Early Week Driver Rankings for Daytona


The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the Xfinity Series will head back to Daytona for some Superspeedway racing under the lights. This will be the first race for the MENCS in the 550 HP engines with higher downforce aero package at Daytona. I do not expect a huge change in the racing but it could cause more drivers to lead the race. It should be fun to watch. The Coke Zero 400 can be seen Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

There will be two practices on the 4th of July for the MENCS. The first is at 2 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Net) and final practice will be at 4 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Net). Qualifying will be Saturday at 5 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Net). There will be NO Garage Talk Notes this week since practice does not mean much at Daytona and I will not be available on the 4th of July to scan the radios for information.

My early week pick for the pole is William Byron. Hendrick Motorsports has dominated the poles at Daytona for the last 4 seasons. They have won the last 5 poles at the track and it will likely be a HMS car that starts on the pole Saturday night. Byron won the pole for the Daytona 500 and he has won 3 poles this season. I am sure Chad Knaus will set the No. 24 car up to qualify well this week.

Each week I use different stats in my model to create the best rankings possible to give you an edge on the completion. This is a hard race to predict. There are drivers who have had a lot more success on the Superspeedways than others. I am using the Driver Rating, Average Finishing Position and Average Running Position in the last 8 Superspeedway races to figure out my rankings this week.


Here are the early week driver rankings for Daytona…


1. Joey Logano
2. Ryan Blaney
3. Alex Bowman
4. Ricky Stenhouse
5. Kevin Harvick
6. Aric Almirola
7. Chase Elliott
8. Denny Hamlin
9. Jimmie Johnson
10. Erik Jones
11. Martin Truex Jr.
12. Kyle Busch
13. Brad Keselowski
14. Kurt Busch
15. Clint Bowyer
16. Paul Menard
17. William Byron
18. Michael McDowell
19. Kyle Larson
20. Ryan Newman
21. Austin Dillon
22. Daniel Suarez
23. Ty Dillon
24.David Ragan
25. Brendan Gaughan
26. Matt DiBenedetto
27. Chris Buescher
28. Bubba Wallace
29. Daniel Hemric
30. Ryan Preece
31. Corey Lajoie
32. Parker Klingerman
33. Landon Cassill
34. Matt Tifft
35. Ross Chastain
36. B.J. McLeod
37. Cody Ware
38. Reed Sorenson


* I will post my final driver rankings Friday night.

**Stats from Driveraverages.com and NASCAR Media. Career stats from Racing-Reference.Info

*** Photos from NASCAR Media


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