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2024 Daytona 500 Preview

After a record number of people watched the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 58, it’s time for another Super Bowl, NASCAR’s version, the Daytona 500, the Great American Race. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will be the grand marshal for the race.

Joey Logano won the pole for the 500 during qualifying Wednesday night. Michael McDowell, who drives for Front Row Motorsports and won the 500 in 2021, will start second. Weather will be a factor on Sunday. According to the National Weather Service, there is a 90 percent chance of rain on Sunday. There’s a good chance that the race gets postponed to Monday. If it does get postponed to Monday, then it will be after the Xfinity Series race which got postponed to 11am on Monday. If somehow they are able to race on Sunday, then the race will be official if they get halfway. In the history of the Daytona 500 the race has been rain-shortened only four times, the last time it was rain-shortened was in 2009.

Another thing to watch for besides the weather is overtime. Five of the last six 500s have gone into overtime. Last years race was 530 miles, which is an extra 12 laps and set the record for the longest Daytona 500. Don’t be surprised if this years race goes into overtime.

Now let’s take a look at drivers to watch in the 500 on Monday.

Denny Hamlin: Hamlin is very good at superseedways and was in contention to win his qualifying race Thursday night. He is a three-time winner of the 500 and will be looking for a fourth win in the Great American Race. According to BetMGM, Hamlin is the favorite to win, although FanDuel has him as the second favorite to win.

Joey Logano: Logano is starting the race from the pole. Like Hamlin, he is good at superspeedways, and will be going for his second 500 win. Even though he wasn’t great in his qualifying race expect him to be good on Sunday and in contention for the win unless he gets in an accident.

Kyle Busch: Busch has won at Daytona before but that win came in the summer race in 2008. The only thing he hasn’t accomplished yet is winning the Daytona 500. He has led 330 laps in the 500, which is the most among drivers who haven’t won the 500. Richard Childress Racing has won the 500 with Dale Earnhardt and Austin Dillion and Busch would love to add his name to that list.

Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell: Reddick and Bell won the qualifying races Thursday night. The Toyotas were very good in the qualifying races and Reddick and Bell will be a factor in the race.

Bubba Wallace: Wallace led laps in his qualifying race. He knows how to win on superspeedways as he has won at Talledega, and has finished second in the 500. Look for Wallace to be in contention to win.

Prediction: Predicting the winner of the Daytona 500 is hard because anyone can win it. I think the winner will be a Toyota driver. Chevrolet and Ford haven’t been as good as the Toyotas. Although Hamlin will be in contention, my pick is Bubba Wallace.

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