Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron ended a streak of five consecutive sub-14th place finishes to win at Watkins Glen, with pole-sitter Denny Hamlin finishing second and Christopher Bell, A.J. Allmendinger, and Ty Gibbs completing the top five.
With road courses firmly in the rearview, the NASCAR Cup Series focuses on the impending playoffs and racing under the lights at Daytona International Raceway, where a Chevrolet or Ford has won 13 of the last fifteen Summer races.
Daytona is the last chance for Drivers’ to make the playoffs, putting a premium on every point bubble drivers can collect. Bangthebook looks at the favorites likely to challenge for the race win, giving you our picks to win and finish in the top five in our Coke Zero Sugar 400 betting preview, using odds exclusively provided by BetOnline.
Two Teammate Tandems of Ford Contenders
Two Ford teams have drivers who’ve either previously won this race or should challenge for the win at Daytona.
RFK Racing’s Brad Keselowski (+1000) won at Daytona in 2016, won stage one, and led the most laps before finishing 22nd at the NASCAR season-opening race in Daytona. Keselowski has nine top-ten finishes this season and could challenge for his first win in 2023.
Keselowski’s RFK teammate Chris Buescher (+1600) finished fourth at the Spring Daytona race and has two race wins and three top-five finishes in the past four races, including back-to-back wins. Buescher should be at the front and in the mix to win on Saturday night.
Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney (+1200) and reigning Champion Joey Logano (+1200) finished ninth and tenth at Watkins Glen, with Blaney winning the Summer Daytona race in 2021.
Logano finished second, while Blaney finished eighth in the season-opening race. In his last seven races at Daytona, Blaney has three top-five and five top-ten finishes, while Logano only has one top-ten finish and an average finishing position of 17.6.
Team Hendrick Motorsports’ Three-Headed Hydra
Herickick Motorsports’ three-headed NASCAR hydra – Chase Elliott (+1200), Kyle Larson (+2000), and William Byron (+2200) – are always among the betting favorites and in contention to win any race, with Byron having won at Daytona in 2020.
Daytona is Elliott’s last chance to win his way into the playoffs, and he will have to do it at Daytona, where he has two top-five and four top-ten finishes, with an average finishing position of 15.1 since February 2022.
However, the Hendrick Motorsports’ hydra may struggle at Daytona, with Larson posting the best finish of the three in the season-opening race. Often overlooked fourth-man Alex Bowman (+2500) finished fifth and was Hendrick’s best finisher in the season opener.
Will a Toyota Break Through?
A Toyota has not won the Summer Daytona race since Erik Jones’ (+2500) win in 2018. After all, it’s Joe Gibbs Racing’s tremendous trio occupying three of the top-four positions in the Drivers’ Championship.
Joe Gibbs Racing
Martin Truex Jr. (+2600) is looking to capture the Regular Season championship and will have to do it at a track he’s lacked success, finishing outside the top-ten to start the season, having two top-ten finishes in the last seven races at Daytona.
Christopher Bell (+2500) finished third in the season opener – his only top-ten finish in the last seven races at Daytona – and is coming off his sixth top-five finish of the season.
However, the oddsmakers’ favorite to win is Denny Hamlin (+1000), who captured pole position and finished second at Watkins Glen and has one race win and three top-five finishes in the last seven races at Daytona.
Neither 23XI Racing Driver had a great season-opening race, with Tyler Reddick (+2200) finishing 39th and Bubba Wallace (+1800) finishing 20th. With Daytona being a weak track for Toyota in general and 23XI more specifically, we’re not favoring either 23XI driver to end Toyota’s winning drought at Daytona.
BangtheBook’s NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400 Betting Pick
BangtheBook is taking RFK Racing’s Chris Buescher to win at Daytona.