The 2018 NASCAR season gets started with a winner-take-all showdown featuring just 17 drivers. Those drivers consist of last season’s pole winners, past Daytona 500 pole winners, and the playoff drivers from last season. Unlike the Daytona 500, this will be a short race in which no points are involved and will have no impact on the playoff race. While many in the field use this race as an extra test session in preparation for the Daytona 500, we usually see the cream rise to the top, as they’ll be looking to start the 2018 season off in Victory Lane.
Brad Keselowski (DK: $9,500): With Dale Jr. now in retirement, the sport will be looking for the new Pied Piper of restrictor plate race tracks. Look no further than Dale Jr.’s protégé, Brad Keselowski, who has excelled at plate tracks throughout his career. While the majority of his success is at Daytona’s sister track Talladega, it is no secret Keselowski has all the skills needed to dominate on the two and a half mile track. Now, we get the best of both worlds this week, as Keselowski will start in the 17th position, giving him the most upside of any driver in the race. Even though it is a short field this week, we know how important teammates can be at Daytona, and Keselowski will have the luxury of all of his in this field. We can expect the Penske drivers to team up early and often, to test out things for not only the Daytona 500, but also to help them find victory lane on Sunday. Look for Keselowski to push forward quickly and be a threat to open his season with a win.
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