DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — To carry the Daytona 500, drivers and their groups must earn as end to a ideal efficiency as imaginable — and even then, it doesn’t repeatedly figure out. Upright quiz Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch or Martin Truex Jr.
The NASCAR Cup Series’ season opener and biggest urge of the year is additionally one in all the most unpredictable and tense to grasp, largely because of the chaos and multi-car (and occasionally grisly) wrecks which might well perhaps most likely be practically a given right via the 200 laps on Daytona World Speedway’s 2.5-mile oval. Moreover having skills, a hasty car and a convincing pit crew, drivers additionally need a little bit little bit of fine fortune to lead definite of turning into collateral injure in wild crashes where they’re merely in the spoiled blueprint at the spoiled time.
Luck can additionally come with trip. But despite every having more than a decade of Cup trip, Keselowski, Busch and Truex are three of NASCAR’s most productive drivers, and they’ve by no diagram taken the most coveted checkered flag on the schedule.
So sooner than Sunday’s 2021 season opener, here’s a breakdown of the stats behind three high outdated drivers who have by no diagram won the Daytona 500.
Daytona 500 begins: 11
Preferrred Daytona 500 discontinue: 3rd, 2014
Odds to grasp 2021 Daytona 500: 14-1
Total Daytona begins: 23
Preferrred total Daytona discontinue: 1st, 2016 Coke Zero 400
Of the three drivers on this list, Keselowski lacking a Daytona 500 grasp from his resume is particularly monstrous. He, together together with his Penske teammates, most frequently drive to Victory Lane in superspeedway races, and he’s racked up five wins at Talladega Superspeedway. And even supposing Keselowski does have a grasp on Daytona’s 2.5-mile note, it used to be in the Coke Zero 400, now not the Daytona 500.
In most modern years, then again, Keselowski has had anguish persisting heading in the correct direction except the discontinue of Daytona races to compete for a checkered flag. The 2012 Cup Series champ hasn’t done six of the final eight events on Daytona’s oval going succor to the open of the 2017 season, nonetheless he came in 10th in the most most modern one, the Coke Zero Sugar 400, in August. His life like Daytona discontinue is 23.2, and he finishes in the high-10 21.7 p.c of the time.
Given his prior success on NASCAR’s longest tracks, it feels cherish he’s certain to grasp a Daytona 500 one in all these years.
Daytona 500 begins: 15
Preferrred Daytona 500 discontinue: 2nd, 2019
Odds to grasp 2021 Daytona 500: 16-1
Total Daytona begins: 31
Preferrred total Daytona discontinue: 1st, 2008 Coke Zero 400
Busch hasn’t had success on superspeedway tracks cherish Keselowski, nonetheless he’s won loads in other areas. His 57 profession wins have him ranked No. 10 on the all-time wins list, nonetheless merely two of those checkered flags have been at Daytona or Talladega. Each in 2008, he won the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega sooner than a success the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona later in the season.
Although the two-time Cup Series champ didn’t discontinue either of the two Daytona oval races in 2020, his most productive Daytona 500 discontinue used to be in 2019 when he came in 2nd to teammate Denny Hamlin. At Daytona, Busch is amongst the high-5 finishers 25.8 p.c of his begins and amongst the high-10 in 29.0 p.c of them — by some distance, the highest marks amongst these three drivers in every category. But since 2017, he’s most productive done inside of the high-10 as soon as.
In the 2020 Daytona 500, Busch used to be out entrance boring in the urge when an engine grunt forced him to name it quits sooner than the closing laps. The stats show masks he has the ability to purchase a convincing discontinue, nonetheless making it to the discontinue might well perhaps even be the tricky segment.
Daytona 500 begins: 16
Preferrred Daytona 500 discontinue: 2nd, 2016
Odds to grasp 2021 Daytona 500: 20-1
Total Daytona begins: 31
Preferrred total Daytona discontinue: 2nd, 2016 Daytona 500 and 2018 Coke Zero Sugar 400
It’s no secret that Truex’s most productive tracks don’t include the superspeedways. If truth be told, as NASCAR these days popular, the 2017 Cup Series champ has the most Daytona and Talladega begins (63 combined) with out a single premier sequence checkered flag at either note amongst energetic drivers. With three high-5 finishes at Daytona and two high-5s at Talladega, he’s come end a handful of times and extremely end as soon as.
In the 2016 Daytona 500, Truex lost to now-teammate Denny Hamlin by merely 0.010 seconds — the closest Daytona 500 discontinue in NASCAR history. Upright brutal.
Of Truex’s 31 Daytona begins, his life like discontinue is 21.9, and he’s most productive cracking the high-10 16.1 p.c of the time. In his 15-year Cup profession, he hasn’t led a ton of laps at Daytona, and he finishes a range of races on the oval. But he’s merely now not most frequently advance the entrance for the checkered flag.