Already NASCAR’s highest-paid and most high-profile driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. also stands as the odds-on favorite to claim the checkered flag in the Daytona 500 Sunday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway in Florida.

The Hendrick Motorsports star and last year’s winner at Daytona, Earnhardt Jr. is a 9/1 favorite to sew up NASCAR’s premier event and gain an early lead in the Sprint Cup series over the rest of the field, according to odds from

Earnhardt Jr., 40, could be the first driver in 20 years to win back-to-back Daytona titles, with Sterling Martin the last to do so in 1995. It would also be the third straight victory for Hendrick, a feat no other team has completed in Daytona’s history.

And to hear him tell it, Earnhardt Jr. certainly believes in his Chevrolet SS and doesn’t lack for confidence.

"I don't know that anybody here has got a car as quick as ours from what I saw (in Saturday's practices)," Earnhardt said Wednesday according to "We've got six more practices this week so guys can find some speed from now until the race time, but out of the box, we were the best in my opinion."

However, the field is loaded with the sport’s biggest stars and Earnhardt Jr. will have to watch out for pole winner, teammate and retirement-bound Jeff Gordon especially. In January, Gordon announced plans to call it quits after this season, and he could start his send off with his first victory at Daytona since 2005.

Gordon edged out six-time Cup champion and teammate Jimmie Johnson by .158 miles-per-hour and locked up the top spot with a speed of 201.293 mph for the second Daytona pole of his illustrious career.

Gordon’s odds are set at 10/1, and the last time he took the pole he went on to win the race in 1999. After Gordon, though, Dale Jarrett was the last to claim the pole and the race.

From there, last season’s Cup winner Kevin Harvick leads a pack of drivers at 12/1 odds, including Johnson, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, and Matt Kenseth.

Of that group, only Harvick, Kenseth, and Johnson have tamed Daytona.

Drivers will start their engines around 1 p.m. ET.

Odds to win at Daytona

Dale Earnhardt Jr. 9/1

Jeff Gordon, 10/1

Carl Edwards 12/1

Denny Hamlin 12/1

Jimmie Johnson, 12/1

Joey Logano, 12/1

Kevin Harvick, 12/1

Kyle Busch, 12/1

Matt Kenseth, 12/1

Brad Keselowski, 14/1

Tony Stewart, 16/1

Kurt Busch, 20/1

Kyle Larson, 20/1

Jame McMurray, 22/1

Clint Bowyer, 25/1

Kasey Kahne, 25/1

Greg Biffle, 33/1

Ryan Blaney, 33/1

Ryan Newman, 33/1

Danica Patrick, 40/1

Martin Truex Jr., 40/1

Paul Menard, 40/1

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 40/1

Trevor Bayne, 40/1

The full list of odds can be viewed here.