Friday, July 3, 2015

Coke Zero 400 odds: Dale Jr. posted as the favorite for good reason

Earnhardt Jr. is 8-to-1 to win this week at Daytona.
LAS VEGAS -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. hasn't won the summer Daytona race since his magical, heavy-hearted win in 2001 a few months after his father's death. But there's been enough positive data on his restrictor plate track runs this season to force the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook to install him as the 8-to-1 favorite to win Sunday night's Coke Zero 400.

In two plate races this season, Junior has been the best. He led 32 laps in the season-opening Daytona 500 and settled for third. In May's Geico 500 at Talladega, he led a race-high 67 laps and captured his only victory of the season. This comes one season after winning the 2014 Daytona 500, which gives him three Daytona wins overall.

MORE: Dale's defining moments | Dale and Amy through the years

One of the most important facets of Junior's career at Daytona has been his ability to run at a high level throughout. While several drivers have had their moments being considered one of the best at Daytona in short time frames, he's managed to pile up the best average finish (13.06) over his 31 career starts. It hasn't mattered whether his team was rolling well or not, or whether a new aero-package was in place, Junior just gets the job done in a fashion better than most on what is one of the most volatile tracks on the circuit.

And right now, Junior is rolling with a team — Hendrick Motorsports — that has things figured out the most in plate races this season. Joey Logano won the Daytona 500, but it was three Hendrick drivers that led the most laps. Jeff Gordon led the way by leading six different times for 87 laps and Jimmie Johnson was next by leading four times for 39 laps. And then of course Earnhardt Jr. ended up winning at Talladega and Johnson finished second. Six-time Daytona winner Jeff Gordon and three-time winner Johnson come in as the co-second favorites to win at 10-1.

Read More Here....complete list of odds

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