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Daytona 500 Odds

doc's sports | Christopher G. Shepard ( Tue 10th, February 2009 )

Mark Martin will start his 25th Daytona 500 from the front row with a new number

a new team, and a very fast car next to the unlikely pole-sitter Martin Truex Jr.

Sports investment powerhouse Sportsbook.com has posted odds on the Great American Race and has set Jeff Gordon, No. 24, Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88, and Kyle Busch, No. 18 as the 6/1 favorites for the 51st running of the Daytona 500 this Sunday at 3:40 p.m. as NASCAR starts their engines for the 2009 Sprint Cup season.

Martin, the newly-minted Hendrick Motorsports 'Dream Team' member, takes over the No. 5 car from Casey Mears and fits HMS like the fourth horseman of apocalypse. The 'Old Man' joins the three-time defending Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson; Dale Earnhardt, Jr.; and Jeff Gordon, four-time series champion, all of whom are poised to make The Chase this year.

Meanwhile, pole-sitter Truex, Jr., in the No.1 Chevrolet, knocked Martin off the pole on Sunday for the second pole of his career. He is now working for EGR, the merged teams of Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Chip Ganassi Racing.

At the Daytona 500 these drivers have the only two guaranteed positions on the grid. We'll have to wait until after the Duel and qualifying rounds later this week to figure out who is in, who is out and in what order on the grid they'll fit. Currently there are 17 drivers fighting for four positions on the Daytona grid in the go-or-go-home category.

The twin Gatorade 150 Duels on Thursday night will be the final arbiter of who we'll see on Sunday. As of now Prism Motorsports Terry Labonte earned a spot as past champion along with the top three drivers outside of the Top 35 in owner points earned locked-in spots for the 2009 Daytona 500.

Who has the best value for Daytona 500 odds?

The defending Champion of the Daytona 500 is SHRs Ryan Newman, who paid off handsomely at 40/1 and he didn't win another race for the rest of the season. Alternately, Johnson had the Coors Light pole last year and finished the race in 27th place.

Gamblers interested in backing Truex Jr. should note that in the 51 years they have raced at Daytona the pole sitter has won only nine times. The last driver to accomplish this feat was Dale Jarrett in 2000; other winners include Jeff Gordon in 1999, Bill Elliott in 1987, 1985, Buddy Baker in 1980, Cale Yarborough in 1984 and 1968, Richard Petty in 1966 and Fireball Roberts in 1962. It's not likely this will happen again this year no matter how fast Truex Jr. was at qualifying.

Fans of Bud Shootout winner Kevin Harvick (15/1), No. 29, should know that in the past 30 years the winner of the Shootout has only gone on to win The Great American Race five times.

After watching the 2009 Bud Shootout I could see there were some very fast cars out there. Despite the handling issues that were also apparent with the Car of Tomorrow, my motor sports investment this week has to go to the restrictor plate king and master of working the draft, Jeff Gordon. Yes sports fans, he's baaaack.

Pick! Jeff Gordon, No.24, Jr. 6/1

2009 Daytona 500 Odds for Top 3 Finish

Sportsbook.com has a variety of matchups on the 2009 Daytona 500 as well as a fun proposition where you can invest in the driver you believe will finish the Daytona 500 in the top three spots. This is a great alternative strategy to win market wagers and head-to-head matchups. You can even get decent odds on your favorite driver.

LVSC has installed fan favorite Earnhardt Jr. at 2/1, Edwards and Denny Hamlin are set at 18/5, Kyle Busch is 9/5, Johnson and Jeff Gordon are 12/5, and Bud Shootout winner Kevin Harvick is 6/1. You can back Daytona 500 pole-sitter, Truex Jr. at 9/1 and his front row companion, Mark Martin at 11/2. All these drivers are viable top three candidates. However, I am going to start my NASCAR investment portfolio with a one-unit play to start off one of the longest seasons (not including tennis) in professional sports.

Things smell a lot better for Tony Stewart since he left Joe Gibbs Racing and the comfort of the Home Depot-sponsored No. 20 car. These are indeed days of thunder for Stewart-Haas Racing and the owner-driver of the spanking-new No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet.

Hopefully, with a new team, a new number and a new car (he's out of the Toyota and back in a Chevrolet), Smoke has ditched the bad luck that dogged him all of last year and now can get back to winning races. It has been almost two years since Stewart won three times in the same year at Daytona. Granted, two of those wins were the Bud Shootout and the Gatorade 150, but he still won. Stewart has 20 races under his belt at Daytona and has notched two wins and six top-fives. However, I really liked what I saw the other night at the Bud Shootout where Stewart drafted well and his car looked fast as he avoided a lot of wrecks and finished the evening third on a green-white-checker finish that was frozen due to a multicar wreck on the white flag lap.

Pick! Tony Stewart, No. 14, (9/2)

2009 Daytona 500 Odds to Win*
Daytona International Speedway - Feb. 15, 2009

Aric Almirola 100/1
Bobby Labonte 100/1
Brian Vickers 40/1
Carl Edwards 12/1
Casey Mears 50/1
Clint Bowyer 30/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 6/1
David Gilliland 50/1
David Ragan 30/1
David Reutimann 50/1
David Stremme 75/1
Denny Hamlin 12/1
Elliott Sadler 75/1
Greg Biffle 28/1
Jamie McMurray 25/1
Jeff Burton 25/1
Jeff Gordon 6/1
Jimmie Johnson 7/1
Joey Logano 40/1
Juan Pablo Montoya 40/1
Kasey Kahne 40/1
Kevin Harvick 15/1
Kurt Busch 12/1
Kyle Busch 6/1
Mark Martin 15/1
Martin Truex Jr. 33/1
Matt Kenseth 20/1
Michael Waltrip 60/1
Reed Sorenson 100/1
Ryan Newman 25/1
Scott Speed 100/1
Tony Stewart 9/1
Travis Kvapil 100/1
Field (Any Other Driver) 15/1

doc's sports

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