We’ve got to talk about it. Can a winless drought end on Sunday for the Daytona 500? These races are ultimate wildcards as Daytona has produced some new winners lately. You had Austin Dillon, Kurt Busch, Erik Jones, Justin Haley and William Byron all as first time superspeedway winners lately.
Chris Buescher (159 races)
Last win: Pocono 8/1/2016
Stats: He has five top 10 finishes in his last seven Daytona starts. He was third in last year’s Daytona 500 and ninth in the ‘400. Plus, Stenhouse Jr. was great in this car at Daytona before him. Watch out.
Ryan Newman (139 races, 136 attempts)
Last win: Phoenix 3/19/2017
Stats: A former Daytona 500 winner (2008) nearly won last year’s race before a frightening accident on the last lap. Newman, has five top 10 finishes in his last seven Daytona starts.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (127 races)
Last win: Daytona 7/1/2017
Stats: He won the pole for last year’s race but didn’t even finish in the top 10. He was 20th in the ‘500 and 32nd in the ‘400. He has led at least one lap in all but one start at Daytona since 2017 though including a win in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 (2017). That’s his last top 10 at DIS too, so tread lightly with him as well.
Aric Almirola (76 races)
Last win: Talladega 10/14/18
Stats: Definitely the strongest of the sleepers. He should have won this race in 2018 and is always good on superspeedways. He has two career Cup wins. Both were on superspeedways.
Michael McDowell (0-for-357)
He finished fifth in last year’s Daytona 500 as well as fifth in last year’s Talladega playoff race too.
Matt DiBenedetto (0-for-212)
He’s not been great at Daytona before but he’s not been bad either. DiBenedetto led the most laps in the 2019 race and has three top 10’s despite not very good equipment before last year either.
Ty Dillon (0-for-162)
He’s a big sleeper on superspeedway’s. Dillon, was sixth and fourth respectively at Daytona in 2019. He was 17th and 10th at Talladega. I
Corey LaJoie (0-for-129)
He was eighth in last February’s Daytona 500. He was 11th in the spring race at Talladega last year and seventh in the Fall race in 2019 too.
Bubba Wallace (0-for-112)
He nearly won the Daytona 500 a few years ago. He’s with a new team with better equipment. This is something to watch.