Tony Stewart- (Filet Mignon) Stewart has been close to victory in the Daytona 500 multiple times in his career only to come up short at the end. In the past 5 years at Daytona no driver has led more laps than Stewart. In fact Stewart has led twice as many laps as his closest competitor (Kyle Busch). One element of this Daytona race that will be overshadowed and probably not even discussed is that the race will be end during hotter hours than usual with the earlier start time. This Daytona race will end under the Florida sun and not the track lights. I think this will play right into Stewart’s hands.
Denny Hamlin- (Bologna) Denny Hamlin’s usually competitive at Daytona. When is he not competitive is what your probably now asking. Well Denny Hamlin’s usual Daytona 500 race pattern is that he starts towards the front and he somehow ends in the back. If you sign up for the onpitrow.com weekly email newsletter then you’ll be able to see the same stats expanded that I’m talking about.
Average Start: 8.6
Average Mid Race: 13.1
Average Position: 17.0
Average Finish: 23.8
I think you see the trend here.
Kyle Busch- (Filet) There hasn’t been a single race at Daytona since 2007 where Kyle Busch wasn’t a factor. He arguably had the best car in both Daytona races in 2009. Daytona is a tough track where drivers need to stay on the gas and Kyle thrives in this type of race situation.
David Reutimann- (Bologna) In six career races at Daytona Reutimann’s finished inside the top 15 only once. Reutimann’s stats across the board are flat at Daytona. Reutimann starts towards the back and stays there.
Average Start- 33.3
Average Finish 25.0
Average Position 26.9
None of these numbers give me any faith in him. He sure doesn’t sound like a prime pick to me.
David Ragan- (Roast Beef) Ragan won’t enter the Daytona 500 as a pre-race favorite after the year he had in 2009, but he is a guy who should be on your radar. Daytona was his one bright spot last year and he had finishes of 6th and 13th. In six career starts at Daytona his average finish is 3rd best in the series at 13.8.
Brad Keselowski- (Bologna) If your picking him because of his win at Talladega then you’ll be greatly disappointed. The only thing that correlates between the two tracks is that they both use the same horsepower sapping restrictor plates.