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How To Bet The Daytona 500: FAVORITES and LONGSHOTS




NASCAR Opening Day 2024 is officially upon us. All practice and qualifying races are finished and the field is now set for the 66th Daytona 500.  

 

After qualifying on Wednesday night, it was the Fords of Joey Logano and Michael McDowell sweeping the front row, but in the Duel qualifying races, the Toyotas of Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell took the checkered flag first – a polar opposite of their qualifying performance Wednesday night.  

 

So, how do we handicap the field for Sunday’s race? 

 

FAVORITES: 

 

First, let’s talk about some drivers I’m FADING in the Great American Race: 

 

JOEY LOGANO (+900) 

 

Joey Logano is the odds-on favorite at 9-1 (+900); however, no driver has won the Daytona 500 from the pole since 2000. While the optimistic gambler might think “he’s due” and “streaks are meant to be broken,” this is one I cannot back due to the track record for pole sitters the past 20 years. 

 

KYLE BUSCH (+1200) 

Kyle Busch is racing a backup car for the 500 after being involved in a wreck during the second Duel race on Thursday night. While Busch nearly won the 500 last year in a backup car, it’s a tall task to turn around a car you didn’t deem good enough to be the primary for this event. Especially 2 years in a row. 

 

Now for some drivers I’m targeting to WIN

 

DENNY HAMLIN (+1000) 

 

It doesn’t matter the date, time of day, season, or month, Denny Hamlin is always in the picture at Daytona. He’s won this race three times and a fourth would truly cement him as one of the greatest superspeedway racers ever. The Toyotas performance in qualifying was worrisome; however, they squashed all doubt after their performance in the Duels. He’ll be up front all night – might as well make some money. 

 

CHASE ELLIOTT (+1400) 

 

Hendrick Motorsports hasn’t won the Daytona 500 in 10 years. Despite sitting on the front row for seven consecutive years, it was 2014 with our boss, Dale Earnhardt Jr., the last time Mr. Hendrick lifted the Harley J. Earl trophy.  

 

Chase looks refreshed, energized, and in good shape heading into this season, after a second-place finish in his Duel race on Thursday. Plus, Chase ranks second in average finishes on superspeedways since the inception of the Next Gen car. The stars may align for Hendrick Motorsports’ Daytona 500 losing streak to come to an end. 

 

LONGSHOTS: 

 

Alright, it’s time for everybody’s favorite: the underdogs. The past three Daytona 500 winners have been considered underdogs, with last year’s winner, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., cashing tickets at 40-1 (+4000). So who could be our Ricky Stenhouse Jr. this year? 

 

COREY LAJOIE (+4000) 

 

Last week Lajoie was sitting at +6500 to win, so he’s gained the most traction amongst the longshots in the field. Lajoie averages a 17th-place finish on drafting tracks, which is just outside the Top 10 amongst active drivers. But, what sticks out to me is that he’s always around at the end. He prioritizes survival over leading laps and I like that mindset from an underdog at a race like this. 

 

DANIEL SUAREZ (+6500) 

 

If you want to talk about betting value, it doesn’t get any better than Daniel Suarez. First, he drives for Trackhouse Racing, a top-flight organization that no question has the speed to win. Second, he ranks fourth in average finishes amongst active drivers on superspeedway tracks. Third, he’s arguably the driver most on the hot seat heading into 2024. An underdog with a fast car and nothing to lose is a dangerous combination, and I love danger. 




 

BY ALEX TIMMS

His friends call him Alex, but you can call him Tampa Timms. He’s a full-time producer, part-time gambler, but his co-workers think sometimes it’s the other way around. He once decided to stay on a boat and fire off bets, rather than hang out in the water with a cold beverage with his friends.

 

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