We head back to Daytona for the Coke Zero Sugar 400, one of my favorite races of the year because of where it’s held and it being under the lights. There’s just something special about night races that gives it a different feel than your typical day races. After a subpar showing last week, let’s return to victory lane this weekend.
Here are five drivers to consider throwing on this week’s card.
Joey Logano, +880 - Joey Logano has quickly become the most consistent driver these couple of months with top-five finishes in six of his last 10 races. You can expect that to continue this week with Logano finishing sixth or better in six of his last nine appearances at the Daytona International Speedway. It’s odd that Logano has only one victory at this track in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, which came in the 2015 Daytona 500. Logano is probably due for another win at this iconic track and it’s tough to leave him off the card based on his current form these last several races.
Martin Truex Jr., +1980 - Martin Truex Jr. has never won a race at the Daytona International Speedway, but it’s still strange you can get these odds with somebody who has won four of the last nine races this season. And while he lacks the wins in Florida, Truex finished runner-up at this race last year and also had a runner-up finish in the 2016 Daytona 500, so it’s not a complete dud for the 39-year-old. Truex and these odds hold some serious value this weekend.
Denny Hamlin, +1100 - Denny Hamlin isn’t as successful in the second Daytona race as he is the first, but he’s become one of the most consistent drivers at this track over the years. In fact, Hamlin has finished sixth or better in seven of his last 11 appearances at the Daytona International Speedway, and that includes two Daytona 500 victories in the last four years. Hamlin needs a good performance to kind of break out of this funk he’s currently in, and this is the right track to help him accomplish that goal.
Kevin Harvick, +1100 - Kevin Harvick still has yet to win a race this year and hasn’t been good at Daytona the last few years, finishing 19th or worse in each of his last six appearances. The good news is before those issues, Harvick was a consistent top-five finisher at this track and had victories at the 2007 Daytona 500 and 2010 Coke Zero 400. Harvick also had a great deal of success in Daytona when he was a regular in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, constantly finishing in the top-five and winning the 2007 NASCAR Racing Experience 300. I wouldn’t step on Harvick this week.
Kyle Busch, +1100 - Each of the last seven times Kyle Busch has finished outside of the top-10, he’s followed it up with a top-10 performance, so you can expect him to give these odds a run for their money. Busch has either been really good at Daytona or forgettable, but he finished runner-up at this years Daytona 500 and has finished third or better in three of his last seven appearances overall at the Daytona International Speedway. Busch won the 2008 Coke Zero 400 and has three other runner-up finishes at this particular race. You have to like Busch’s chances of winning his fifth race of the year.