The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season came to an end almost two months ago already, and the 2024 season is now scheduled to get underway next month.
While Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is scheduled to host the Busch Light Clash for the third straight year on Sunday, February 4, it is Daytona International Speedway which is scheduled to officially get the 36-race 2024 season underway with the 66th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 18.
DraftKings Sportsbook, which is giving fans a free $150 just for betting $5, recently released the opening odds for this year's 200-lap "Great American Race" around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked Daytona Beach, Florida oval.
Reigning Cup Series champion Ryan Blaney, a two-time Daytona 500 runner-up, is listed as the favorite. The Team Penske driver is aiming to become the first reigning series champion to win the following year's Daytona 500 since Dale Jarrett pulled it off at the turn of the century.
But not all confirmed Daytona 500 drivers are included in the odds list
Just 34 of the 38 confirmed drivers are listed at DraftKings Sportsbook, though which four drivers are omitted should not come as much of a surprise.
A.J. Allmendinger, who was recently confirmed by Kaulig Racing as the driver of the No. 16 Chevrolet for this race, is not included, and the drivers of the three confirmed non-chartered entries are also not yet listed.
Those three drivers are David Ragan, who is set to drive the No. 60 Ford for RFK Racing, Anthony Alfredo, who is set to drive the No. 62 Chevrolet for Beard Motorsports, and B.J. McLeod, who is set to drive the No. 78 Chevrolet for Live Fast Motorsports.
Allmendinger has finished the race in as high as third place while Ragan has finished in as high as fourth, so just because they aren't included yet doesn't mean they should be ignored as potential dark horse picks to win.
There are notably 39 confirmed entries for the Daytona 500 so far, not just 38. The only one without a confirmed driver is the second Rick Ware Racing entry, so obviously no driver can be listed. Whether Justin Haley drives the No. 15 Ford or the No. 51 Ford will likely determine what number the team's other entry uses.
The Money Team Racing and Legacy Motor Club are the two teams that have been most heavily linked to adding cars to the entry list, with the former likely to add the No. 50 Chevrolet (driver TBD) for the third straight year and the latter likely to add the No. 84 Toyota for Jimmie Johnson for the second year in a row.
The single-car qualifying session (Wednesday, February 14) and the Bluegreen Vacations Duels (Thursday, February 15) are set to solidify the starting lineup for the Daytona 500, which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 18. Live coverage is set to be provided by Fox starting at 2:30 p.m. ET. Begin a free trial of FuboTV and don't miss it!