2021 O’Reilly Auto Parts 253: NASCAR CUP Preview, Odds, Picks, Longshots
Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
2021 O’Reilly Auto Parts 253
Sunday February 21, 2021 3:00pm EST
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We stay in Daytona on Sunday for race number 2 on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule, but the race will take place on the 3.610-mile road course. Sunday’s race will consist of 70 total laps to make up the 253-mile advertised distance on Sunday. The Cup Series raced for the first time on the Daytona Road Course in August of 2020 and the Busch Clash exhibition race held 2 weeks ago. Expect a wide array of strategy on Sunday for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253.
Here are a few drivers to consider for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253.
Chase Elliott +200- Chase will roll off from the pole on Sunday for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253. Honestly, the +200 odds on Chase has to be the lowest offered for a Cup Series race in over a year. Chase has been the best on the circuit on road courses over the last 2 seasons with an average driver rating of 126.4 over the last 8 road course events including 5 wins. Chase led 34 of the 70 laps in the 2020 O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 and starting on the pole should have a great performance.
Martin Truex + 450- Truex will begin Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 from the 19th starting spot. Truex has the best average finish of 4.63 over the last 8 road course races on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit. Truex led 10 of the 70 laps in the 2020 race at the Daytona Road Course, and had a great run going in the Busch Clash a few days ago but wrecked out with only a few laps to go. Look for Truex to have a great race on Sunday at Daytona.
Ryan Blaney +1000- Blaney will fire off from the 27th position on Sunday and will have some work to do to get to the front. Over the last 8 Cup races at road courses, Blaney has 5 top 10 finishes including 4 top 5 finishes and a victory at the Charlotte ROVAL. Ryan had a rough race in 2020 at the Daytona Road Course finishing 31st, but with patience expect Blaney to have a good day on Sunday.
Denny Hamlin +1000- Denny will start the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 on the 2nd row from the 4th position. Denny finished 2nd in August 2020 at the Daytona Road Course and has the 5th best average finish of 9.68 over the last 8 Cup Series road course races. Denny had a great run in the Busch Clash exhibition race at Daytona a couple of weeks ago and in 2020 on the Daytona Road Course led 16 of the 70 laps. Denny indeed could be the best value of the outright winners on Sunday so consider him for sure.
A.J. Allmendinger +1500- Allmendinger makes a return to the Cup Series on Sunday and will start the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 from the 34th position. While A.J. will have some work to do early in Sunday’s race to gain track position, he is one of the best road course racers in all of the 3 national touring NASCAR Series. Kaulig racing will provide a great car here for Allmendinger on Sunday and I expect him to be a contender late in the race on Sunday. Sprinkle in some action here with A.J. as a long shot on Sunday afternoon.