X

Daytona 500 2019: TV Schedule, Odds and Top NASCAR Drivers to Watch

Jake RillContributor IIIFebruary 17, 2019

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 09:  Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Discount Tire Ford, drives during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 61st Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 9, 2019 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season begins in grand fashion on Sunday afternoon, when 40 drivers will take the green flag for the 61st running of the Daytona 500.

William Byron won the Busch Pole Award and will start first, while Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman will start on the outside of the front row. Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano won the Gander RV Duels at Daytona qualifying races and will start in the second row.

After three months without NASCAR, the Daytona 500 will be the first of 36 races this season.

                         

Daytona 500 Information

Date: Sunday, Feb. 17

Time: 2:30 p.m. ET

TV: Fox

                      

Daytona 500 Odds

Brad Keselowski +800 (bet $100 to win $800)

Joey Logano +800

Kevin Harvick +850

Clint Bowyer +1,100

Ryan Blaney +1,100

Denny Hamlin +1,100

Aric Almirola +1,100

Chase Elliott +1,100

Kyle Busch +1,200

Kurt Busch +1,500

Martin Truex Jr. +1,800

Jimmie Johnson +1,800

Daniel Suarez +2,200

Erik Jones +2,500

Alex Bowman +2,500

Kyle Larson +2,800

Austin Dillon +3,000

William Byron +3,000

Jamie McMurray +3,300

Ryan Newman +3,400

Darrell Wallace Jr. +6,000

Daniel Hemric +6,000

Matt DiBenedetto +7,500

Ryan Preece +9,000

Chris Buescher +9,000

David Ragan +9,000

Ty Dillon +9,000

Michael McDowell +10,000

Matt Tifft +12,500

Cody Ware +15,000

Tanner Berryhill +20,000

Odds according to OddsShark.

                   

Drivers to Watch in Daytona 500

Joey Logano

Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Joey Logano is tied with Brad Keselowski for the best odds to win the Daytona 500, and he has a much better starting position. The reigning Cup Series champion is starting fourth after winning the second qualifying duel race on Thursday night.

Not only is Logano a former Daytona 500 winner—he won the race in 2015—but he's also coming off an impressive finish to the 2018 season. He finished in the top five in five of the last seven races, ending with his win at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the final race to secure his first career Cup Series championship.

What better way to carry that momentum over into 2019 than with another Daytona 500 win? His finishes in the Great American Race over the past seven seasons read ninth, 19th, 11th, first, sixth, sixth and fourth.

Logano knows how to end the Daytona 500 near the front of the pack, and this year may not be any different.

                     

Kyle Busch

Terry Renna/Associated Press

Kyle Busch has been one of the most successful drivers in the Cup Series for more than a decade. Although the 2015 Cup Series champion has 51 career Cup Series victories, he has never won the Daytona 500.

In 2016, Busch finished third in the Great American Race. But he finished 38th and 25th the past two years.

Perhaps this will be the year Busch finally breaks through for his first Daytona 500. But he'll have a long path to the front of the field, as he's starting his 14th Great American Race in 31st.

Busch has only two career wins in restrictor-plate races, notching victories at Daytona and Talladega in 2008. The No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota is certainly due a positive result.

                     

Jimmie Johnson

Terry Renna/Associated Press

Jimmie Johnson has already had some success during Daytona Speedweeks, as he won the Advance Auto Parts Clash on February 10. However, he's also created some controversy.

The seven-time Cup Series champion made contact with Paul Menard during the Clash, which led to a multi-car wreck as Johnson drove on to victory in the rain-shortened race. Johnson went on to spin Busch during the second duel qualifying race on Thursday night.

"I firmly believe the Clash was a racing incident," Johnson told the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "This one was a mistake on my behalf, and everyone makes mistakes."

It will be interesting to see whether either of those incidents plays on his mind during the Daytona 500. Either way, Johnson could be a contender to win the Great American Race for the third time.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.