Daytona 500 historic odds: Austin Dillon’s 2018 victory
Editor’s note: This week in advance of the Daytona 500, NASCAR.com will look back at some memorable race victories and detail the odds the winning driver had, and which driver in the 2019 field most correlates.
Twenty years after Dale Earnhardt’s memorable 1998 Daytona victory — which we ranked first in our all-time race rankings — Austin Dillon lurked in the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet on a late restart.
With one career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win to his credit, Dillon entered the 60th running of the Daytona 500 last year with 40-1 odds to win the “Great American Race.”
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He trailed leader Aric Almirola when the white flag dropped, but got an incredible run on the outside on the final lap. When Almirola moved to block, Dillon didn’t lift, sending Almirola into the wall and pushing his No. 3 into the lead — and soon thereafter, Victory Lane.
Following the prerequisite victory slide and celebration in the Daytona infield, of course.
The most comparable driver in this year’s field is …
William Byron, No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Yes, entering Daytona Speedweeks, Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron was pegged at the same 40-1 odds as Dillon was last year. His makeup is the same, too.
Hendrick Motorsports has an unrivaled plate program, especially in qualifying — that much is evidenced by Byron winning the organization’s fifth consecutive Daytona 500 pole.
Hendrick drivers will start 1-2-3-4 in this year’s Daytona 500 (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), so the Monster Energy Series sophomore will have plenty of help around him — at least in the early going.
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