The third restrictor plate race of the season (and second race at Daytona) is this weekend with Saturday night’s Coke Zero Sugar 400. The races at the big superspeedways always have the potential to turn into wreckfests, and this weekend is no exception; this race is probably the final chance for some drivers to make the Playoffs this year, and desperate people do desperate things. In other words, drive aggressively. As usual, Daytona offers Fantasy NASCAR players the opportunity to pick guys that they don’t normally consider, so don’t be afraid to go with some “outside the box” picks on Saturday night…and don’t forget to make your picks, either!
Rain cancelled the scheduled Happy Hour practice here on Saturday so that means that we have one lone practice session to examine. To be honest, though, practice doesn’t mean much at a track like Daytona, but if you want to see the speeds, you can do so here: Practice #1. Our in-depth notes for that session can be helpful, though, and you can read those here: Practice #1. Chase Elliott is on the pole for this year’s second race at Daytona, and the full starting lineup for Saturday night’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 can be found by clicking here.
Final Top 25 Rankings for Daytona 2
1. Joey Logano – Starts 11th – DraftKings Price: $10,700 – FanDuel Price: $11,800
Logano is poised for another good finish here at Daytona on Saturday night. Ever since their win in the 2015 Daytona 500, this has been a great track for the #22 team, as they have finished 5th or better in five of the last seven races here (including a 4th-place finish in this year’s Great American Race). As far as the two restrictor plate races of 2018 go, Logano leads the series with a 2.5 average finish (thanks to his win at Talladega) and ranks 2nd in average running position (9th). Joey has four career wins on restrictor plate tracks in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and although he hasn’t finished inside the top 5 since the Kansas race back in May, there’s a really good chance that changes this weekend.
2. Denny Hamlin – Starts 17th – DraftKings Price: $10,300 – FanDuel Price: $11,500
Denny Hamlin is an elite restrictor plate racer that finally broke through with a win in the 2016 Daytona 500. After that, the #11 Toyota finished 17th, 17th, and 24th here at Daytona, but Hamlin got “back on the horse” in this year’s Great American Race with a 3rd-place finish after leading 22 laps. Then at Talladega, he started 4th, had an average running position of 12th, and ended up finishing 14th. As mentioned before, Denny went through a little rough patch here at Daytona after his win, but he still has six finishes of 6th or better in the last nine races at this track. He’s definitely got a good shot at finishing up front on Saturday night, too.
3. Clint Bowyer – Starts 9th – DraftKings Price: $8,300 – FanDuel Price: $10,400
Clint Bowyer is arguably the best plate racer in the series. He’s had more success over at Talladega, but his average finish of 15.8 at Daytona is 2nd-best in the Cup garage among active drivers with more than two starts, and he finishes inside the top 10 about half the time here. One thing missing, though? A win. The good news for Clint Bowyer fans is that he finished 2nd in this race one year ago and has ended up inside the top 10 in each of the last five July races at this track. This year, Clint is well on his way to the best season of his career, and he is definitely considered a contender heading into Saturday night’s Coke Zero Sugar 400. And with two wins in the bag already, don’t be surprised if this #14 team tries to gamble for a third victory this weekend, either.