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Daytona Road Course: Odds, picks, notes, starting lineup | NASCAR 2021

The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series race on the Daytona Road Course. Photo/Getty Images
The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series race on the Daytona Road Course. Photo/Getty Images
Jeff Owens
ANALYST
Modified 18 Feb 2021
Feature

The second NASCAR Cup Series race of the season will be on the Daytona Road Course, a stark contrast from the season-opening Daytona 500 on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway.

The Daytona Road Course event will be the first of seven points races on road courses, giving fans a look at what to expect in the other such events.

Also See: Daytona Road Course TV schedule, start time

Daytona Road Course odds

Chase Elliott 2-1

Martin Truex Jr. 4-1

Denny Hamlin 10-1

Kevin Harvick 12-1

Ryan Blaney 12-1

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Kyle Busch 12-1

Joey Logano 14-1

Brad Keselowski 14-1

AJ Allmendinger 14-1

William Byron 20-1

Alex Bowman 25-1

Kyle Larson 25-1

Kurt Busch 28-1

Also Read: Road courses bring new excitement to NASCAR

Best bets on Daytona Road Course

Chase Elliott is a 2-1 favorite for a reason. He has won four points races in a row on road courses.

Chase Elliott leads on the Daytona Road Course in 2020. Photo/Getty Images
Chase Elliott leads on the Daytona Road Course in 2020. Photo/Getty Images

Martin Truex Jr. (4-1) is NASCAR's next-best road racer with four wins, including the last two at Sonoma. He finished third in the first points race on the Daytona Road Course.

Two of the best bets in the field are Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney, both at 12-1. Busch has five career wins on road courses and won the Busch Clash on the Daytona Road Course last week. He only won it, though, when Elliott wrecked Blaney on the final lap. Blaney has a win at the Charlotte Roval and is typically a contender on road courses.

Also keep an eye on AJ Allmendinger. The former CART/IndyCar driver has six career NASCAR wins (five in the Xfinity Series) and five of them have been on road courses, including his lone Cup win. He is driving for upstart Kauling Racing, but his exceptional road-racing skills could make him a contender.

Also See: NASCAR's best road course drivers

Long shot to win on Daytona Road Course

Michael McDowell shocked the world by winning the Daytona 500, winning one bettor big money at 100-1 odds. McDowell is 80-1 on the Daytona Road Course and bettors would be wise to lay some money on those odds.

McDowell is a good road course racer. His best finish in the Cup Series in the discipline was 10th last year on the Daytona Road Course and his only Xfinity Series win came at Road America. He also has a runner-up finish at Mid-Ohio and a third-place result at Montreal. With a little pit strategy, McDowell could very well steal another one.

Picks to win on Daytona Road Course

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Ten years ago, you never bet against Jeff Gordon or Tony Stewart on road courses. The two Hall of Famers have won more road course races than anyone in NASCAR history, with nine and eight wins, respectively.

Chase Elliott has put himself in the same category. You simply don't bet against him on a road course. He has won four points races in a row on them, including last year's race on the Daytona Road Course. He was going for the win in the Busch Clash last week when he make a mistake and wrecked Blaney on the last lap, opening the door for Busch to win.

Also Read: Chase Elliott the road course favorite

Elliott, who finished second in the Daytona 500, will make it five points wins in a row on road courses.

Daytona Road Course Starting Lineup

Due to COVID restrictions, there will be no practice or qualifying on the Daytona Road Course. Instead, the field was set based on the following metrics:

  • Driver's finishing position from previous race
  • Car owner's finishing position from previous race
  • Team owner points
  • Fastest lap from previous race

Here's the starting lineup based on results from the Daytona 500:

  1. Chase Elliott No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
  2. Michael McDowell No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford
  3. Austin Dillon No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
  4. Denny Hamlin No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
  5. Kevin Harvick No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
  6. Ryan Preece No. 37 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
  7. Corey Lajoie No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
  8. Kyle Larson No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
  9. Ross Chastain No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
  10. Bubba Wallace No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota
  11. Joey Logano No. 22 Penske Racing Ford
  12. Christopher Bell No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
  13. Cole Custer No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
  14. Kyle Busch No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
  15. Brad Keselowski No. 2 Penske Racing Ford
  16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
  17. Kurt Busch No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
  18. Chase Briscoe No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
  19. Martin Truex Jr. No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
  20. Justin Haley No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
  21. Cody Ware No. 51 Petty Ware Racing Chevrolet
  22. William Byron No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
  23. Josh Bilicki No. 52 Rick Ware Racing Ford
  24. Tyler Reddick No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
  25. Garrett Smithley No. 53 Rick Ware Racing Ford
  26. Aric Almirola No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
  27. Ryan Blaney No. 12 Penske Racing Ford
  28. Scott Heckert No. 78 Live Fast Motorsports Ford
  29. Quin Houff No. 00 StarCom Racing Chevrolet
  30. Chris Buescher No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford
  31. Anthony Alfredo No. 36 Front Row Motorsports Ford
  32. Matt DiBenedetto No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford
  33. Ryan Newman No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford
  34. AJ Allmendinger No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet
  35. Daniel Suarez No. 99 TrackHouse Racing Chevrolet
  36. Alex Bowman No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
  37. Erik Jones No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet
  38. Ty Dillon No. 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota
  39. James Davison No. 15 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet
  40. Timmy Hill No. 66 MBM Motorsports Ford
Published 18 Feb 2021, 11:05 IST
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