Drivers slow down for Daytona 500 Media Day

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The No. 24 vehicle of Charlotte NASCAR Cup Series driver William Bryon sits on pit road during qualifying for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

Ford hasn't officially announced plans to replace the Fusion in 2019, but with a new Toyota Camry taking Martin Truex, Jr., to the championship in 2017, and a the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 replacing the Chevy SS this year, a refreshed auto seems due.

Keselowski already drives a Mustang in the Xfinity series. Drivers of Fords have fared well at Daytona over the last two years, but Logano, Keselowski's teammate at Penske, was too inconsistent in 2017 to inspire much confidence for the first race of 2018. Bowman did get three events a year ago, two Xfinity Series races and a Truck Series race, but the rest of his time was spent in a simulator while he hoped Hendrick would come through with a job.

Bowman is a +2800 longer shot to win on the 2018 Daytona 500 odds; he has yet to visit Victory Lane in NASCAR's top series in 81 career races.

Newly elected Baseball Hall of Famer Chipper Jones will serve as an honorary race official for the Daytona 500 on Sunday.

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Alex Bowman shocked the masses when he got his 2018 campaign off to a bright start by securing pole for the Daytona 500, but the Duels will play a large hand in deciding how the rest of the field lines up.

This season, NASCAR is allowing fewer crew members over the wall during pit stops. In a similar vein, pole victor Alex Bowman (+2800) should be faded on that basis that no pole victor has triumphed since Dale Jarrett in 2000. Then there's a whole list of other quality candidates who pose a threat to win: Keselowski, Harvick, Chase Elliott and many others.

"I am just going to try to get up front and stay there".

Six former Cup winners will be in the field, led by Truex - the defending champ - and Johnson, who is looking for a record-breaking eighth title. Last season there were eight cautions during the race, and only 15 of 40 entrants actually finished all 200 laps. "I got to make a lot of mistakes without anybody watching". The Daytona 500 has more than earned its reputation as the most prestigious race in NASCAR - and part of that allure, even if it's a bit darker to consider, is because of all the wrecks. So no, this isn't a bold prediction - if anything, it's closer to a guarantee.

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