The 75th season of NASCAR begins Sunday when drivers will rev their engines and race for the crown at the 2023 Daytona 500. This is the 65th time that the Great American Race will be conducted and there are plenty of great storylines to keep our eyes on. Young drivers are hopeful to make a ginormous footprint in the sport while legends of the track will look to cement themselves in history with masterful wins. Alex Bowman won the pole position, but there will be plenty of competition for the checkered flag.
Storylines to Watch
Hamlin goes for History: Denny Hamlin is one of the greatest to ever get in the driver’s seat and he can really elevate himself to the next level of greatness with a win in Daytona. Hamlin will try to become one of only three drivers in the history of the sport to win the Daytona 500 four times. He’s won the Daytona 500 a bunch in recent memory in 2016, 2019 and 2020 and also has five other top-five finishes in the iconic race. He is the betting favorite this weekend as he should be and all eyes will be on him as the checkered flag is waved.
Defending his Title: Last year, it was a rookie who crossed the checkered line first as Austin Cindric of Team Penske certainly made an impressive debut behind the wheel. At just 24-years-old, he has a win, and 10 top-10 finishes under his belt so he will feel comfortable putting the pedal to the floor and running for a victory at Daytona.
Jimmie Johnson returns to Daytona: There are plenty of young drivers who have not had the opportunity to race against the legend Johnson. However, that will change this year as he will run a select few races this season and the 2023 Daytona 500 will be one of them. Never doubt that the seven-time champion can be in contention.
Denny Hamlin: For obvious reasons that we listed above, Hamlin will be a favorite in this race and there is no denying that other drivers should expect to see him gunning for it in the final lap.
Kyle Larson: After starting in the one spot last year, Larson ended up finishing 32nd in the race which we are sure didn’t sit well with him. He has four Top-10 finishes in the Daytona 500 but that means nothing if he doesn’t get a win under his belt.
Chase Elliott: He came close in 2021 but ended up finishing second. He has two top-10 finishes in the past two seasons at this track and seems comfortable racing here.
Ryan Blaney: Three top-four finishes in this race makes Blaney an immediate favorite and someone for us to keep our eyes on. He knows the track well and always seems comfortable there.
Put us down as fans of history. I have Denny Hamlin capturing win number four at the 2023 Daytona 500 with the fans pouring their support behind him.