2011 Daytona 500 Predictions

daytona 500 picks predictions 2011 kurt busch

(The Spread) - The 2011 Sprint Cup season kicks off Sunday afternoon with the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 from Daytona International Speedway.

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The 2011 running of the Daytona 500 will be the first on the new track, which was resurfaced in the off-season. If the Bud shoot-out taught us anything about what to expect, we’re in for a great race and possibly even a shocking upset. The track is running fast, has better grip and with all the new changes it should come down to the last lap. Who will be in the best position to win?

This is always a race we look forward to betting since the favorites have no real advantage because luck plays such a huge part in who wins. But after watching the shoot-out and practices on Wednesday, we are going to take a more conservative approach and just enjoy the race and watch how it plays out. The best bets this weekend could be matchups, but those won't be out until after qualifying.

Kurt Busch 15/1

Kurt Busch finally got his first win in a restrictor place race and though it wasn't a points race, it was something we have predicted for a long time. Busch has been the king of consistency at Daytona and Talladega in recent years, with six top 10 finishes in his last nine starts at Daytona. If he can stay out of trouble, we think he can come right back and pick up a win at a nice price.

Clint Bowyer 15/1

Anyone who watched last week’s race saw how good the cars from Richard Childress looked and the one we liked the most was Clint Bowyer. He seems to be able to race out front or push someone else, which his teammates weren't able to do. While Kevin Harvick receives most of the press, we think Clint Bowyer is just as good of plate racer and getting double the odds makes for good value. While his stats are better at Talladega than Daytona, that’s mostly due to luck. But after watching him last week we think he has what it takes to win here.

Juan Montoya 25/1

We picked Montoya last year to pull the upset at Talladega, which he nearly did at about this price. If he can stay away from wrecks, he could finally get his first non-road course win. One thing Montoya has going for him is a RCR engine and now that he has figured out how to race on these plate tracks, we like him to upset the field at a very nice price.

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