Early Daytona 500 odds are out, which means we can start talking about the 2014 Sprint Cup season instead of previewing what might happen in the 2014 Sprint Cup season.
While the numbers will change, the early predictors offer some interesting trends that might change how you think about the biggest race in motor sports.
Oddsmakers think a Hendrick team will likely win the 2014 Daytona 500. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the favorite at 8/1, in large part because he is NASCAR’s most popular driver. Jimmie Johnson is 10/1, in large part because he is NASCAR’s best driver. Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch all are 16/1 or better. That’s seven of the top 16 drivers.
Richard Childress Racing Disrespect:
Team Childress had some of the fastest cards out there during Daytona testing and a former 500 champ in Ryan Newman onboard. Oddsmakers don’t care. Austin Dillon is 20/1. Ryan Newman is 25/1 and looks like a good option to me at this point. Paul Menard is 35/1 and doesn’t look like a good option to me at this point.
There isn’t a single Ford driver better than 15/1. Seven drivers are ahead of Brad Keselowski. Granted, several Ford drivers are lumped between 15/1 and 20/1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. isn’t among them. In fact, at 40/1, he is one of the longest long shots. With Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle as free agents, the success or lack of it for Stenhouse may influence how much it takes to bring both drivers into the fold.
Here’s how your favorite driver stacks up. Enjoy the weekend, and remember Daytona is a day closer to being here.