Wawa 250 Powered by Coca-Cola Daytona Predictions, Odds & Picks
- Conventional wisdom says any driver in the field can win a superspeedway event.
- This is one race Ford drivers Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe probably won’t win.
- If you’re looking at past records at superspeedways, Kaulig Racing tops your list.
Wawa 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona Odds
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Wawa Predictions and Picks
The last time the NASCAR Xfinity Series visited a superspeedway, we called Justin Haley’s number, and he got the victory. Why get off the horse when you’re riding a winner? Haley has a knack for being in the right place at the finish of these races, and he’ll be there again on Friday night.
If you like to back long shots, Brandon Brown at +8000 is worth considering. He’s battling for a playoff berth and has more talent than his betting line would suggest.
Justin Haley +800
How to Watch Wawa 250 Xfinity Race
|Wawa 250 Information|
|What||Wawa 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race|
|Where||Daytona International Speedway|
|When||Friday, August 28, 7:30 p.m. EST|
|How to Watch||NBCSN|
For the third time this season, the NASCAR Xfinity Series visits a superspeedway, where the style of racing is markedly different from what fans see at any other type of track. In superspeedway racing, the aerodynamic draft is all-important, and cars race in large packs, often mere inches apart.
Friday night’s Wawa 250 at Daytona International Speedway will be contested over 100 laps (250 miles) at the 2.5-mile superspeedway, with stage breaks scheduled at 30 and 60 laps. Ross Chastain is the defending winner of the event. Noah Gragson won this year’s season opener at Daytona.
It’s Anybody’s Ballgame at Daytona, As the Oddsmakers Know Well
What’s the most obvious indication that Friday’s Xfinity Series race at Daytona is wide open? First and foremost, the handicappers can’t pick a favorite. When the odds opened on the Wawa 250, Justin Allgaier, Ross Chastain, Austin Cindric, and Chase Briscoe all were installed as co-favorites at +700.
It’s common knowledge that races on what was once called “plate tracks” (when restrictor plates were bolted to the carburetors to reduce horsepower) open the events to a much wider array of potential winners. Why? Because limited horsepower keeps the cars closer together in an aerodynamic pack, and faster cars can’t pull away from slower ones, thanks to the draft.
Today, the restrictor plates have been replaced by tapered spacers, but the effect is the same. With the cars bunched together, it’s more important to avoid the big wrecks than to have the fastest car. That’s why drivers like Jeremy Clements, Myatt Snider, and Alex Labbe, for example, have a much better chance to snatch a playoff spot with a win at Daytona than in any of the other three remaining regular-season races.
Don’t Expect Friday’s Race to Be a Tale of Two Ford Drivers
For most of the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, Ford drivers Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric have dominated the headlines. Briscoe won five of the first 13 races. Cindric won five of the next six. Briscoe reasserted his superiority last Sunday at Dover, but he’s unlikely to add to his win column at Daytona.
Neither Briscoe nor Cindric has ever won a superspeedway race. Briscoe’s best finish at Daytona was fifth in this year’s season opener. Cindric came home fourth and fifth in last year’s two Daytona races but crashed out of the 2020 race in February and was credited with 25th.
The bottom line is that favorites aren’t immune from the inevitable multicar wrecks that thin the fields in superspeedway races, but certain drivers seem to have a gift for avoiding calamity in the draft and getting to the front when it counts. Thus far—despite the talents that have carried them to a combined 11 victories in 21 races—Briscoe and Cindric haven’t been there. They’re the only two Ford drivers, and, as such, won’t find much help from other drafting partners.
The superspeedway races at Daytona and Talladega are always the races I wish we had more than two Fords in the field, Briscoe says. It definitely makes it hard when we need to make moves and don’t always have that guy to go with us.
Kaulig Racing Drivers Have a History of Success at the Big Tracks
Between them, Kaulig Racing drivers Ross Chastain and Justin Haley have won two of the last three superspeedway races—Chastain in last year’s summer race at Daytona and Haley in this season’s June race at Talladega.
When Chastain won at Daytona last year, Haley was second, and part-time teammate AJ Allmendinger claimed the third spot on the podium before his car was disqualified for a ride-height violation. When Haley won at Talladega, Chastain was second and Allmendinger was seventh.
Clearly, the Chevrolet-driving Kaulig boys have figured out how to work together and to protect each other in the most intense form of racing imaginable. That’s exactly what we expect them to do on Friday. And by the way, Chevy drivers have won the last six Xfinity races at Daytona.
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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.