Former Daytona winner no longer a Daytona 500 favorite

Chris Buescher had been one of four NASCAR Cup Series drivers locked in a second place tie in the early Daytona 500 odds, but he is no longer included.
Chris Buescher, Brad Keselowski, RFK Racing, Daytona, NASCAR
Chris Buescher, Brad Keselowski, RFK Racing, Daytona, NASCAR / Chris Graythen/GettyImages

RFK Racing's Chris Buescher is the NASCAR Cup Series' most recent winner at Daytona International Speedway, having led a 1-2 finish for the organization over team co-owner Brad Keselowski in the 2023 regular season finale.

The win marked Buescher's third consecutive oval win at the time, and the series is set to return to the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked Daytona Beach, Florida oval for the 2024 season-opening Daytona 500.

Daytona 500 odds have been listed by DraftKings Sportsbook, which is now offering fans an instant $200 just for betting $5 on any driver (win or lose), for much of the offseason. The offseason began back when Team Penske's Ryan Blaney secured his first championship at Phoenix Raceway back in early November.

Daytona 500 odds as 2024 NASCAR season nears

Blaney is listed as the +900 favorite to win the "Great American Race", and four drivers were locked in a tie behind him at +1100. Buescher was among those drivers locked in that tie, but now he is no longer included.

Now it's just a three-way tie between Keselowski, Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin, and Hendrick Motorsports' Chase Elliott. Keselowski is the series' active leader in superspeedway wins with seven, Hamlin is a three-time Daytona 500 winner, and Elliott owns three superspeedway wins since 2019.

Buescher hasn't totally plummeted, as he is still listed with the fifth shortest odds at +1200. But any changes in value leading up to the 200-lap race are worth monitoring, especially since the Daytona 500 is such a "wild card" race. The change is particularly noteworthy considering the fact that Buescher is the most recent winner at the track and is coming off of a career year.

Listed behind Buescher in a three-way tie for sixth at +1400 are Richard Childress Racing's Kyle Busch, Hendrick Motorsports' William Byron, and Team Penske's Joey Logano. All three have won at Daytona International Speedway before, but only Logano is a former Daytona 500 winner.

Among the top eight drivers listed, only Elliott is not a former Daytona winner.

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The 66th running of the Daytona 500 is scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 18. Fox is set to provide live coverage from Daytona International Speedway beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. If you have yet to begin a free trial of FuboTV, be sure to do so before the green flag flies!