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Dale Earnhardt Jr., $20: Earnhardt Jr. is the best restrictor-plate racer in NASCAR, his car was fastest in final practice and teammate Chase Elliott says Earnhardt is more locked in than he’s ever seen. Oh, and the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet is starting on the Coors Light Pole. Yes, picking the driver starting P1 is a risk at big tracks due to potential negative value in place differential, but expect Earnhardt to lead some laps early and run up front all evening.
Denny Hamlin, $26.75: This is less about speed this weekend and more about racing at Daytona. Hamlin didn’t have a super fast car in qualifying and will start 18th, but that’s OK — he’s around a bunch of Toyotas that can work together and charge toward the front. This is more about plate prowess, of which Hamlin has plenty. His previous seven starts at Daytona have yielded an average finish of 5.5, which includes four top-five finishes and that famous 2016 victory in the Daytona 500.
Austin Dillon, $21: Dillon is a good price point with his 19th-place starting position. He loves big tracks, and Richard Childress Racing has a stout superspeedway program. Dillon has finished seventh or better in all three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series summer races at Daytona in which he’s run.