CUP: Daytona Restores Tradition With Clash’s Return To Sunday

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The non-points Advance Auto Parts Clash will return to Sunday afternoon in 2018, running alongside Daytona 500 pole qualifying. (NASCAR photo)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Daytona International Speedway has restored a Speedweeks tradition dating back to 1979, thanks to Tuesday’s announcement that the Advance Auto Parts Clash will return to a Sunday afternoon start time.

Falling one week before the milestone 60th annual Daytona 500, the Clash will move to Sunday, Feb. 11 and be preceded by Daytona 500 Pole Qualifying presented by Kroger.

As a result, the Saturday, Feb. 10 lineup will now feature a doubleheader consisting of both Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice and the Lucas Oil 200, the season-opening race for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.

The Advance Auto Parts Clash was first held in 1979 and won by Buddy Baker. The event was on a Sunday from 1979-91 (though rain forced a Monday start in 1983) and after a one-year switch to Saturday, returned to Sundays from 1993-2002.

In 2003 it moved to a Saturday night primetime start. 

The Advance Auto Parts Clash and Daytona 500 Pole Qualifying shared the same day on the schedule from 1979-84. The scheduling change follows the return of the race’s original name earlier this year.

“This year we brought back the name and next year we’re bringing back the rest of the Clash’s tradition,” said Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile. “Combining the Clash with qualifying is going to give our fans an outstanding afternoon of NASCAR action and will provide the perfect lead-in to the Can-Am Duel qualifying races and the Daytona 500.”

This year’s Advance Auto Parts Clash was a 75-lap race split into two segments, with the competition caution at lap 25 separating the segments.

The field featured pole winners from the previous season, former Clash champions and former Daytona 500 pole winners who ran full-time last season.

In addition, all drivers from the 2016 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup playoffs were eligible. The Clash was won by Team Penske’s Joey Logano.

Already securing a spot in the field for the 2018 Advance Auto Parts Clash by winning a pole are Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Logano, Kyle Larson, Matt Kenseth, Ricky Stenhouse and Ryan Blaney.

CREDIT: Daytona Int’l Speedway

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