The Daytona 500 is one of the most unpredictable races on the entire NASCAR Cup Series schedule. But thanks to our friends at Racing Insights, we know there are a few recent trends that have become (mostly) reliable.
Here are five things to expect this year, if the trends continue:
1. There will be a last-lap pass.
Historically, only 12 of the 61 Daytona 500s ended with a last-lap pass for the win. But three of those instances happened in the last four years alone, and two of the last three race winners led only the final lap.
2. There will be wrecks. Big wrecks.
That goes without saying at a place as treacherous as Daytona International Speedway, but the volume of cars involved in these incidents has been staggering recently. According to Racing Insights, in the last three Daytona 500s, 80% of all the cars entered were involved in a spin or a wreck.
3. Joey Logano will be there at the end.
Here are Logano’s finishes in the last five Daytona 500s: first (2015), sixth, sixth, fourth, fourth. His streak of five consecutive top-10 finishes in the “Great American Race” is tied for the second longest streak behind Dale Earnhardt (10). His streak of five consecutive finishes of sixth or better in the Daytona 500 is tied with Bill Elliott for the longest.
4. A Busch brother will be passed late.
Sorry to say, Kyle and Kurt. But in the last five superspeedway races, a Busch brother has been passed for the win four instances.
|DATE||TRACK||WINNER||PASSED LATE||LAPS TO GO|
|Oct. 13, 2019||Talladega||Ryan Blaney||Kyle Busch||7|
|July 7, 2019||Daytona||Justin Haley||Kurt Busch||1|
|April 28, 2019||Talladega||Chase Elliott||Joey Logano||4|
|Feb. 17, 2019||Daytona||Denny Hamlin||Kyle Busch||9|
|Oct. 14, 2018||Talladega||Aric Almirola||Kurt Busch||1|
5. Youth will be served.
There are four superspeedway races per year in the NASCAR Cup Series — two at Daytona, two at Talladega. Over eight races in the last two years, six were won by drivers younger than 30. Additionally, the last three Superspeedway winners were 25 or younger.