10 winless drivers who could break through at Daytona
History has proven Daytona International Speedway, one of just two restrictor-plate tracks in the Sprint Cup Series, to be a place where just about anyone can win. The fabled 2.5-mile venue has also been home to some of the sport's biggest upsets through the years. Following are 10 drivers who have yet to win in 2015 but who could get it done on Sunday night at the World Center of Racing.
Getty ImagesSarah Glenn
Veteran Ryan Newman has just one victory at Daytona International Speedway, but the veteran driver did it big by capturing the 50th running of the Daytona 500 back in 2008 when he was driving for team owner Roger Penske. Newman is now in his second season with Richard Childress Racing, an organization that has historically put a lot of emphasis on restrictor-plate races and always seems to bring its 'A Game' to Daytona.
Getty Images for NASCARRusty Jarrett
Remember 2011 when a little-known, just-turned 20-year-old kid named Trevor Bayne shocked the world by winning the Daytona 500 in just his second Sprint Cup Series start and taking the famed Wood Brothers to Victory Lane for the first time in a decade? Bayne, now in his first full Sprint Cup season and driving for Roush Fenway Racing, has done little of note since his thrilling upset. But he still can't be discounted whenever the Sprint Cup Series visits Daytona.
Getty Images for NASCARJason Smith
One of the Sprint Cup Series' best restrictor-plate racers, David Ragan has two wins -- and both have been at plate tracks. The first of those came at Daytona in July 2011 when Ragan took team owner Jack Roush's No. 6 Ford to Victory Lane. Ragan scored his second plate victory two years later, winning at Talladega for Front Row Motorsports. Now with Michael Waltrip Racing and more than two years removed from his last triumph, Ragan sees a huge opportunity at Daytona.
Getty ImagesJared C. Tilton
Mired in a more than two-year drought, Tony Stewart recently admitted his confidence is lower than it's been in a long time. One place where confidence shouldn't be a problem for the three-time champion is Daytona, where he's a four-time winner of the Sprint Cup Series' annual July 4 week race despite having never gone to Victory Lane at the Daytona 500.
Getty ImagesMike Ehrmann
Danica Patrick has six career top-10 finishes in the Sprint Cup series. Two have come at Daytona, where she finished eighth as a rookie in 2013 and eighth in last July's rain-shortened event. Patrick's most memorable Daytona accomplishment, of course, came when she won the pole for the 2013 Daytona 500 as a rookie and became the first woman to lead the field to the green flag for the sport's biggest race.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesJared C. Tilton
Paul Menard owns seven career top-10 finishes (three at Daytona) between the two restrictor-plate tracks. The Richard Childress Racing driver finished third in May at Talladega, where he has three career top fives.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesRobert Laberge
One of the Sprint Cup Series' most underrated restrictor-plate racers, Jamie McMurray is a former winner of both the Daytona 500 (2010) and the July race (2007) on Daytona's 2.5-mile high banks. The Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates driver is also quietly enjoying a strong season, as he's up to seventh in points on the strength of seven top-10 finishes in 16 starts.
Getty Images for NASCARTodd Warshaw
Although he's never won at Dayona, Clint Bowyer is a two-time winner at Talladega. The best news of all for the Michael Waltrip Racing driver coming into Daytona is that he seems to have turned a corner since being paired with crew chief Brian Pattie three weeks ago. After struggling for much of the season, Bowyer has scored top-10 finishes, including a season-best third-place finish last Sunday at Sonoma, in two starts with Pattie calling the shots.
Getty ImagesJonathan Moore
Competing on the 30-year anniversary of team owner Richard Petty's landmark 200th career win that came at the same track, Aric Almirola scored a surprise first career victory in last summer's rain-shortened event at Daytona International Speedway. Aside from the historical significance of it, the win gave Almirola an automatic berth in the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup. Back at Daytona with the same team one year later, Almirola is capable of achieving the same result.
Getty ImagesChris Graythen
In the return of the No. 3 car to Sprint Cup Series competition, Austin Dillon won the pole for the 2014 Daytona 500 as a rookie competing for grandfather Richard Childress' organization. He then went on finish ninth in the race. Dillon returned to Daytona last July and finished fifth -- his best result in NASCAR's top series to date.