Best Value Longshots for the Daytona 500
We are only four days from NASCAR’s crown jewel, the Daytona 500 and everyone will be in for some excitement starting tonight when the 43 drivers trying to make the 40- car field will race in the Bluegreen Vacations Duels tonight. But looking forward to the 500, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. really stood out, but taking the pole last Sunday, and could easily be a darkhorse on Sunday. Yet there are plenty of other bold picks and value longshots to keep an eye on. Let’s take a look at which could truely win the Daytona 500.
Erik Jones +2200
Jones is a proven winner at Daytona. He is in search of victory in NASCAR’s biggest event, and after what he was able to accomplish in last Sunday’s Busch Clash, there is no reason to count him out. Jones took the victory with a heavily damaged car, and that could easily happen again this Sunday. Daytona is notorious for big wrecks. Jones’ first cup series win came at Daytona in the July race back in 2018. His strong third-place finish in last season’s Daytona 500, giving him the confidence to outlast 39 other drivers on Sunday. He might be the fourth-best Joe Gibbs Racing driver, and his teammates stand a better chance for the 2020 Championship, but Jones has proven he can win at the big tracks.
William Byron +2500
William Byron is still only 22-years old but he has quickly become a skilled cup series driver. His five poles last season really stand out including starting first in the 2019 Daytona 500. In his two previous 500 starts Byron has finished 23rd and 21st respectively, which doesn’t stand out as valuable. However, he has proved to be a strong superspeedway racer, including a runner-up finish in the July Daytona race last season. He also won an Xfinity Series race at Daytona back in 2017. He is in search of his first cup series win, and if not on Sunday, he will have a shot to reach it at some point this season.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr +2800
Stenhouse Jr. started off in his new ride this season in a big way by winning the pole for Sunday’s Daytona 500. His numbers may not stand out at Daytona, or more often then not he seemed to cause a big wreck in recent visits. Ricky is a proven winner at Superspeedway races, as his two career Cup wins came at Daytona and Talladega. His 47 car looked like the class of the field in Sunday’s qualifying. He has a career-best finish of 7th in the Daytona 500, back in 2014. He will definitely be a driver to watch on Sunday.
Ryan Newman +3300
Of these four value longshots, Ryan Newman is the only one who has felt what is like to host the Harley J. Earl Trophy. Newman won the Daytona 500, 12 years ago back in 2008, in what was the 50th annual running of the event. He has had a wild ride since then with three different top-level organizations, but he has put Roush-Fenway Racing back in play in the cup series with his NASCAR Playoffs birth in 2019. Newman has finished inside the top 10 in four of the last five races at Daytona. He might not get the win, but he will definitely make it hard to pass if he has the lead late in the race.