Daytona 500: What to Expect at This Year's NASCAR Cup Series

The NASCAR season kicks off on Sunday afternoon with the 62nd Daytona 500. The "Great American Race" is known for historic moments, such as Dale Earnhardt Jr. winning his first 500 in 2004, and 2020's iteration should be no exception. What can be expected during Sunday's race when the 40 drivers head to the track?

Entering Sunday's race, Denny Hamlin is viewed as a solid favorite to win the 500. He took home the victory in 2019 after edging out Kyle Busch and will be looking for consecutive wins to cement his place among the sport's all-time greats. Hamlin will start at the 21st position, so he will have considerable ground to make up. However, he is tied for the best odds (10-1) with Joey Logano, per CBS Sports.

The aforementioned Logano finished 2019's race in fourth place. He hasn't won since 2015, but he did take home the victory in Thursday's Duel qualifying race. His No. 22 Mustang GT will be expected to lead the pack by many NASCAR fans.

Considering that Busch finished second overall in 2019's race, it's expected that he will be among the favorites once again. He is currently tied with Chase Elliott for the second-best odds (13-1).

One driver that will be drawing considerable attention is Jimmie Johnson. The 19-year veteran announced that he will be retiring at the end of the 2020 season. Johnson is currently tied with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for the most titles (7) in NASCAR history, and he wants to notch his eighth before walking away from full-time racing.

The 44-year-old Johnson currently has 22-1 odds to win on Sunday, partially due to his struggles over the past two years. He ranked 14th in 2018 and 18th in 2019, which caused him to miss the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Playoffs for the first time in his career.

The ultimate victor of Sunday's race is unknown, but there are many fans hoping to see Johnson secure a historic victory. The 62nd running of the Daytona 500 takes place on Sunday, Feb. 16, at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Daytona 500 Odds, per CBS Sports:


Joey Logano 10-1
Denny Hamlin 10-1
Chase Elliott 13-1
Kyle Busch 13-1
Brad Keselowski 13-1
Kevin Harvick 13-1
Martin Truex Jr. 16-1
Ryan Blaney 16-1
Kurt Busch 18-1
Clint Bowyer 20-1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 20-1
Jimmie Johnson 22-1
William Byron 22-1
Alex Bowman 22-1
Aric Almirola 22-1
Erik Jones 22-1
Kyle Larson 25-1
Matt DiBenedetto 32-1
Austin Dillon 32-1
Christopher Bell 42-1
Ryan Newman 42-1
Cole Custer 50-1
Tyler Reddick 50-1
Paul Menard 50-1
Ross Chastain 65-1
Daniel Hemric 70-1
Darrell Wallace Jr. 70-1
Ryan Preece 70-1
Chris Buescher 75-1
John Hunter Nemechek 75-1
Michael McDowell 75-1
David Ragan 110-1
Ty Dillon 110-1
JJ Yeley 120-1
Quin Houff 120-1
B.J. Mcleod 140-1
Brendan Gaughan 140-1
Matt Tifft 140-1
Cody Ware 160-1
Garrett Smithley 160-1
Joey Gase 160-1
Parker Kligerman 160-1
Timmy Hill 160-1

Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images