Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300 at Daytona Predictions, Picks

  • Officially full-time, Ty Gibbs is certain to challenge for the Xfinity championship.
  • AJ Allmendinger hopes to take the next step—to a title—with Kaulig Racing.
  • Daniel Hemric begins his Xfinity Series title defense with a new team.

In a division replete with shakeups among drivers, teams and crew chiefs, the NASCAR Xfinity Series opens its season on Saturday with the Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. 300 at Daytona International Speedway.

The race will be contested over 120 laps (300 miles), with stage breaks after 30 and 60 laps. Austin Cindric won last year’s event, but he has moved into a full-time NASCAR Cup Series ride with Team Penske and will not defend his victory.

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Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300 at Daytona

In a division replete with shakeups among drivers, teams and crew chiefs, the NASCAR Xfinity Series opens its season on Saturday with the Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. 300 at Daytona International Speedway.

The race will be contested over 120 laps (300 miles), with stage breaks after 30 and 60 laps. Austin Cindric won last year’s event, but he has moved into a full-time NASCAR Cup Series ride with Team Penske and will not defend his victory.

Now That He’s a Full-Time Driver, Ty Gibbs Is a Legit Title Contender

Last year, Ty Gibbs was a threat to win every race he entered. This year, he’s a serious threat to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series title.

Speedweek at Daytona International Speedway brought the long-awaited news that Gibbs will drive the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota full-time for the team owned by his grandfather, who won three Super Bowls as coach of the Washington, D.C., NFL football team.

At age 18, Gibbs won his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut on the Daytona Road Course last year and went on to score four victories and nine top-five finishes in 18 starts as a part-timer.

You can look for those numbers to increase this season, given that he’s driving arguably the best equipment in the garage.

Superspeedway racing is unpredictable, but we like Gibbs as third choice to win the season opener at +1000 via DraftKings. He topped the speed chart in Friday’s practice, and even though this will be his first race on the Daytona oval, we think he’s the best bet on the board.

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AJ Allmendinger Hopes to Take the Next Step—to a Championship

The 2021 season was AJ Allmendinger’s most successful in NASCAR racing. He won five NASCAR Xfinity Series races another in the Cup Series in a part-time role.

Allmendinger won the regular-season title and advanced through the Playoff to the Championship 4 race at Phoenix. But a disappointing finish there left him fourth in the final standings.

Opting to stay in the Xfinity Series as Kaulig Racing mounts a full-time Cup effort with Justin Haley this year, Allmendinger should contend for the championship that eluded him in 2021.

And there’s no doubt he’ll be a factor at Daytona. In four superspeedway races last season, Allmendinger posted three top fives, with a best result of second in the August race at the Birthplace of Speed.

Nevertheless, we don’t want to risk our money on the Dinger, who is favored to win Saturday’s race (+850 via DraftKings). Ty Gibbs has at least an equal chance to win and offers a better return.

Daniel Hemric Begins His Xfinity Championship Defense with a New Team

Driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, Daniel Hemric won the season finale at Phoenix Raceway to secure the NASCAR Xfinity Series title.

For the 2022 campaign, Hemric has moved to Kaulig Racing as a teammate to AJ Allmendinger and Landon Cassill.

The Kaulig group is a proven commodity on superspeedways, but don’t expect Hemric (+900 via DraftKings) to win two races in a row. The Phoenix event was Hemric’s first and only victory in any of NASCAR’s top three touring series.

Lightning won’t strike twice—at least not this soon.

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How to Watch Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. 300

Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. 300 Information
Race Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race
Location Daytona International Speedway
Time Saturday, February 19, 5 p.m. ET
How to Watch FOX

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Reid Spencer

Expert on NASCAR

Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]