NASCAR News: Season Indicator: How The Daytona 500 Winner Fares Overall

2020 Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin

Last year’s Daytona 500 winner, Denny Hamlin, turned the momentum from his season-opening triumph into one of his career’s best seasons. He put up seven wins, 18 top fives and 21 top 10s. He qualified for the Playoffs and earned a spot in the Championship 4 ultimately finishing the season fourth in series points.

Five drivers have won the Daytona 500 and the NASCAR Cup Series championship in the same season (a total of nine times): Jimmie Johnson (2006, 2013), Jeff Gordon (1997), Richard Petty (1964, 1971, 1974, 1979), Cale Yarborough (1977) and Lee Petty (1959).

During the Playoff Era (2004 – present) Daytona 500 winners have logged an average points finish of only 8.43: Hamlin (2020, fourth in final points; 2019, fourth; 2016, sixth), Austin Dillon (2018, 13th), Kurt Busch (2017, 14th), Logano (2015, sixth), Earnhardt (2014, eighth; 2004, fifth), Johnson (2013, first; 2006, first), Kenseth (2012, seventh; 2009, 14th), Trevor Bayne (2011, ineligible for points) Jamie McMurray (2010, 14th), Ryan Newman (2008, 17th) Kevin Harvick (2007, 10th), Jeff Gordon (2005, 11th).