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Daytona 500 2011 Odds: Earnhardt vs. Harvick, Winner Predictions [POLL]

Posted by on February 20, 2011 at 12:11 PM EST

kevin harvickToday the 2011 Daytona 500 will kick off the NASCAR racing season and here are the odds and winner predictions for the big race.

This weekend the 2011 NASCAR season officially gets underway in Daytona Beach, Florida with the Daytona 500. NASCAR has always referred to the Daytona 500 as their Super Bowl and they pull out all the stops to put on a good show and get the season started off with a bang. What are the odds for the race and who will the winner be? Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are favored with the best odds to win.

This week leading up to the Daytona 500 there has already been plenty of drama, some of which could affect the odds on who will win the race. The main drama surrounds one of the most famous names in racing – Dale Earnhardt Jr. This weekend is the ten year anniversary of his dad’s death at Daytona. When Dale Earnhardt died is shook the racing world and brought into question the safety measures taken to help protect the drivers. This week Dale Jr. came out with vengeance. Whether driven by the anniversary of his dad’s death or not only he knows, but a blistering performance in the qualifying put him on the pole and made him one of the clear favorites to win the race. Then in practice he got into traffic, was hit from behind by Martin Truex Jr. and was put into the wall. His car was damaged to the point that he will have to use a backup car he will have to start at the back of the pack.

With Earnhardt Jr. now at the back of the pack you would think it would greatly reduce the odds of his winning, but the Las Vegas odds makers seem to disagree. He is currently running 9 to 1 to win the race. The only driver with better odds is Kevin Harvick at 8 to 1.  Kyle Busch joins Earnhardt Jr. at 9 to 1. Last year’s Sprint Cup Champion Jimmy Johnson will start the race with 14 to 1 odds while Johnson and Earnhardt Jr. teammate Jeff Gordon sits at 11 to 1. Fan favorite Tony Stewart is 10 to 1.

NASCAR has planned at least one tribute to Dale Earnhardt On lap #3 (in honor of car number he made so famous) there will be silence. No announcing, no speaking, just racing.

Tune in on Sunday, February 20th at 1PM ET on FOX to watch the Daytona 500 live.

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