The first return trip of the 2014 Sprint Cup season is a return to the pack. Even though Sprint Cup fans have an idea of who the contenders are for the 2014 Sprint Cup title, that doesn’t translate the numbers for the Coke Zero 400. The numbers suggest it’s anyone’s to win.
So Much For Respect:
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is trying to become the third driver to sweep Daytona. While the #88 is a favorite at 10/1, the #88 is still at 10/1. Even Talladega had drivers in with single digit numbers.
And while on the topic of respect, Jimmie Johnson is 12/1. There isn’t a second person named Jimmie Johnson who randomly entered the race. The #48 has one of its highest numbers of his 2014 Sprint Cup season.
Eight drivers are 12/1. None of them are Carl Edwards, who has had good runs and big fast tracks. Jamie McMurray, who won the All-Star Race at Charlotte, is also 20/1 and in need of a win to secure a Chase chance.
Keep an eye on Tony Stewart, who loves this race. Stewart’s 2014 has underwhelmed. But fans know Stewart heats up in summer. This race is still in July, and Stewart is 15/1. Oddsmakers wouldn’t place Stewart that high unless they thought he had a chance to surprise Saturday night.
Austin Dillon was on the Daytona 500 pole. He’s 50/1. His Richard Childress Racing teammates are both 30/1 and in the battle for the final Chase spots. Ryan Newman has a Daytona 500 win under his belt. Paul Menard won at Indi. Both could pay dividends Saturday night.
It’s a clumped up field that should produce plenty of fireworks. Here’s how your favorite driver stacks up for Saturday night.