Skip to content

Life’s a Beach: Daytona 500 Preview

Great American Race Kicks Off NASCAR 75th Anniversary Season

Drop the Flag and Let’s Go

With the preseason spectacle of the Clash at the Coliseum behind us, the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series regular season is set to begin on Feb. 19 at NASCAR’s traditional season opener, the Daytona 500, also known as the Great American Race.

We won’t be looking at NASCAR odds for the Daytona 500. Instead, we offer a Daytona 500 primer to bridge the gap between Super Bowl week and Speedweek. Let’s dig in the sand and get a head start thinking about how we will be betting online next weekend.

Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Get Bioethanol Chevrolet
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Get Bioethanol Chevrolet | Chris graythen/getty images/afp

Let’s check the latest NASCAR news, stats, injury reports, and NASCAR lines for Daytona 500. We’ve got plenty of NASCAR picks for you to consider.

Is a Chevrolet the Favorite?

Martin Truex Jr. (+2500) in the number 19 Joe Gibbs-Toyota ride won the 2023 Clash at the Coliseum and put in the fastest practice lap, edging out Bubba Wallace in the No. 23 ride for 23XI racing-Toyota by 0.01 seconds.

However, Chevrolet machinery occupied four of the top six spots and nine of the top 12 spots in qualifying. Truex took the checkered flag in the Clash itself, followed by four Chevrolet rides: two from Richard Childress Racing and two from Hendrick Motorsports.

The Chevrolet machinery has proved to be formidable in the hands of Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing, who collectively will field five cars with the potential to win the Daytona 500. They include Hendrick’s Kyle Larson (+1200) and Chase Elliott (+1200), and Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon (+2500) and Kyle Busch (+1400).

Trackhouse Racing-Chevrolet’s Ross Chastain (+1600) is another Chevrolet-powered outfit that could be a sleeper pick to emerge with the win out of the guaranteed chaos at Daytona.

What about Team Penske-Ford?

Team Penske-Ford was riding high with the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano (+1200) returning to the ride alongside Ryan Blaney (+1100), a preseason futures favorite to win the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Championship. Blaney was among the betting favorites for the Clash at the Coliseum and also will be at the Daytona 500.

However, the Clash didn’t go as well as hoped for Team Penske-Ford, with Blaney starting 15th and Logano 17th. Logano and Blaney finished a disappointing 16th and 17th, respectively. While it was only the preseason, Logano won last year’s Clash and built a successful Cup Series-winning campaign from that victory.

Team Penske-Ford will want a better weekend at Daytona and look for better results when the NASCAR season opens at Daytona.

Pay Attention to the Duels at Daytona

If you plan to do any Daytona 500 online sports betting, we highly recommend paying attention to the Duels at the Daytona International Speedway during Speedweek.

These duels and qualifying will give you insight into which drivers are on top of their game while maybe giving you a few drivers to fade.

If you are going to make the most informed pick possible, you need more than reviewing the odds and picking with your heart to win. Watching the performances of the drivers throughout the entire Speedweek gives you a better understanding of their current performance levels. It could present a sleeper pick or two to be upon – identifying a driver whose performance level is rising throughout the week and could peak during the Daytona 500.