Daytona 500 Starting Lineup: Unheralded Stars Who Could Shine

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIFebruary 20, 2013

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 15: Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Smithfield Ford,  during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on February 15, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The 2013 Daytona 500 will kick off this weekend, with the starting lineup to be completely determined after Thursday's Budweiser duels are complete.

You'd have to be living under a rock not to know that rookie Danica Patrick is in the pole position—the first time that a female has done so—but noted stars like Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are looking good to peg the rookie back once the race kicks off.

However, some of the lesser-known guys could also prove to be a smart pick at the 2013 Daytona 500, with several unheralded stars of the sport set to shine.

Read on to see three guys in particular who might shine at the Daytona 500.

Joey Logano

Starting inside the top 10 after a strong qualifying session, Logano has a great opportunity to post up some seriously quick numbers at the Daytona 500 and make a real push through the field.

Logano has an average finish of 9.75 in his last four races at Daytona (second-best in the sport) and has shown himself to be a top contender at this track time and time again.

He'll no doubt need some luck in the field ahead of him, but with his experience and proven success, he could well end up being a star of the afternoon.

Aric Almirola

Time to go even wider here with Aric Almirola a potential surprise star, given the very nature of restrictor plate races at the moment.

He has been rapidly improving throughout the league, with consistent top 20 finishes of late, and could make some serious movement through the field on race day.

Qualified 26th, but certainly a guy to watch in this one.

Jeff Burton

Jeff Burton qualified in 20th position and will definitely shine at the 2013 Daytona 500. The only question is just how good he'll be on the day of.

Especially on restrictor plate tracks, Burton can be very, very quick.

At Daytona alone, the veteran has one win, nine top-five finishes, 11 top-10 finishes plus a pole position. It'll be that experience that comes to the fore again here with a great day on the track. Don't be surprised to see Burton in the mix late.

Which unheralded stars do you think will shine at the 2013 Daytona 500?

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