2019 Coke Zero 400 Preview, Betting Odds, and Prediction
by Kent Whitaker Scores & Statson
The second part of the season is here as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Season returns to Daytona International Speedway for the second time in 2019 for the Coke Zero 400. The season kicked off officially with Denny Hamlin winning the Daytona 500 for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). But if you go back to last season the 2018 Coke Zero 400 was won by Erik Jones who also drive for JGR.
Now it seems that oddsmakers are thinking that Kyle Busch may bring the Gibbs organization another Daytona victory as he’s one of the favored drivers to win this Saturday under the lights. But the drivers topping the list are piloting Fords. This week oddsmakers are putting two of the three team Penske drivers at the top. Here’s the favored wheelmen to win the Coke Zero 500 according to intertops.
Joey Logano +700
Brad Keselowski +700
Denny Hamlin +1000
Kyle Busch +1100
Chase Elliott +1100
Kevin Harvick +1100
Logano and Keselowski are the two-up front at +700 with several other Fords being in the top-ten. Denny Hamlin +1000 jumps in front of Kyle Busch who is at +1100 this week. Busch, and his No. 18 Toyota have four wins on the season but have also shown signs of being inconsistent over the last several weeks.
The interesting thing about the above favorites is that Chase Elliott has started to enter the conversation as a possible race winner in his Chevrolet. Fords and Toyota have dominated the favorites list the entire season.
Past Daytona Speedway Winners
The favored drivers are a combination of Toyota and Ford with a Chevrolet tossed in as the Bow Tie brand has shown promise over the last several weeks. Going back to 2014 the winning manufacture has been somewhat even. Ford has the most wins with five, Toyota has three and Chevrolet comes in with two. The last Chevrolet win came in 2018 when Austin Dillon won the 2018 Daytona 500. Here’s the breakdown for Dayton for both the Spring and Fall races over ten events and five years.
2014 Aric Almirola Ford
2015 Joey Logano Ford
2015 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Chevrolet
2016 Denny Hamlin Toyota
2016 Brad Keselowski Ford
2017 Kurt Busch Ford
2017 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Ford
2018 Austin Dillon Chevrolet
2018 Erik Jones Toyota
2019 Denny Hamlin Toyota
2019 Coke Zero 400 Prediction
Kyle Busch was one of the drivers to suffer damage when tires started exploding during the Chicago rain delayed race was run late under the lights last weekend. Kevin Harvick was another one of those drivers. That may be one of the factors that pushed Team Penske drivers to the top this week. But, it’s hard to push Busch and the No. 18 out of the way when considering picks. He’s still at the top of the list for many people but he and his team will have to be error free at a track that’s not one of his favorites.
Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones can both bring JGR another Daytona win as both have won at the Speedway. However, the two teams have not been able to bring consistent results every week. Hamlin has become known as a driver and team that seem to shoot themselves in their own foot when things are going well. If both drivers can avoid pass-through penalties, they may have a chance.
Chase Elliott is one of the highest-ranking Chevrolet drivers this week, but the reason may be the fact that his teammate, Alex Bowman, brought the No. 88 car back to victory lane last weekend. It was one of the best runs for the 88 since Dale Jr piloted it. Now, the longtime backup and simulator driver for Hendrick Motorsports is behind the wheel full-time. He has improved over the course of the season as has Jimmie Johnson who is also a Hendrick driver.
Ford may be the brand to beat this weekend at Daytona but don’t be surprised of Hendrick and his stable of improving machines goes back-to-back with 2019 wins.