Who’s hot, who’s not in Cup Series heading to Daytona

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A look at some of the drivers who are streaking or reeling heading into Saturday’s Cup race at Daytona International Speedway (7 p.m. ET on NBC).

HOT

• Finished 3rd at Chicagoland (5th in Stage 1, 1st in Stage 2, 39 laps led)

• Finished 4th or better in four straight races

• In 17 races in 2018, 14 finishes of 7th or better (including five wins) & three finishes of 31st or worse

• Finished in the top five in 16 of the last 21 races, dating back to last season

• Finished 22nd or worse in four straight Daytona races

• DNF accident in three of the last four Daytona races

Denny Hamlin

• Finished 7th at Chicagoland (11th in Stage 1, 9th in Stage 2); started 37th after qualifying time disallowed in post-qualifying inspection; spun off Turn 2 on lap 177 while running 9th

• Finished in the Top 10 in five of the last seven races, including the last two 

• Finished 6th or better in six of last nine Daytona races, including win in 2016 Daytona 500

• Only two DNFs for accident in 25 career Daytona starts

Clint Bowyer

• Finished 5th at Chicagoland (30th in Stage 1, 8th in Stage 2, 21 laps led); penalized for speeding in pits on Lap 39 (was leading before stops); penalized for speeding in pits on lap 43 while serving previous penalty; came in to serve stop-and-go penalty on lap 48, but did not stop and had to pit again

• Finished in the yop five in the last three races

• Led 329 laps in 2018, more than he had in the previous 4 seasons combined (145)

• Finished in the top 10 in six of the last 10 Daytona races

Kyle Busch

• Won at Chicagoland (12th in Stage 1, 11th in Stage 2, 59 laps led); made contact with Kyle Larson twice on final lap while battling for lead

• Won five of the last 11 races

• Finished in the top five in five straight races and in the Top 10 in six straight races

• Finished in the top five in 12 of 17 races this season

• Two top fives in the last 12 Daytona races, all other finishes have been 12th or worse

Erik Jones

• Finished 6th at Chicagoland (10th in Stage 1, 12th in Stage 2)

• Top 10 in the last two races of 2018

• Finished 7th or better in three of the last six races, but 13th or worse in seven of the last 10

• One top 10 in three career Daytona starts and two finishes of 36th or worse (two DNFs)

NOT

Jamie McMurray

• Finished 12th at Chicagoland (15th in Stage 1, 15th in Stage 2)

• Finished 15th or worse in 13 of 17 races this season

• 14th or worse in the last nine Daytona races

• One Top 10 in the last 16 Daytona races (7th – July 2013)

• DNF accident in two of the last four Daytona races

Austin Dillon

• Finished 37th at Chicagoland (19th in Stage 1, 20th in Stage 2, 13 laps led); DNF (wheel hub) – pit from 26th with brakes smoking on lap 190

• Finished 12th or worse in 12 straight races

• Finished outside Top 10 in 15 of 16 races since Daytona 500 win

• Won the Daytona 500 in February

• Finished in the Top 10 in six of 10 career starts at Daytona

Ryan Blaney

• Finished 18th at Chicagoland (7th in Stage 1, 5th in Stage 2, 19 laps led); pit from 14th with a loose wheel on lap 194

• Finished 18th or worse in last two races

• Won four stages in 17 races in 2018, one more than he had all of 2017

• Led 463 laps in 2018, more than he led from 2014-2017 combined (332)

• Top 10 in two of the last three Daytona races

• Led laps in three straight Daytona races, including 118 of 200 in the Daytona 500 this year

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

• Finished 16th at Chicagoland (18th in Stage 1, 21st in Stage 2); started in the rear due to unapproved adjustments before the race

• Finished 11th or worse in six of the last seven races

• Has finished 14th or worse in 13 of 17 races in 2018

• Three top 10s in 12 career Daytona starts, two have come in the last four races