Daytona 500 Starting Lineup: Predictions and Odds Ahead of 2020 Duels

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2020

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 09: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #47 Kroger Chevrolet, and Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Valvoline Chevrolet, pose with the front row awards following qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 09, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Stenhouse Jr. posted the quickest lap during qualifying and will lead the field to the green flag. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Qualifying for the 2020 Daytona 500 continues on Thursday with the Bluegreen Vacations Duel races, which will set the rest of the field after Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Alex Bowman secured the top two spots.

The first duel is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET, with the second scheduled for 8:45 p.m. ET. Duel 1 will set the inside row, and Duel 2 will determine the outside row. The final two spots in the field of 40 cars for the race will also be determined.

Ahead of the duels, here are the latest race odds, courtesy of Caesars Palace:

  • Denny Hamlin, 10-1

  • Brad Keselowski, 10-1

  • Joey Logano, 10-1

  • Kyle Busch, 10-1

  • Kevin Harvick, 10-1

  • Chase Elliott, 12-1

  • Martin Truex Jr., 12-1

  • Ryan Blaney, 15-1

  • William Byron, 18-1

  • Alex Bowman, 18-1

  • Kurt Busch, 18-1

  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 30-1

   

Chris Knight of Catchfence shared the full lineups for both duels:

Charter teams are guaranteed 36 out of 40 race slots, and Justin Haley (Kaulig Racing) and Brendan Gaughan (Beard Motorsports) have already booked their spot on the grid with their pole-qualifying speed. That leaves two spots available for the group of Reed Sorenson, Daniel Suarez, Chad Finchum, Timmy Hill and J.J. Yeley.

Each race will consist of 60 laps and has no stages. Each driver must make at least one pit stop. Points are up for grabs, with 10 going to the race winners and one to the 10th-placed finisher.

Stenhouse Jr. will start the Daytona 500 from pole position and will be on the front row in Duel 1 next to Chase Elliott.

The 32-year-old joined JTG Daugherty Racing for the 2020 campaign after nearly a decade with Roush Fenway Racing. He started last year's race from fifth place, his best up until 2020, and finished in 13th place.

Denny Hamlin is the defending champion and has two total Daytona 500 titles. He'll be in Duel 1, starting from third place, next to Aric Almirola.

Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson could join an exclusive club of drivers with three or more titles with another win on Sunday:

Johnson's second win at Daytona came in 2013. He finished in ninth place last year and will be next to Bowman on the front row to start Duel 2. Kyle Bush, Kevin Harvick and Kurt Bush will also be in Duel 2.

   

Prediction: Martin Truex Jr. finished 2019 in scorching form, with nine top-10 finishes in the last 10 races. His showing in qualifying wasn't great―he'll start Duel 1 in 11th place―but the 39-year-old has all the tools to break his Daytona duck in 2020. Truex Jr. wins on Sunday.

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