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Oddsmaker tabs Earnhardt 3-1 favorite

Oddsmaker tabs Earnhardt 3-1 favorite

Defending Daytona champ merits top spot, Station Casinos’ Roberts says

Even though Dale Earnhardt Jr. was not the dominant driver on the NASCAR Nextel Cup circuit last year, his popularity remains unsurpassed. So it’s no surprise he is the Daytona 500 betting favorite.

The odds are 3-1 on Earnhardt to win Sunday’s season-opening race, with Jeff Gordon on his tail at 4-1.

Station Casinos sports book director Micah Roberts said Earnhardt earned the top spot on the betting board by winning last year at Daytona.

“Dale Jr. has had some really poor qualifying and practice times, and hasn’t looked good, but it’s respectful of what he has done in the past,” Roberts said. “Gordon was smoking in the preseason Daytona testing.”

Dale Jarrett, the polesitter in the 43-car lineup, is an 8-1 choice. Jimmie Johnson, who won last weekend’s Budweiser Shootout to claim the other front-row spot, is 6-1.

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