DAYTONA BEACH, Fla – The start of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season is upon us. Sunday, will mark the first NASCAR race of the calendar year. The 40th annual Busch Clash at Daytona (3 p.m. ET/FS1/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) will contest on Sunday afternoon as the All-Star type race will feature 18 drivers all gunning for a win.
See, Sunday’s race is checkers or wreckers for the drivers. No points are on the line and it doesn’t pay much to finish runner-up. This is all about bragging right.
Team Penske and Joe Gibbs Racing have combined to win five of the last six Clash races at the Daytona International Speedway. Will they make it six of the last seven?
Here are the five favorites.
Denny Hamlin (+800)
He’s a two time winner of this race and has led 95 laps over the last four years. In fact, he’s only eight laps led away from becoming the all-time lap leader in the Clash. Hamlin’s won twice since 2014 and was sixth in 2018. He won the Daytona 500 last year, so why not a Clash this one?
Joey Logano (+800)
He’s tied with Denny Hamlin for the favorite with good reason. Logano, is coming off of another solid season and hoping to get his No. 22 Ford back into victory lane for the first time since last June.
Logano, won this race in 2017. That was sandwiched by a pair of runner-ups in 2016 and 2018. He was also third last year to give him four consecutive top three finishes in the Clash.
If you go back to 2013, he hasn’t finished worse than sixth in this race.
Brad Keselowski (+900)
He’s among the odds on favorites according to Vegas and how do you not pick him? While Keselowski has just one Daytona Speedweeks win to his credit, it happened in this very race two years ago. The Penske driver is arguably the top superspeedway racer in the game today and always shows up with a fast car.
In 2018, Penske finished 1-2-4 in the Clash. Last year, it was 3-4.
Keselowski, has five top 10 finishes in seven Clash tries. He led eight laps in 2014, two in 2015, 26 in 2016, 18 in 2017 and 43 in 2018.
He’s the favorite for a reason.
Ryan Blaney (+1100)
Blaney has now taken part in two Busch Clashes. He’s finished fourth in each. Penske is the top team on superspeedway’s and Blaney’s No. 12 Ford will be among the ones to beat. His Penske teammates won this race the last two of the last three years, so he’s up next.
He’s a good value pick. He won the last superspeedway race last October in Talladega.
Kurt Busch (+1300)
Worth a look here. Busch, is a past winner (2011) and has three top seven finishes in his last four Clash starts including a third place run in 2018 and runner-up last year. Trends say, he will win on Sunday afternoon.
Sleeper Value Bets
Alex Bowman (+1700)
While he’s only got one Cup victory to his credit, how about an all-star victory to start 2020 off with? Bowman, was third in this race in 2017 and fifth in his second career start last year.
Erik Jones (+2000)
This is another value pick. His first ever Cup win came at Daytona in a Coke Zero Sugar 400 triumph in 2018. Jones, may have been credited with a last place finish last year after being a part of that 17 car crash on Lap 55, but he also finished eighth in this very race a in 2018 and this car won in 2015.
Austin Dillon (+2500)
A former Daytona 500 champion, was the pole sitter in this race in 2018, albeit that was by a draw. Dillon, has three top eight finishes in his last four Clash starts including a fifth place run in 2018 and sixth last year.