The big race is nearly upon us, but there can only be one winner. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson will duke it out at the Daytona 500 on Feb 21. at 1 p.m. EST. Who can get their Sprint Cup Series off to a flying start by being victorious? HollywoodLife.com has all the answers for you.
Drivers, start your engines. That’ll be the first thing the drivers of the Daytona 500 will hear before they set off and try to complete 200 grueling laps at speeds hitting around 200 mph at the Daytona International Speedway. But who’s got a shot at winning the big race? Will Dale Earnhardt Jr., 40, win his third ever Daytona 500? Will it be Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, 40, that’s victorious? Or can Kyle Busch, 30, upset those two fan favorites?
Over 200,000 spectators are expected to attend the Daytona 500, with millions watching the coverage on the TV in one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the sporting calendar. And with an impressive roster of 40 drivers battling it out to be number one, it should be an exciting race.
Rookie Chase Elliot, 20, is leading the pack in the starting positions, with veteran Matt Kenseth closely followed in second. However, Matt will face the penalty of having to drop to the rear of the field at the start after going to a back-up car following a crash on Feb. 18.
That means it opens the race up to third-placed Dale and fourth-placed Jimmie to battle between each other, before trying to get the better of Chase from the start. But, of course, this is a marathon, not a sprint, and just because you lead from the off-set, that doesn’t mean you’re going to win in the end.
For that reason, fourth-placed Kyle, driving the Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, will quietly fancy his chances of winning the race. He delivered an impressive performance at the Can-Am Duel qualifying race, wrestling the lead from Matt in Lap 24 and holding it for all but two of the remaining laps in the 60-lap sprint.
In terms of experience, Dale has won two Daytona 500’s before. He knows how to win this race, and is perfectly poised to go close again. The same can be said for Jimmie, also a two-time winner, who negotiates this course well and loves racing here. It’ll be one of those two, with Kyle pushing them close, we think!
HollywoodLifers, who do you think will win the Daytona 500? Jimmie? Dale? Kyle? Or are we being unfair to Chase who has a fair chance? Sound off below with your predictions!