pick: Take Kyle Busch (10/1)
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