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The Biggest Upset Candidates for This Weekend at Daytona

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Joshua Lipowski

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After six months of competition, the NASCAR Cup Series has finally reached the week of the Regular Season finale. The Daytona International Speedway is a place where surprise winners can turn the Playoff grid upside down. Which drivers can pull off the upset at Daytona?

Aric Almirola

Not only is he a former winner at Daytona, but Almirola was one of the top contenders in the Daytona 500 earlier this year. He won his duel race and led 16 laps in the season-opening event before getting caught up in a late crash. Almirola and Stewart-Haas Racing are likely walking into Daytona with more confidence than they have at any race all season, and that means they are going to be dangerous.

Austin Dillon

Last season, the perfect set of circumstances came together for Austin Dillon to win at Daytona and find a way into the Playoffs. Now, that happening again is almost impossible, but he is a former Daytona 500 winner. Dillon knows how to win at Daytona, and he is going to have a chip on his shoulder after the difficult season he has had so far.

Todd Gilliland

Front Row Motorsports is in a unique position with Michael McDowell already in the Playoffs, and it allows them to turn their focus solely to getting Gilliland into the Playoffs. Gilliland is also a solid superspeedway racer with two career top-10 finishes at Talladega. He may be the darkest of dark horses, but he has some things working in his favor.

Corey LaJoie

All of Corey LaJoie’s career top-10 finishes have come on superspeedway-type race tracks, and three of those came at Daytona. Every time NASCAR comes to a track like Daytona, LaJoie knows that this is an opportunity to win. He is a driver with nothing to lose, and that is a dangerous driver at Daytona.

Justin Haley

Justin Haley’s first win came under rather unique circumstances at Daytona, but, following that, he has had some good runs there. He finished sixth in the Coke Zero 400 at the track in 2021 with Spire Motorsports, and he led eight laps in last season’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. He can run up front at Daytona, even if the results have not always been there.

Will Saturday night be an upset kind of a night at Daytona? These drivers may have something to say about it.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts