Daytona 500 – NASCAR Preview 2024

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The 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season kicks off with the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 18, at Daytona International Speedway. Motorsports fans often refer to the race as the Great American Race and consider it NASCAR’s version of a Super Bowl – at least in fan excitement! As always, the field is packed with solid veterans, up-and-coming teams, and several past drivers who have won this race.

That list includes seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson, a co-owner of Legacy Motor Sports. Johnson is racing a limited number of events this season. So, do sportsbooks consider Johnson a favorite to win the 2024 Daytona 500? Not so much! Johnson is buried down the odds list at 60-1. Here are the top five favorites, which show a couple of exciting things.

  • Ryan Blaney 12-1
  • Joey Logano 12-1
  • Brad Keselowski 12-1
  • Denny Hamlin 12-1
  • Chris Buescher 12-1
  • Chase Elliott 12-1

Here are a few quick facts to point out – all of these six drivers are veterans, all six have multiple superspeedway wins, and four have won the NASCAR Cup Series Championship. The biggest name in the bunch when it comes to Daytona is Denny Hamlin, who has won the Daytona 500 three times – the most of any full-time active Cup driver. However, Ford drivers have won four of the last six races at Daytona.

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Denny Hamlin is NOT the Obvious Pick!

Here’s why I’m fading on Denny Hamlin to win outright. Yes, he has won three Daytona 500 races in his Cup Series Career, but there has been a time gap. His last Daytona 500 win came in 2020. That does not seem too long ago – but in racing terms, that’s right at eight races on the track, excluding the Daytona road course. In that time, he’s only finished in the top ten twice. But his other Daytona finishes include two crashes and several finishes outside the 15th spot. Also, Hamlin has to get the “mistake” monkey off his back. He and his team have a reputation for making huge mistakes at the wrong time during big races. Hamlin could be a great pick, but maybe as part of a parlay/podium finish or head-to-head.

Can Young Ty Gibbs Win the Daytona 500?

Yes – I’m working Ty Gibbs into my wagering plan for the Daytona 500 this year. It may be outright, a top five or ten, or even a head-to-head matchup wager. But somehow, I’m going with Ty Gibbs. Granted, Gibbs may not be the most popular driver. However, while showing signs of maturity, the young Gibbs is showing signs of overcoming his lousy image as a dirty Xfinity and ARCA Series driver. Perhaps his gut-wrenching family losses have helped him grow up. Regardless, Ty Gibbs is a talented driver in great JGR equipment, and he had a great run at the NASCAR Clash a few weeks ago. I’m looking for Ty Gibbs to show his matured talent at the 2024 Daytona 500.

Picking a Darkhourse – Chase Briscoe

According to many sportsbooks, Chase Briscoe is a long shot for the upcoming Daytona 500, but I think he’s worth looking at. Here’s why! Last year he led 67 laps at Daytona but was sidelined when caught up in a wreck. He also finished 3rd at the Daytona 500 in 2022. He has a horrible stat regarding Daytona that has to be mentioned – he’s raced there six times as a Cup Series driver and only finished the race twice. The flip side is that he’s always been caught up in other drivers’ wrecks. If he stays out of trouble, he could walk away as a Daytona 500 Champion, and the Ford camp has won four of the last six races at Daytona on the tri-oval.

Past Daytona 500 Winners

  • 2023: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  • 2022: Austin Cindric
  • 2021: Michael McDowell
  • 2020: Denny Hamlin
  • 2019: Denny Hamlin
  • 2018: Austin Dillon
  • 2017: Kurt Busch
  • 2016: Denny Hamlin
  • 2015: Joey Logano
  • 2014: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2024 Daytona 500 Race Info

  • Track: Daytona International Speedway Daytona, Florida
  • Date: Sunday, February 18; 2:30 pm ET
  • Type: 2.5-mile paved high-banked superspeedway
  • Race Distance: 200 laps / 500 miles
  • Defending winner: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – JTG Daugherty Racing
  • TV/Radio: FOX / MRN Local Affiliates / SIRIUSXM

Consider or Fade: Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. (18-1) has always run well on Superspeedways, and the same goes for William Byron (16-1), so they are both worth considering. At least adding them to a top-ten lineup. I’m fading on Chase Elliott (12-1) as I need to see a few races under his belt after a disappointing 2023 season. The same goes for Ross Chastain (28-1), who last year could not match his performance in the 2022 season.

2024 Daytona 500 Odds 

  • Ryan Blaney 12-1
  • Joey Logano 12-1
  • Brad Keselowski 12-1
  • Denny Hamlin 12-1
  • Chris Buescher 12-1
  • Chase Elliott 12-1
  • Kyle Larson 14-1
  • William Byron 16-1
  • Kyle Busch 16-1
  • Bubba Wallace 18-1
  • Christopher Bell 20-1
  • Ty Gibbs 25-1
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 25-1
  • Martin Truex Jr. 25-1
  • Erik Jones 25-1
  • Ross Chastain 28-1
  • Austin Cindric 28-1
  • Austin Dillon 28-1
  • Tyler Reddick 28-1
  • Ryan Preece 30-1
  • Alex Bowman 30-1
  • Chase Briscoe 35-1
  • Michael McDowell 40-1
  • Josh Berry 40-1
  • Daniel Suarez 40-1
  • Carson Hocevar 55-1
  • John Hunter Nemechek 55-1
  • Harrison Burton 60-1
  • Justin Haley 60-1
  • Jimmie Johnson 60-1
  • Noah Gragson 60-1
  • Corey Lajoie 65-1
  • Todd Gilliland 65-1
  • Anthony Alfredo 75-1
  • David Ragan 75-1
  • A.J. Allmendinger 75-1
  • Riley Herbst 80-1
  • Daniel Hemric 100-1
  • Zane Smith 100-1
  • Kaz Grala 100-1
  • B.J. McLeod 200-1