Sunday, February 21, 2016

Daytona 500 betting value lies with Hamlin, not Earnhardt Jr.

Denny Hamlin expected to be running up front.
Joe Gibbs won three Super Bowl titles in the NFL and has won four NASCAR Sprint Cup championships, but his team hasn't won a Daytona 500 in 23 years, and his manufacturer, Toyota, never has won the race. But based on recent history in plate races and action during Daytona speedweeks, Gibbs might have his best chance to end the drought today.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is favored, but as a group, the five Gibbs' Toyotas appear to have an edge. Not only have they shown great speed on the 2.5-mile high-banked layout individually, but they also look to be the major force in the draft.

Gibbs driver Denny Hamlin never has won a points-paying race at Daytona, but he did win the Sprint Unlimited on Saturday for the third time in his career. He's averaged a 3.75 finish in his past four Daytona starts, and not much has changed with the restrictor-plate package other than a 10-horsepower boost from a slightly larger hole in the plates.

Perhaps the only reason Hamlin didn't win one of the Cam-Am Duels qualifying races Thursday was because he didn't have any teammates in the first race, won by Earnhardt Jr. In the second race, a Gibbs driver — reigning Cup champion Kyle Busch — won, and teammate Carl Edwards was fourth. The other Gibbs' star, two-time Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth, will start from the front row.

Read More here......LVRJ

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