Daytona 500 2013: Starting Lineup, Odds and Predictions

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IFebruary 22, 2013

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 21:  Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Duel 2 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jerry Markland/Getty Images

The front rows of the Daytona 500 are packed with star power. This is one of many factors pointing toward an exciting beginning to the 2013 race year. 

With Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch taking the checkered flags in Thursday's Budweiser Duels, the extended qualifying process employed for the Great American Race has concluded. 

With the grid set and nothing standing between us and Sunday's race, let's take a look at some of the vitals and then some favorites.

Where: Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.

When: Sunday, Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. ET

Watch: Fox

2013 Daytona 500 Starting Grid

Information via Jeff Gluck of USA Today.

Row 1: Danica Patrick, Jeff Gordon 
Row 2: Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch
Row 3: Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne
Row 4: Juan Pablo Montoya, Austin Dillon 
Row 5: Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer
Row 6: Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth 
Row 7: Tony Stewart, Mark Martin 
Row 8: Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard 
Row 9: Casey Mears, Jeff Burton 
Row 10: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jamie McMurray
Row 11: Joey Logano, David Ragan 
Row 12: Bobby Labonte, Marcos Ambrose 
Row 13: David Gilliland, Aric Almirola 
Row 14: Joe Nemechek, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 
Row 15: Michael Waltrip, Dave Blaney
Row 16: Scott Speed, Josh Wise 
Row 17: Trevor Bayne, Ryan Newman
Row 18: Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards 
Row 19: Martin Truex Jr., Michael McDowell
Row 20: Terry Labonte, Regan Smith
Row 21: J.J. Yeley, David Reutimann 
Row 22: Travis Kvapil

Betting Odds

*Odds according to on Feb. 21

Here are the odds on the 11 favorites.

Kyle Busch, plus-650

Kevin Harvick, plus-900

Dale Earnhardt Jr., plus-1000

Brad Keselowski, plus-1200

Matt Kenseth, plus-1200

Clint Bowyer, plus-1200

Jeff Gordon, plus-1200

Tony Stewart, plus-1200

Denny Hamlin, plus-1300

Kasey Kahne, plus-1500

Jimmie Johnson, plus-1500

Drivers to Watch

Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick was impressive snagging the pole in qualifying run, and all eyes will be on her as this race gets under way.

However, she is far from a favorite. Danica's inexperience could be her downfall. With the Generation 6 cars, this race is going to be run in packs with drivers having a hard time controlling their cars in draft settings.

While I expect Patrick, who is entering her first full-time season in the Sprint series, to run a good race, it is too much to expect her to win.

Jeff Gordon

Jeff Gordon is not going to mind the return of pack racing. After all, he ruled the sport when pack racing was more prevalent.

Gordon obviously has a fast car; he is going to be comfortable with the conditions and track, and he is my clear favorite to take the checkered flag.

Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick

The winners of the two Duels cannot be overlooked.

Busch and Harvick are arguably the two most aggressive drivers out there. Do their wins mean that the Daytona 500 is going to favor the bold? It certainly seems that way.

If that is indeed the case, look for both Harvick and Busch to be in contention in the end...if they don't get caught up in, or cause, a wreck during the race.


Jeff Gordon will take the checkered flag after an exciting race with at least two wrecks that take multiple cars. Definitely be on the lookout for a major wreck.

I like Busch and Harvick to have a turn leading this race, and one of them will be pushing Gordon at the end. However, I don't see either of these drivers making it to the finish line this Sunday.


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