Who trends think wins Saturday’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 (7 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN) and who I think differs. Trends say the winner will come from the grouping of:
- Cole Custer
- BJ McLeod
- Noah Gragson
- Todd Gilliland
- Harrison Burton
I just find a hard time picking one of these 5. Trends also say it won’t be neither of the Team Penske duo of Ryan Blaney or Austin Cindric.
Just 5 drivers have ever won back-to-back Coke Zero Sugar 400’s. Also, only 5 drivers have ever swept the 2 Cup Series Daytona races as well.
0 of the last 10 Daytona races were won by a series champion. That eliminates Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano, Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson.
The last 12 Coke Zero Sugar 400 winners are all different names.
So I’m sort of sticking to the trends in the fact that I don’t think Blaney, Cindric, Keselowski, Harvick, Busch, Truex Jr., Logano, Elliott, Larson, Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Erik Jones, William Byron, Justin Haley or David Ragan wins.
So who wins?
- Bubba Wallace – Just needs to finish 1 spot higher than he did here last year or in February at that.
- Erik Jones – Led across the finish line on the white flag at Talladega but was shuffled back to 6th over the next 2.6-miles. He was 4th in Atlanta. Trends say 2nd on Saturday night.
- Ross Chastain – A sleeper here this weekend. 5 of the last 6 winners of the ‘400 all finished 20th or worse in the season opening Daytona 500 and he was last in 40th. Chastain won Talladega and finished 2nd in both Atlanta races this year too.
- Chris Buescher – He’s had a strong car here in the past and even won a Duel this past February.
- Michael McDowell – Will be close but only 2 of the Coke Zero Sugar 400 winners since 2011 have won a Daytona 500 before.