By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The NFL season has concluded. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.
With the NFL season over, the racing season truly begins. On Sunday, NASCAR returns with the prestigious Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Drivers will be competing for the biggest prize in the sport. They’ll do battle in the 500-mile race for the Harley J. Earl Trophy that will be presented to them in Victory Lane.
Related: 2021 Daytona 500 preview
Also, the winning car will be put on display for a year at Daytona International Speedway. It’ll be apart of the Daytona 500 experience.
According to SportsBettingDime, FedEx driver Denny Hamlin is the favorite to win the race. He has previously won the event in 2016, 2019, and 2020. Hamlin is listed as the +800 favorite.
Only two drivers have won the event four times or more. These are two legendary drivers in Cale Yarborough and Richard “The King” Petty.
Yarborough has won the Daytona 500 four times as he won in 1968, 1977, 1983, and 1984. “The King” won this prestigious event seven times, as he won in 1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, and 1981.
Not only will Hamlin attempt to make history with his fourth Daytona 500, but the first race of the season will be the debut of his new venture. He partnered in the off-season with legendary NBA player Michael Jordan, who also owns the Charlotte Hornets, to form 23XI Racing with Doorstop and McDonald’s sponsored driver Bubba Wallace.
The Great American Race will feature 40 cars in the starting lineup. Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman will lead the field from the pole.
Five drivers will be making their Daytona 500 debut. Those drivers are Anthony Alfredo, Josh Bilicki, Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, and Kaz Grala.
Alfredo is the young best driver in the field.
Defending Champion and NAPA Auto Parts driver Chase Elliott will be in the 12th position to begin the race.
Former full-time driver Jamie McMurray made the field for the Daytona 500. He’ll roll-off 19th in the No. 77 Spire Motorsports entry before he’ll go back into broadcasting once the race is over.
McMurray was the 2010 Daytona 500 winner.
Speaking of broadcasting, former full-time driver Clint Bowyer will be making his NASCAR Cup Series broadcasting debut with FOX Sports. In the off-season, Bowyer retired to join Jeff Gordon and Mike Joy in the broadcast booth.
In the off-season, seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Ally driver Jimmie Johnson retired. He has turned his focus to the Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing team that he’ll drive in the NTT IndyCar Series the next two seasons.
While many big-named drivers have won this prestigious event, underdogs have also won this event. Relatively unknown Trevor Bayne won the 2011 Daytona 500 with Wood Brothers Racing.
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