It’s a big weekend for NASCAR fans, as we have the first race of the season set to go on Valentine’s Day. The Daytona 500 is always one of the most popular races on the schedule. Not only is it one of the most iconic races on the NASCAR calendar, you also have every driver looking to get the new season off to a positive start. Yes, there are a ton of races to come after this one, but a strong showing at Daytona can get serve as a morale booster for the drivers who performs well. Over the past couple of seasons, no-one has performed better in this race than Denny Hamlin, as he has now won it in back-to-back years. The question now is whether he can make it a threepeat. Let’s find out so you can get all set to make your bets against their his NASCAR odds.
Will back-to-back defending champion Denny Hamlin win the race?
The first running of the Daytona 500 came way back in 1959. In that time, no driver has ever been able to win it 3 times in a row, so Hamlin will be chasing history this coming Sunday. Hamlin has actually won 3 of the last 5, so it is perhaps no real surprise that he is in as the favorite for the Daytona 500, but can he get to the checkered flag first? History certainly says that he cannot, but it is hard to bet against a driver who has made it look easy in this race.
You would have to think that the key for Hamlin this weekend would be getting the lead as quickly as possible. He is tough to take down once he gets there, as we have seen in his previous wins. In his three victories at the Daytona 500, Hamlin has held the lead for over 200 laps. While everything seems to point towards Hamlin having a legitimate shot at winning three in a row, there are plenty of drivers who could block his way.
Drivers Who Might Beat Hamlin
On any given day, any driver can win a NASCAR race. Every driver in the field on Sunday is incredibly talented, but as good as they all may be, a little luck is also required to win a race. There is a reason why there had never been a threepeat to this point, and that is because there are so many intangibles that can affect the outcome of a race.
Hamlin is in as the favorite, and deservedly so, but let’s take a look at a couple of drivers who might prevent him from making history. First off, we need to take a look at defending champion Chase Elliott. Daytona has not been his favorite track, but a 3rd there last time out, as well as a championship, means that he has made a major breakthrough. Will that carry over into this season? Kevin Harvick is another than that need to be considered a threat. No driver won more races than he did last year, yet he still managed to come up short. This is a man with a chip on his shoulder who will be looking to make amends this season.
While Hamlin winning again would be an incredible story, I think that 3 in a row is just too much to ask.