The 2019 NASCAR season unofficially kicks off on Sunday in the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona (3PM). This exhibition race will be wild even though the field is only 20 cars. It will be comprised of two segments. The opening segment will be 25 laps ending with a competition caution, and then the final segment will be 50 laps.
The random drawing for starting positions will be held on Saturday at 6:30 PM. The practice session for the Clash will be held on Saturday at 10:35 AM.
1) Joey Logano (Starting 7th) – Defending series champion, Joey Logano is a good pick to win the Clash at Daytona. He won in 2017 and has three straight Clash results in the top two. Over the last six Clash’s he has a 3rd place average finish and has had a result in the top 6 every race. Last year he had a strong showing and finished 2nd. His next two most recent results are 1st and 2nd. Last year at Plate tracks nobody was better than Logano. He scored the most points and finished in the top five in 3 of the 4 races. At Daytona last year he crashed in July and in the Daytona 500 he finished 4th. Overall in 5 of the last 8 points paying races at Daytona he’s finished in the top six. (DraftKings $9,200 / FanDuel $12,500)
2) Brad Keselowski (Starting 3rd)– Brad Keselowski, the defending Clash champion is widely viewed as the premiere restrictor plate racer in NASCAR, and on Sunday he’ll be a favorite. He’s been a strong performer in the Clash and minus a 2015 wreck he has an impressive 4.4 average finish. Last year, Keselowski started last but raced his way to victory lane. He led the final 37 laps and in total he paced the field for 57.3 percent of the race (43 laps). Prior to the race he was so confident in his car he tweeted he would win. In 2017, Keselowski had a stellar car that was arguably the best, but on the last lap while he was passing Denny Hamlin for the lead the #11 car came down on him which led to his 6th place finish. Him being in that position was impressive when you consider he had to overcome a pit penalty earlier in the race while leading (led 18 laps). Last year at Daytona in points paying races he was fast, but didn’t’ have an incident free race. In both events he was wrecked while running in the top 3. Last summer he was very competitive, but crashed and finished 36th. In the race he finished 8th in Stage #1, led 9 laps and was running in 2nd on lap 54 at the time of his demise. In the 2018 Daytona 500 he had a great car but finished 32nd. On lap 101 he was battling Chase Elliott for 3rd, but they both ended up wrecking because of contact. (DraftKings $9,400 / FanDuel $12,200)
3) Kevin Harvick (Starting 6th)– Kevin Harvick will be a factor in the Clash. He’s a three-time winner who’ll have a stellar car underneath him. Last fall at Talladega when restrictor plates were most recently used nobody had anything for the Stewart-Haas Racing entries. In the Clash, Harvick has been strong and in 8 of the last 10 races he’s finished in the top 11. Last year he didn’t have a standout performance and finished 9th. In 2017 he finished 5th. Last year at Daytona in points paying races he was fast. Last summer he was very competitive but finished 19th after crashing late. He was the leader with 3 laps to go but then with two laps to go he wrecked which led to his 19th place finish. In the 2018 Daytona 500 he had a fast car but was collected in the lap 101 “Big One” which led to his 31st place finish. One lap prior to wrecking he was running in 3rd. (DraftKings $9,600 / FanDuel $11,500)