2020 NASCAR Preview: Week 23 – Daytona Road Course

Turning right at Daytona..

Kevin Harvick took full advantage of the doubleheader at Michigan last weekend, winning the first one and then taking home another trophy 24 hours later. As a result of that and a new lineup procedure, he’s rolled that into a front row starting position for today’s race.

This is where Upstate New Yorkers would hop in their cars and head to The Glen, but a little something called COVID-19 has put an end to that this year. Southern Florida has answered the call, and lent the Cup Series a road course version of NASCAR’s most famous track.

Here’s what to look for:

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Kevin Harvick, as previously mentioned, has been hotter than a comet lately. And if you witnessed the recent Perseids Meteor Shower, there is a good chance that you saw equal to or lesser the amount of Wins this guy has locked down this year. In fact, he was the first driver since Richard Petty in 1971 to win back-to-back Cup races on back-to-back days. He’ll start 1st today, looking to finish there as well.

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Denny Hamlin has been running right behind Harvick, and sometimes in front of him. He’ll start 2nd for the Daytona Road Course, and will more than likely parlay that into a good finish, too. If you caught yesterday’s Xfinity affair, nothing is guaranteed in this race. Cars were hopping the curbs through chicanes and in some cases heading directly to the garage.

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Chase Elliott dominated the Watkins Glen race (2 Wins, 7.0 average / 4 starts), and he won the Roval race last Fall, too (3.5 average / 2 starts). Is he the sport’s new Road Course King? Eh, it is a bit too soon to determine that, but a Win today would certainly suggest so.

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-I feel good about Joey Logano at this race today. I’m not sure what it is, but could be related to another #22 Penske car going to the Winner’s Circle yesterday with Austin Cindric. There isn’t a lot of data to suggest that Logano would blow ’em away today; while he does have a Win at The Glen, his average is way the heck down there. The Charlotte Roval is his 2nd best average, however, a 10.0 with a pair of Top 10s. He starts 5th today.

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Kaz Grala — are you saying “who?” — will be filling in for Austin Dillon today (out this week with COVID). In one Xfinity start at the Roval he finished 8th, and in two starts at Daytona he has averaged 4.5. In one Truck Series start at Daytona, he won from the Pole. The Cup cars will be a little different than what he is used to (in Xfinity and Trucks), but he’ll be in a ride that has already seen Victory Lane once this season. Soon enough, you’ll know his name.

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Coverage of the race starts on NBC at 3:00pm, green flag scheduled for 3:24pm.

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