The 2019 NASCAR season kicks into gear Sunday with the Daytona 500.
Drivers start their season with the biggest race on their schedule, which is unusual for the typical professional athlete.
There is usually a build up leading to the pinnacle game, not for these guys. They start their season sprinting, hoping to win the race they always dreamed about winning when they were young.
As teams get their cars ready for Sunday, February 17, 2019, they came in the week before to see what kind of shape their cars are in. Making any needed adjustments while also trying to win the pole for the 2019 Daytona 500.
Even though winning the pole doesn’t lead to victory lane on Sunday, the qualifying is an important time to figure out what is wrong with their car and how to gain any speed possible before the actual race.
2019 Daytona 500 Qualifying
It was an eventful day the Sunday before the biggest race on the NASCAR schedule. The fact that it was qualifying day for the 2019 Daytona 500 should have made the day important enough. What ended up happening once the day concluded certainly sets up an even more intriguing 2019 Daytona 500 on February 17, 2019.
Let’s get into what exactly happened the Sunday before the 2019 Daytona 500 because records were broken.
The Daytona 500 front row has already been set with William Byron on the pole and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman right next to him. The two drivers will break the record for youngest combined age for drivers on front row.
21-year-old William Byron won the pole and 25-year-old Alex Bowman qualified second. Both Hendricks Motorsports drivers. Alex Bowman is no stranger to front row for the “Great American Race” as he won the pole for the 2018 Daytona 500.
Unfortunately for the last 18 pole sitters it hasn’t led to a win. The last pole sitter to take the checkered flag was Dale Jarrett back in 2000.
Hendricks Motorsports had quite the qualifying day. Capturing the top 4 fastest times on the day.
Now that there are some odds out for who will win the 2019 Daytona 500 let’s look at who the betting favorites are. As well as some of the drivers that present value with their betting line.
Betting Odds for the 2019 Daytona 500
Always remember to shop your lines, but these odds were provided by MyBookie.ag. Mybookie.ag is a trusted site of ours and can provide the latest odds up until race day.
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||+1500|
|Martin Truex Jr||+1800|
|Field (Any Other)||+1200|
Odds from MyBookie.ag as of 2/15/19
I thought the initial qualifying the Sunday before the actual race was very telling.
It’s Hendrick Motorsports that stood out for me. With Hendrick Motorsports drivers grabbing all 4 of the top qualifying spots, as well as winning the pole for the actual race.
The pole sitter, William Byron, is the fifth driver from Hendrick Motorsports to win the pole the last five years. Making Hendricks the top team when it comes to having their cars prepared and ready to race a week out from the actual race.
Unfortunately, for Hendrick Motorsports, it hasn’t led to as many victories as I am sure the team would like to have especially with how well their cars have ran at the Daytona International Speedway. The last victory coming in 2014, when Dale Earnhardt Jr. earned the checkered flag at that year’s race.
With the struggles that Hendrick Motorsports had in 2018 they came into this season with a focus on having more than one driver win a race. It was clearly shown on Sunday by getting the top four fastest times during qualifying.
The Daytona 500 is not a single-car race. It will take a team to push the winner to victory lane and Hendrick Motorsports is showing that they quite possibly could be the team to make that happen this year.
Before getting into some predictions I like to point out that taking factors such as track history and recent results into account is important before making a bet on any driver. Experience is a very underrated statistic but one that I feel always needs to be accounted for.
Now that I have gone over some specifics that I look at before making a bet on a car to win a race let’s get into some of the drivers that caught my eyes when I was looking at the odds to win the 2019 Daytona 500.
For the 2019 Daytona 500 there are a few drivers that are catching my eye. With the big underdog lines, we understand that when trying to pick the winner of a NASCAR race it is smarter to spread the money out on more then one driver to win the race.
That being said let’s take a closer look at multiple drivers I am eyeing to make a value bet on come Sunday.
My first pick is the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion, Joey Logano himself. At the time of this article Joey Logano was a co-favorite with Brad Keslowski at +800 odds to win the race.
When deciding between the two for me I felt that Brad Keselowski falls short of the checkered flag too many times. He has failed to finish his last four races at the Daytona International Speedway. So, in my opinion I will take the driver that is coming off a very successful 2018 Racing season. Joey Logano at +800 is a good enough value for me to make a small wager but Joey isn’t the only driver that deserves some attention. As well as not being my pick to win the 2019 Daytona 500.
A popular name this year seems to be Ryan Blaney. He drives the No. 12 for Team Penske. He is currently sitting at +1200.
Blaney’s recent success at the Daytona International Speedway has the so-called experts drooling at the chance to pick him to win this race. With his 7th place finish last season and multiple top 10 finishes on the same track no wonder Ryan Blaney is a name that peaks multiple interests.
Next, I am going to back one of the Hendrick Motorsports drivers that was able to finish fourth in the first qualifying race. That driver was Chase Elliott.
Driving the No. 9 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, Chase Elliott is the son of former Winston Cup champion Bill Elliott. So, he has the pedigree it takes to win a race of this magnitude.
Chase also has had success at the Daytona International Speedway. He has won the pole in two previous qualifiers in 2016 and 2017. He also finished 6th at the 2018 Daytona 500 so for being as young as he is and already shows the type of success it takes to win the race, I feel safe putting a value bet on Chase Elliott at +1200.
It is only a matter of time before Chase has the type of year that proves he is deserving of being the most popular driver on the racing circuit in 2019.
Along the lines of drivers having something to prove and having the car to do it, keep an eye on Ricky Stenhouse Jr at +1500, Bubba Wallace at +4000, and Paul Menard at +3500.
Even though there may be more value in those prices, I am going to stick with my Chase Elliott pick at a price of +1200. Maybe after winning the award for most popular driver in 2018 Chase can take the next step forward and capture the 2019 Daytona 500 checkered flag.
Pick: Chase Elliott +1200
On Sunday, February 17th, 2019, 170,000 plus fans are going to head to Daytona Beach to take in the biggest event of the year for NASCAR fans.
When the race is nicknamed the “Super Bowl” of racing that alone describes the magnitude of how drivers and fans together feel about this race. It is the one that is circled on all their calendars in the hopes that their car will capture the checkered flag and forever be etched into racing history.
That is why Daytona holds such a special place in the hearts of drivers and fans alike. Just how Rucker Park is the Mecca of Basketball, or Madison Square Garden for Boxing, Daytona Beach is the where the history of racing all begins.
From the days of drivers racing on the actual beaches, stories have been told to the next generations about the importance of such a place in the history of racing.
For the new generation of young drivers that scatter the NASCAR landscape in 2019 there are plenty out there that are trying to win the race that they have always dreamt about. To make it to the victory lane that they have always wanted to be in.
It is time for one of the young guns to take the next big step towards racing immortality. I am going to take my chances with Chase Elliott being able to take what his father taught him and make a name for himself.
Any of the other names that I have mentioned through this article are worth your consideration though. When it comes to making a bet on a race like the Daytona 500 you must be able to put some money on multiple drivers hoping to get the winner right.
All it takes is one good lap and a driver can change the course of their career. 2018’s Daytona 500 winner Austin Dillon is the perfect example of this as he only led the last lap of the 2018 race and finished victorious. So not zeroing in on one driver is important to winning on race day.
All you can do is look at track history and recent race finishes and come up with a group of drivers that have the talent and car it takes to win a race like the Daytona 500.
GL come Daytona Sunday.