Top 5 Drivers to Watch:Daytona 500


My #5 driver to watch is the current Daytona 500 Champion, #3 Austin Dillion. Austin is my #9 ranked plate driver. Four of his last six starts here have been Top 10’s.  Austin has shown the skills necessary to perform on a plate track and his team Richard Childress Racing has shown that they have been good at coming up with great plate packages.

My #4 driver knows his way around a plate track, #6 Ryan Newman. Ryan has 34 starts, one win and five Top 5’s. His last three races here have all been Top 10’s.  He is #6 rated on restrictor place tracks. He ended the year last year #16 hottest, he is with a new team this year look for that to get better.   

My #3 pick is a former winner, #11 Denny Hamlin. Denny has 26 starts, a win in the 500 three years ago and seven Top 5 finishes including 3rd place last year. Denny is #8 hottest over the last six points races and is my #4 ranked plate track driver.

My #2 pick has very quietly become a very good plate track driver, #10 Aric Almirola. Aric is my #1 ranked plate driver, but those stats were complied when he drove a RPM Ford and last year he moved to Stewart Hass Racing and did not skip a beat, getting a plate win last fall at Talladega. This year he’ll back in a SHR Ford and he should just get better in the new Mustang.  Aric looked good in that car during practice I can’t wait to see him on Thursday in the duel race. He finished 11th here in the 500 last year and I think based on how well he has been doing since being at SHR he do better this year.

The #1 driver to watch was the third place driver Sunday in the Advanced Auto Parts Clash and winner of the second Dual race, #22 Joey Logano. He won the 500 in 2015 and last year finished 4th .  Joey is also #2 hottest over the last six races of the year, last year and is my #2 ranked plate driver. It also doesn’t hurt that he comes into this race and this season as the reigning Cup Champion.



Monday look for our preview of the Quik Trip 500 from Atlanta.



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