The 2018 NASCAR division opens with one of the best celebrated contest in all of American sports.
Sunday’s Daytona 500 is one of the acme jewels of American motorsports, and it has been won by a first-time best in anniversary of the aftermost three years.
Alex Bowman sits on the pole for the chase at Daytona International Speedway afterwards he guided the No. 88 car to the top of the acceleration blueprint in condoning a anniversary ago.
Denny Hamlin starts aing to Bowman on the aboriginal row, while Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott, who won Thursday’s duels, are third and fourth on the starting grid.
Defending best Kurt Busch bliss off his appellation aegis on the sixth row aing to his brother Kyle Busch, who is one of a few stars analytic for his ambiguous aboriginal Daytona 500 victory.
Date: Sunday, February 18
Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Odds (via Oddsshark)
Brad Keselowski ( 700; Bet $100 to win $700)
Denny Hamlin ( 1,000)
Joey Logano ( 1,000)
Kevin Harvick ( 1,200)
Chase Elliott ( 1,200)
Kyle Busch ( 1,200)
Kyle Larson ( 1,200)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ( 1,400)
Martin Truex Jr. ( 1,400)
Jimmie Johnson ( 1,400)
Erik Jones ( 2,200)
Clint Bowyer ( 2,200)
Kurt Busch ( 2,200)
Ryan Blaney ( 2,500)
Jamie McMurray ( 2,800)
Alex Bowman ( 2,800)
William Byron ( 2,800)
A.J. Allmendinger ( 3,000)
Aric Almirola ( 3,300)
Daniel Suarez ( 3,500)
Trevor Bayne ( 4,400)
Ryan Newman ( 5,500)
Darrell Wallace Jr. ( 6,600)
Paul Menard ( 6,600)
Kasey Kahne ( 6,600)
Danica Patrick ( 7,500)
Chris Buescher ( 10,000)
David Ragan ( 10,000)
Gray Gaulding ( 10,000)
Jeffery Earnhardt ( 10,000)
Michael McDowell ( 12,500)
Brendan Gaughan ( 12,500)
D.J. Kennington ( 15.000)
Matt DiBenedetto ( 15,000)
Mark Thompson ( 15,000)
Kyle Larson has the unenviable assignment of aggravating to win the Daytona 500 from the second-to-last row on the starting grid.
The disciplinarian of the No. 42 car is activity to booty a abstinent access to the aboriginal allotment of the chase as his ambition is to assignment his way up the acreage after any incidents.
If he can use a few abstract accessory to move up the track, Larson will be able to accompany his assistant Jamie McMurray, who starts 19th, and billow added up the field.
Keep an eye on the brace of Chip Ganassi Antagonism drivers already they articulation up, as they could advance a advance against the advanced of the field.
Once they get up there, it is activity to be a affray in the chase for the absolute abstract accessory and the appropriate antagonism line.
One affair Larson has on his ancillary is the acquaintance of McMurray, who won the 2010 Daytona 500.
If Larson sticks with his assistant throughout the chase and makes some deals with added drivers forth the way, he could see himself in the top 10 during the final amplitude of the race.
However, if Larson and McMurray lose anniversary added and can’t acquisition ball accessory in the draft, it could be a asperous day for the Ganassi cars, and the disciplinarian of the No. 42 car could be ashore a the aback end of the acreage due to his poor starting position.
Alex Bowman and William Byron
Some of NASCAR’s best adolescent aptitude will arise to the top of the action at some point this season.
Hendrick Motorsports drivers Alex Bowman and William Byron are at the advanced of that charge, and they could accomplish an actual appulse on Sunday in their new rides.
Bowman accepted what his No. 88 car is able of in qualifying, as he becoming the pole for his aboriginal chase as Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s replacement.
Byron didn’t acquaintance the aforementioned success, but he has an accessory in Jimmie Johnson starting anon abaft him on the starting filigree to advice him move up the leaderboard. Byron starts 33rd with Johnson in 35th.
With some of the best technology in the action abaft them, Bowman and Byron should anatomy an absorbing aggregation of adolescent drivers alongside Chase Elliott, and Daytona could be their advancing out party.
The two Hendrick drivers aren’t the alone adolescent faces attractive to breach into achievement lane in a chase abounding of veterans still in chase of their aboriginal Daytona 500 win.
Darrell Wallace Jr. and Erik Jones should accomplish an aboriginal appulse from their corresponding starting positions in Row 4, and they could both account from the abridgement of burden on them compared to the brand of Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski, who are still attractive to add Daytona 500 best to their corresponding resumes.
With so abundant absorption actuality paid to the veterans of the sport, don’t be afraid if one or added of the adolescent accoutrements controls the acreage backward in the chase on the way to a accessible victory.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
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