Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 9/16/14
Isn’t hard to believe the Daytona 500 is nearly upon us? It’s the biggest race on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule and will once again kick of the season. Last year, we saw a great race with the return of pack racing and the first ever rained out 500. They had to return on Monday night to race in primetime and as Matt Kenseth take the checkered flag in the Great American Race for the second time. In both 2010 and 2011 two sleepers in Jamie McMurray and Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500 and showed that with a little patience and luck anyone can win this race. With how the preseason test went back in January in Daytona, these are my five sleepers who could win this year’s race. Michael Waltrip Michael Waltrip didn’t test down at DIS in January due to him originally not having a ride. They announced on day one though that Waltrip will pilot the No. 30 Swan Racing Toyota for the 500 in February and hope to get this team landed on the map. Team owner David Stremme who will take over driving duties starting at Phoenix in race two hired some good people for this car which in my mind can help Waltrip win. Waltrip, has two Daytona 500 victories and five total wins at DIS including the Duels. He’s among the best on restrictor plates as he’s led 351 laps at Daytona and if he can stay out of trouble I can see him around in the end possibly winning it. Jeff Burton If there was a winner of the test sessions in January at DIS Jeff Burton would be among them. He was among the five quickest on every session and showed he’s not quite ready to walk off in the sunset yet. Burton has yet to win the Daytona 500 as his one career win in 38 starts at DIS came in the Coke Zero 400 back in the 90s. RCR always has a strong restrictor plate program and looked among the best with Joe Gibbs Racing back in January. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Burton winning this race with some help and patience. Greg Biffle Like Burton, Greg Biffle was among the winner’s of the test session back in January. Biffle was near the top of the speed charts and flexed his muscle as well. Also like Burton, Biffle is a race winner at DIS and his lone win came in the Coke Zero 400 in 2003. Biffle was strong in both races at DIS last season as he pushed his former teammate Matt Kenseth in both races. The duo dominated both races as Biffle pushed Kenseth to the victory in February and if not caught up in a late crash in July would have pushed him to the win again. This time it’s Biffle’s turn. He’s the longest tenured driver with Roush and should be tough to beat in the 500. Paul Menard The biggest sleeper on this list is Paul Menard. Menard has one win in Sprint Cup and it was the second biggest race in the Brickyard 400 in 2011. It honestly wouldn’t surprise me to see him do the rare feat of winning the Brickyard 400 and the Daytona 500 in his career. Menard is always very fast and racy at Daytona. He’s a very underrated restrictor plate racer and without getting shuffled out of the draft or getting caught up in someone elses wreck he could have won by now. People may think I’m crazy giving a guy with zero top five finishes at Daytona in 11 starts a shot to win but I think he can do it. RCR was very strong in January and always has a good restrictor plate program. Danica Patrick This pick would be perhaps the most popular winner in Sprint Cup history. Danica Patrick winning her first start in full-time Sprint Cup action and being the first woman to win a race in NASCAR would be huge. Mix in her first win being the Daytona 500 and you have a huge story for NASCAR. It was no secret Patrick struggled to get a grasp of NASCAR racing in both the Nationwide Series and her 10 Cup starts last year. One type of track she is comfortable with though is a restrictor plate type of track. Patrick started on the pole for the Nationwide race last season and has been dominant in every race she’s raced in at Daytona and Talladega. She started in the 500 last year but was caught up in a wreck on Lap 2 that wasn’t her fault. That shouldn’t happen this year with her starting out front. If she can make it to the end and not get caught up in someone elses problems I think she wins this race and gets the NASCAR season off with a bang. The post Daytona 500: 5 Sleepers who could win “Great American Race” appeared first on Race Review Online.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Porn star gets into funny Twitter exchange with Eagles player

Report: Muschamp is Auburn's next defensive coordinator

NFLPA responds to denial of Adrian Peterson’s appeal

Teammate: Johnny Manziel a ‘nightmare’ to practice against

Adrian Peterson appeal denied

Raiders had to study game tape to learn celebrating techniques

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

The NBA is considering shortening the preseason

More key evidence thrown out in Aaron Hernandez trial

Reports: Bruins 'front runners' to host 2016 NHL Winter Classic

Carmelo: Waiving no-trade clause would make me weak

Report: Patriots doctor altered report to recoup player's bonus

Josh Gordon maintains effort no matter the quarterback

Yoenis Cespedes’ value lies solely in his name

Report: 2016 Winter Classic will be held in Boston

Four transactions that slipped through the cracks

Why the NFC South winner will really be a loser

Buckingham Palace absolves LeBron of breaching ‘royal protocol’

Sugar Bowl ticket prices up 213% since OSU’s last appearance

Winners and losers of 2014 MLB Winter Meetings

The Knicks show why not rebuilding is even more painful

Tim Tebow to make broadcast booth debut at Peach Bowl

Bruce Arians had an awesome postgame conference

Urban Meyer's wife has hair catch on fire blowing out candles

Game of the week: 49ers vs. Seahawks

NASCAR News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Adrian Peterson appeal denied

Winners and losers of the Winter Meetings

Key evidence tossed in Hernandez trial

Porn star, Eagles player have funny Twitter exchange

Game of the week: 49ers vs. Seahawks

Olivia Munn talks sex life, Rodgers

Sharper indicted on rape charges

Man steals $1.5M in LeBron sneakers?

10 MLB Winter Meetings takeaways

The best sports media feuds of 2014

Jeter advises on how to avoid bad press

Video surfaces of Kobe's practice tirade

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.