NASCAR: Top 5 Daytona 500 favorites heading into race week

Super Bowl Sunday is here, which means the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 is just one week away.
Daytona 500, NASCAR
Daytona 500, NASCAR / Sean Gardner/GettyImages

It's Super Bowl Sunday, which also means that the start of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season is just one week away.

Single-car qualifying for the 66th annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway is scheduled to take place on Wednesday evening, followed by the Bluegreen Vacations Duels on Thursday night to set the full starting lineup for the 200-lap race around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked Daytona Beach, Florida oval.

The "Great American Race" itself is scheduled to take place on Sunday afternoon, weather permitting.

Daytona 500: Top 5 favorites

FanDuel Sportsbook, which is offering fans a $200 bonus if you place a winning $5 bet, lists Team Penske's Ryan Blaney as the +900 favorite to win the Daytona 500.

Blaney is one of the sport's most successful superspeedway drivers, having earned four of his 10 wins at such tracks, including one at Daytona. But he has yet to win the Daytona 500, with two runner-up finishes (2017 and 2020) being his best results in the season opener.

A Daytona 500 win would make Blaney the first reigning series champion to win the race since Dale Jarrett won it in 2000.

Rounding out the top five are Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin (+1100), RFK Racing's Brad Keselowski (+1200), Hendrick Motorsports' Chase Elliott (+1200), and RFK Racing's Chris Buescher (+1200).

Hamlin is a three-time Daytona 500 winner who owns five career superspeedway wins. Keselowski leads all active drivers with seven superspeedway victories, though he has never won the Daytona 500. Elliott has three superspeedway wins to his name, all since 2019. Buescher is the reigning winner at Daytona, having won the race there in August.

Reigning Daytona 500 winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. of JTG Daugherty Racing is listed at +2200, tied for 14th shortest odds.

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Tune in to Fox at 2:30 p.m. ET next Sunday, February 18 for the live broadcast of the 66th annual Daytona 500 from Daytona International Speedway. If you have not yet started a free trial of FuboTV, take advantage of their current offer and do so now!