The Clash: What to Expect

The Clash at Daytona is a prestigious exhibition event that takes place a week before the Daytona 500, making it the first race of the season. This year, it’s on Sunday, February 11. Here are the three ways to be eligible for the Clash this season, and the drivers who made it in through each way (drivers are not repeated):

Win a pole in 2017
  • Chase Elliott (Daytona 1)
  • Kevin Harvick (Atlanta, Texas 1, Charlotte 1, Darlington)
  • Brad Keselowski (Las Vegas, Michigan 2)
  • Joey Logano (Phoenix 1, Martinsville 2)
  • Kyle Larson (Auto Club, Martinsville 1 (rain), Bristol 1 (rain), Michigan 1, Sonoma)
  • Matt Kenseth (Richmond 1, Richmond 2)
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Talladega 1)
  • Ryan Blaney (Kansas 1, Phoenix 2)
  • Kyle Busch (Dover 1, Pocono 1, Kentucky, Indianapolis, Pocono 2, Watkins Glen, Chicago, New Hampshire 2)
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Daytona 2, Talladega 2)
  • Martin Truex Jr. (New Hampshire 1, Dover 2, Kansas 2)
  • Erik Jones (Bristol 2)
  • Denny Hamlin (Charlotte 2, Homestead)
  • Kurt Busch (Texas 2)

Unfortunately, Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have each retired, so neither will be running the Clash, meaning that 12 pole winners will run the Clash.

Former Daytona 500 pole winners
  • Austin Dillon (2014)
  • Jimmie Johnson (2002, 2008)
  • Danica Patrick (2013)

Danica Patrick will not run the Clash because of her impending retirement from NASCAR after the Daytona 500.

2017 playoff drivers
  • Ryan Newman (won Phoenix 1)
  • Kasey Kahne (won Indianapolis)
  • Jamie McMurray (points)

This makes a total of 20 eligible drivers, and it looks like 17 will be competing.

Team Breakdown
  • Three Team Penske cars
  • Three Joe Gibbs Racing cars
  • Two Hendrick Motorsports cars
  • Two Chip Ganassi Racing cars
  • Two Richard Childress Racing cars
  • Two Stewart-Haas Racing cars
  • One Roush-Fenway Racing car
  • One Furniture Row Racing car
  • One Leavine Family Racing car

That’s nine teams and seventeen cars, which should provide some parity. Everyone will be competitive, especially considering it’s Daytona. Look for the three Penske cars to run up front, but, beyond that, there’s no predicting what’s to come on Sunday. It should be a good one, that’s for sure.

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