NASCAR: New Daytona 500 favorite emerges after qualifying

There is new favorite to open up the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season with a Daytona 500 win after Wednesday night's qualifying session.

Kyle Busch, Richard Childress Racing, Daytona 500, NASCAR
Kyle Busch, Richard Childress Racing, Daytona 500, NASCAR / James Gilbert/GettyImages
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Team Penske's Ryan Blaney entered race week as the favorite to open up the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season with a victory in the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. But a new favorite has emerged following Wednesday night's qualifying session.

FanDuel Sportsbook, which is giving fans a $150 bonus for placing any winning $5 bet, now lists Richard Childress Racing's Kyle Busch as the favorite to win the 66th annual "Great American Race".

Busch is listed at +1000 to win the 200-lap race around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked Daytona Beach, Florida oval.

It should be noted that there is some irony in the above statement; Busch did lead last year's Daytona 500 after 200 laps, but the race went into overtime, and he ended up crashing out.

Busch has not won at Daytona International Speedway since the summer race in 2008, but he did claim his first superspeedway win since 2008 last April at Talladega Superspeedway.

Daytona 500 qualifying

Busch was eighth quickest in both the first and second round of qualifying on Wednesday night, so he is set to start the second of two 60-lap Bluegreen Vacation Duels in fourth place on Thursday night.

Blaney was 18th quickest in the opening round and is set to start the same race in ninth place. He had been listed at +900 to win the Daytona 500 heading into the week but is now listed at +1100, tied with Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin. Blaney is a two-time Daytona 500 runner-up who owns four career superspeedway wins; Hamlin is a three-time Daytona 500 winner.

Polesitter Joey Logano, also of Team Penske, is listed in a three-way tie for fourth place at +1200.

The fact that a new favorite has emerged after the single-car qualifying session is somewhat surprising, given the fact that Daytona 500 qualifying doesn't actually set the full starting lineup. Busch could start as low as 38th place if he has a poor result in his Duel. Plus, starting position generally doesn't mean a whole lot in 500-mile superspeedway races.

Next. 2024 Daytona 500 qualifying updates, full starting lineup. 2024 Daytona 500 qualifying updates, full starting lineup. dark

Fox Sports 1 is set to provide live coverage of tonight's Bluegreen Vacations Duels beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET. Fox is set to provide live coverage of Sunday's Daytona 500 beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET (subject to change due to potential inclement weather). Begin a free trial of FuboTV now and don't miss any of the upcoming action from Daytona International Speedway!

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