1) Joey Logano (Starting – 7th)
Daytona Fantasy Spin – Joey Logano should be on your short list of favorites at Daytona. He’s a strong restrictor plate performer who ranks as one of the best on this track type. In 3 of the last 10 plate races he’s raced his way to victory lane. In recent Daytona races Logano has been extremely good, and on Saturday night I have no doubt he’ll be a factor again. Look for Joey Logano to compete for a top five and be a contender to win.
Daytona Track History – Joey Logano has been very strong in recent Daytona races. In 5 of the last 6 he’s finished in the top 6. This February he was very strong. He won the Clash and ran well in the Daytona 500. When the checkered flag waved in the “Great American Race” he finished 6th, earned the 6th best driver rating and led 16 laps. In 2016 he swept the top ten at Daytona. Last summer Penske cars were great under the Florida heat. Keselowski raced his way to victory lane and Logano earned the 2nd best driver rating and finished 4th. In the 2016 Daytona 500 Logano finished 6th and earned the 7th best driver rating. In summer 2015 he was caught up in an early wreck that led to a 22nd place finish. In the 2015 Daytona 500 he raced his way to victory lane, earned the best driver rating, had a 5th place average running position and led 31 laps.
Yahoo A Driver / DraftKings $10,000
2) Kevin Harvick (Starting – 5th)
Daytona Fantasy Spin – Kevin Harvick is an elite restrictor plate racer who’ll be one of the drivers to beat at Daytona. He’s a past winner who’s run very well in recent races. In this year’s Daytona 500 I thought he subjectively had the best car and that’s reflected in our PROS Rankings. On Saturday night look for Harvick to compete for a top five and be a factor to win. One attribute I like about him is his momentum. He’s fresh off a win and over the last six races his 6.2 average finish ranks as the best.
Daytona Track History – Kevin Harvick is a strong performer at Daytona. He’s won here twice and has finished in the top fourteen 63% percent of the time. In this year’s Daytona 500 he had a great car that was arguably the best, when you look at his 22nd place finish you would never know it. In the race he led the most laps (50), won stage #2 and earned the 5th best driver rating. Shortly into the final segment of the race began he was collected in a “Big One.” Last summer at Daytona he was caught up in an accident and finished 39th. In the three Daytona races prior to that he finished in the top 4. In the 2016 “Great American Race” he finished 4th and earned the 5th best driver rating. Denny Hamlin owes his victory largely to him. In 2015 Harvick had results of 2nd and 4th.
Yahoo A Driver / DraftKings $9,500
Further Recomedned Reading – Starting Lineup, Practice Notes/Practice Speeds Center, DraftKings Start Page, Yahoo Start Page, PROS Rankings, PROS Rankings Extended Edition, Asterisk Mark Report, Scouting Report
3) Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Starting – 1st)
Daytona Fantasy Spin – On Saturday night Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be making his final Daytona start. Prepare to hear about that 500 times in the broadcast. You have to think that has some sort of positive intangible for him this weekend, he’s already starting on the pole so there’s something already. When it comes to restrictor plate racing Earnhardt Jr. is one of the best in the business. He knows how to get to the front and stay there. On Saturday night I would look for Earnhardt to challenge for a top five finish, and wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a factor to win.
Daytona Track History – Daytona is a great track for Dale Earnhardt Jr. He’s a four-time winner who’s finished in the top five 37% percent of the time, and in the top ten 54% percent of the time. In this year’s Daytona 500 Earnhardt Jr. had a great car but finished 37th after getting involved in a “Big One” while leading when Kyle Busch had a flat tire. In 2016 he had a brutal year. Last July he didn’t have a great race and was collected in a wreck that led to a 21st place finish. In the 2016 Daytona 500 he also wrecked. In that race he led 15 laps and had top ten potential until he wrecked with 30 laps to go while running around 10th which led to his 36th place finish. In 2015 nobody was better than him. In July 2015 he finished 1st, earned the best driver rating and led 96 laps. In the 2015 Daytona 500 he arguably had the best car but he made a poor lane selection late. When the checkered flag waved he finished 3rd, earned the 2nd best driver rating, had a 4th place average running position and led 32 laps.
Yahoo A Driver / DraftKings $10,300