Since it’s inception in 1979, the Advance Auto Parts Clash has served as one of two pre-season events for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Despite the race format and rule changes over the years, the energy has remained the same. As an invitational, no points, and all glory short race, drivers have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
For the 2019 running of the Clash, the exhibition race consists of 75 laps and is limited to 20 drivers who competed full-time in 2018 and were Busch Pole Award winners, former Clash winners, former DAYTONA 500 champions, former DAYTONA 500 pole winners, and drivers who qualified for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. These qualifications set a field consisting of Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Chase Elliott, Aric Almirola, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr, Erik Jones, Paul Menard, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, Daniel Suarez, Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson, and Alex Bowman.
LAP 2: After leading the field to green, pole-sitter Kyle Busch lost the draft and fell from 1st place to 12th.
CAUTION – LAP 8: The race was yellow flagged due to rain and fog over the speedway. The pace car brought the field down pit-road and drivers were allowed to get out of their cars while they waited out the rain. NASCAR announced a competition caution on Lap 26.
LAP 13: Paul Menard led the field to the green flag after a 21-minute red-flag rain delay.
LAP 17: Martin Truex Jr, who was in the top 10 for most of the race, got shuffled out of the lead pack after trying to make a move and fell to the back of the field.
LAP 25: Just before the caution, all the leaders came down pit road for four fresh tires and fuel, leaving just 5 cars on the track.
CAUTION – LAP 26: The yellow flag was shown to signify the competition caution. Of the 15 cars that previously came to pit road, 2 received penalties – Aric Almirola for speeding and Daniel Suarez for his crew hopping over the wall too soon. Both served their penalties and restarted at the tail-end of the field.
LAP 33: The green flag waved as Paul Menard led the 20-car pack. Things got dicey for a few laps as drivers went 3-wide to battle for position.
CAUTION – LAP 39: The yellow flag waved again for rain. Once again, the race was red flagged as crews dried the track.
LAP 47: Green flag! Paul Menard led the field once again
LAP 53: After running single-file on the highline for most of the race, Team Penske drivers Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Brad Keselowski attempted to form a second line to challenge for the lead.
CAUTION – LAP 55: Jimmie Johnson tried to pass Paul Menard on the inside lane. Johnson side-drafted Menard too closely and tapped the right quarter panel of #21 Ford. This triggered a multi-car wreck that collected Keselowski, Dillon, Harvick, Newman, Elliott, Almirola, Hamlin, Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Suarez, Jones, McMurray, Larson, and Bowman. Video of the wreck can be found at the bottom of this article.
LAP 59: With rain starting to fall on Daytona Speedway again, officials made the call to end the race 16 laps short of it’s scheduled conclusion. Having been in the lead when the caution was first brought out, Jimmie Johnson was controversially declared the winner.
- Jimmie Johnson
- Kurt Busch
- Joey Logano
- Ryan Blaney
- Alex Bowman
- Austin Dillon
- Chase Elliott
- Aric Almirola
- Ryan Newman
- Daniel Suarez
- Jamie McMurray
- Kevin Harvick
- Paul Menard
- Kyle Busch
- Martin Truex Jr
- Clint Bowyer
- Denny Hamlin
- Brad Keselowski
- Kyle Larson
- Erik Jones