- Denny Hamlin won the Daytona 500 for the second time in four years.
- Kyle Busch, who placed second, was not happy that Hamlin didn’t help him out.
- Chase Elliott could offer some value even after a poor finish at Daytona.
The Daytona 500 proved to be more bumper cars than racing as an epic crash altered the race.
Now that the dust has settled it’s time to discuss what we learned from the Great Race and see who is worth a bet with the latest NASCAR Championship odds now available.
2019 NASCAR Championship Odds
|Driver||2019 NASCAR Championship Odds|
|Martin Truex Jr.||+650|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||+8000|
Daytona 500 Not A Tell
Although the Daytona 500 is the Super Bowl of NASCAR, it rarely serves as a tell of who will have a good season. Taking a look back in time, only once in the last 13 seasons has the Daytona 500 winner gone on to win the NASCAR Championship. That was Jimmie Johnson in 2013. As a matter of fact, Johnson is the only driver to have done that in the last 21 years.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) February 17, 2019
Of course, this is an important race on the circuit and a race that every driver wants to win. At the same time, it’s so early in the season that it doesn’t really matter if the driver you bet didn’t finish well at Daytona.
Don’t Put Much Faith in Hamlin’s Win
Similar to the previous point, you don’t have to put a ton of stock in Hamlin’s win. Remember, there was a massive crash that wiped out a ton of drivers. Secondly, Hamlin is coming off a season where he finished 11th overall. Will he be competitive? Probably.
Denny Hamlin has finished sixth or better in six of the last 10 seasons.
Hamlin has finished sixth or better in six of the last 10 seasons. At the same time, his odds didn’t shift all that much.
Busch is Looking Strong
Busch is the chalk but he’d be one of my bets right now. There’s a lot to like about him after just one official race of action.
For starters, this is a guy who is always in it to win it. He’s finished in the top three in four of the last five seasons and the lone “miss” was a fourth-place result. He came in second at Daytona and he really felt that Hamlin screwed him. Hamlin didn’t want to help him earlier in the race but welcomed Busch’s help to secure the win late (Busch helped block Joey Logano).
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) February 18, 2019
Busch has a strong team with Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., and Erik Jones all racing for Joe Gibbs Racing. Jones actually placed third, giving JGR a sweep of the top three. With Busch motivated and on a strong team, he’s definitely worth a bet at +500 to win it all.
Keep An Eye on Chase Elliott
Elliott came into the year with momentum. He earned his first three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins last season and made the final four in the playoffs. We saw more positive signs this past weekend.
Sure felt good to be back ?
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) February 19, 2019
Sure, a 17th place is not what he wanted, but he did lead for 27 laps. And keep in mind that this is not a good track for him. If anything, its among his worst as he had a 28th place average finish before. On the plus side, he did finish seventh at The Clash and eighth at Duel #2, so it was a decent start for him.
You can see that the oddsmakers are unfazed by his 17th place result as he’s still at +700 (tied for fourth in line) to win the NASCAR Championship this season. I would take a flier on him at this point along with my bet on Busch.