This seems like an annual topic of conversation but the “Big 3” in NASCAR are typically the ones to beat during Daytona Speedweeks. Since 2005, they’ve won 39 times in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series action alone. That’s a 71-percent success rate.
That’s huge, especially for a restrictor plate track.
But, now that the 2019 Speedweeks edition is about to start, can the “Big 3” dominate once again?
Last year, Team Penske won the Clash (Brad Keselowski) and a Duel (Ryan Blaney). Hendrick Motorsports won a Duel (Chase Elliott) too. It happened in 2017 as well. Penske won the Clash (Joey Logano) while HMS (Chase Elliott) and Joe Gibbs Racing (Denny Hamlin) own the Duels.
The only problem is, they haven’t won the Daytona 500 itself.
Does that change in 2019?
HMS has had bad cars in the Daytona 500 recently. For some reason, they just haven’t had the grip levels to contend. Their cars are wrecking loose.
They’ve won two of the last six Daytona 500’s. JGR hasn’t had a very good plate program lately as they have just one Daytona 500 win since 2013 (Hamlin 2016). Penske won the Daytona 500 in 2015 with Logano but nothing since either.
They’ve struggled in the big race but have dominated the other preliminary events.
In the Clash, they’ve won 11 of the last 14 years. The only driver not of those camps to win since 2005 is Kevin Harvick. All three of his wins came with Richard Childress Racing.
In the Duels, they’ve won 21 of the last 28 including 11 straight. In that same time frame, they’re 7-for-13.
Overall, they’re the ones to beat. Will it remain that way this Speedweeks?
That’s the big storyline. Can anyone beat them?