Chris Buescher – Daytona has been a pretty brutal track for Chris Buescher. In 3 of his 4 starts he’s finished 35th or worse. Last summer, Buescher finished 10th, that sounds good but it’s more of a “driver survivor” result because of the mass carnage. Erik Jones who spun with 3 laps to go finished 9th so that should tell you something. In the 2017 Daytona 500 he really didn’t run bad and spent some time in the top ten but was collected in a lap 128 “Big One” which marked the end of his race. In 2016 he was really bad and had results of 39th and 40th.
Brendan Gaughan – Among really deep drivers on the depth chart you want to make sure you don’t overlook Brendan Gaughan. Last year he walked away with good results in both events. In the summer he finished 7th and in the Daytona 500 he finished 11th.
Danica Patrick – In the Daytona 500, Danica Patrick will be wrapping up her NASCAR career. Lets hope she goes out on a high-note. On Sunday in the Great American Race she’ll be driving the #7 for Premium Motorsports with Tony Eury Jr. serving as her crew chief. Her car will essentially be RCR prepared. I’m hoping a “Last Race Intangible” will help her because there’s not a lot to be excited with her. Over her last six Daytona races she has a best result of 21st and a 29.3 average finish. In the last five races here shes finished 9 laps or more off the lead lap. Last summer Patrick finished 25th. In the 2017 Daytona 500 she finished 33rd.
Matt DiBenedetto – If you’re looking for a driver who’s considered “low tier”, Matt DiBenedetto isn’t a bad option. Last year he had a great season at Daytona. He finished 13th in July, and 9th in the Daytona 500. His 11.0 average finish between the combined events ranked as the 6th best. That’s pretty good value when you consider how he’s viewed. A little word of warning though is that prior to last year he was really bad here. In his first three Daytona starts his average finish was 33rd.
David Gilliland – David Gilliland is a quality restrictor plate racer. Walking away with a good finish in this race is vital for him and his team. If things really go his way I wouldn’t count him out of being able to sneak in a high-teens finish. In summer 2016 he made his most recent start and finished 19th. Over his last six Daytona races he has three results between 11th to 19th, and three results of 35th or worse.
Corey LaJoie – Like all low-tier drivers Corey LaJoie is able to sneak in a good result at plate tracks. Last summer he finished 11th. That 11th place result of his marks his best result and was his only finish better than 24th. In the 2017 Daytona 500 he finished 24th.