Daytona 500 Starting Lineup: Drivers in Best Position to Dominate

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2013

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 07:  Matt Kenseth, driver of the #17 Zest Ford, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #39 Aspen Dental Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 7, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The 2013 Daytona 500 is the Super Bowl of NASCAR, and the layout of the starting lineup is proving that there are some big-name drivers in position to dominate the Great American Race.

Drivers like Greg Biffle, Danica Patrick and Kevin Harvick are in a great position toward the front of the field and along the bottom line. And as long as they get a fast start at the drop of the green flag, all are in a position to succeed.

All of the following stars will be looking to capitalize on their great starting spots by finishing well or even possibly winning the Daytona 500.

Where: Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.

When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Watch: Fox

Listen: Motor Racing Network

Live Stream: RaceView

Starting Order

Pos. Driver Pos. Driver
1 Danica Patrick 2 Jeff Gordon
3 Kevin Harvick 4 Kyle Busch
5 Greg Biffle 6 Kasey Kahne
7 Juan Pablo Montoya 8 Austin Dillon
9 Jimmie Johnson 10 Clint Bowyer
11 Kurt Busch 12 Matt Kenseth
13 Tony Stewart 14 Mark Martin
15 Brad Keselowski 16 Paul Menard
17 Casey Mears 18 Jeff Burton
19 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 20 Jamie McMurray
21 Joey Logano 22 David Ragan
23 Bobby Labonte 24 Marcos Ambrose
25 David Gilliland 26 Aric Almirola
27 Joe Nemechek 28 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
29 Michael Waltrip 30 Dave Blaney
31 Scott Speed 32 Josh Wise
33 Trevor Bayne 34 Ryan Newman
35 Denny Hamlin 36 Carl Edwards
37 Martin Truex Jr. 38 Michael McDowell
39 Terry Labonte 40 Regan Smith
41 J.J. Yeley 42 David Reutimann
43 Travis Kvapil

Drivers To Watch

Greg Biffle

Greg Biffle and the No. 16 car had a great 2012 campaign, winning two races, racking up 12 top-fives and compiling an astounding 21 top-10 finishes. The veteran finished fifth in the point standings.

Now, Biffle gets to start fifth (third in line on the inside lane). But it’s who is starting around him that will be the biggest factor in his success starting Sunday’s Daytona 500.

Not only will he be trailing pole sitter Danica Patrick, but Biffle will be positioned directly behind Sprint Unlimited and Duel No. 1 winner Kevin Harvick. That’s great company starting a race as momentous as the 500.

The only issue for Biffle will be the fact that the inside lane didn’t get a good jump in the first Duel, and Patrick was at the head of the inside lane that faltered. If she doesn’t get a great start, Biffle could look to jump to the outside lane as soon as possible.

Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick and the No. 10 team have the best starting position of the day after the second-year star became the first female in NASCAR history to win the pole for any event, let alone the Great American Race.

Despite making history during speed weeks, Patrick is focused on finishing the race well and avoiding trouble, and that comes from taking advantage of starting out in front of the field on Sunday.

Patrick led the field to the green flag in the Budweiser Duel No. 1 and was instantly passed. The low line was shuffled back, but if the No. 10 team wants to avoid getting stuck in the middle of the pack, Patrick must have a better start.

There is no better starting spot than the pole, though.

Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 team will start in the No. 3 spot (second in the inside lane), directly behind the pole sitter Danica Patrick.

That’s a great omen for a driver already riding serious momentum.

After winning the Sprint Unlimited and then following it up with another victory in the first Budweiser Duel, Harvick is ready to go for the Speed Weeks sweep starting from the very first lap.

Harvick is also along the low line Sunday, but the major difference is that he will ensure Patrick has a great start like she couldn't do in the duel.

The No. 29 car will ride with the No. 10 car to the front of the field, or he will push his opponent using the draft that he mastered in the first two races in the Generation-6 cars.

The Daytona 500 is setting up for success if Harvick can stay out of trouble.


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