Editor’s note: This week in advance of the Daytona 500, NASCAR.com will look back at some memorable race victories and detail the odds the winning driver had, and which driver in the 2019 field most correlates.
Previously: Kurt Busch
Trevor Bayne had one previous career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start entering the 2011 season. He had just turned 20 years old the day before the 2011 Daytona 500 went green.
Historic Wood Brothers Racing was stuck in a winless streak that stretched back to the 2001 season. The team had won four previous Daytona 500s, including the iconic 1976 version with driver David Pearson — and the long-standing No. 21 car had been retrofitted in 2011 to resemble Pearson’s ride.
RELATED: Full Daytona 500 odds
Something special happened on Feb. 20, 2011, though.
With Tony Stewart on his outside, and veterans Mark Martin and Kurt Busch looming, Bayne — the race leader — hammered the final restart in NASCAR Overtime and held off the entire field on the green-white-checkered finish for what many consider to be the biggest upset in Daytona 500 history.
Bayne, so green in his own right that he got lost on the drive to Victory Lane, delivered an iconic moment that makes the “Great American Race” so special. And at 80-1 odds, he joined a list of athletes — in NASCAR and beyond — to beat incredibly long odds to triumph at the sport’s highest level.
The most comparable driver in this year’s field is …
Ty Dillon, No. 13 Germain Racing Chevrolet
There isn’t an 80-1 long shot in the field this year, but there is a 100-1 bet in Ty Dillon — who also is looking for his first career Monster Energy Series win, much like Bayne in 2011.
Dillon’s best finish in three Daytona 500 starts is 28th, and he has one career top-10 finish in 90 Monster Energy Series starts.
He fits the model of a true long shot at the odds book, but he also fits the Bayne profile of someone not to overlook. Germain Racing uses ECR Engines and moved its headquarters to Welcome, North Carolina, to more closely align with Richard Childress Racing. RCR has an excellent superspeedway program, highlighted by Austin Dillon’s Daytona 500 win last year, and Ty Dillon was raised in the Richard Childress Racing style.