The 2020 NASCAR season unofficially kicks off on Sunday in the Daytona Busch Clash (3PM). This exhibition race will be wild, even though the field is only 18 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 11:35 AM.
1) Joey Logano(Starting 13th) – Joey Logano is an elite superspeedway driver who’ll likely be the driver to beat in the Daytona Busch Clash. You won’t find a better default pick then him. He’s a recent Clash winner (2017) who currently has four straight results in the top 3. Over those combined events his average finish is 2nd. In last years Clash, Logano had a strong car and finished 3rd. If the race were a little longer, I wouldn’t be surprised if he would’ve won because he was leading a Penske contingent of cars using the low-line to the front of the pack. In 2018, Logano had a strong showing and finished 2nd. His next two most recent results are 1st and 2nd. Last year at Daytona in points paying races, Logano was very strong in both races. Last summer he had a great car and was a contender to win, but finished 25th after crashing in the “Big One.” In the race he led 40 laps, won Stage #1, finished 10th in Stage #2 and was the leader 9 laps before the final “Big One” ensued. In the 2019 Daytona 500 he was fast and finished 4th. (DraftKings $9,800 / FanDuel $12,000)
2) Denny Hamlin (Starting 18th) – Defending Daytona 500 champion, Denny Hamlin should be on your short list of favorites to win the Clash. He’s won this race three-times and two of those have come within the last six races. Over the last decade in the Clash, Hamlin has five results in the top six, and five results of 12th or worse. In last years Clash, Hamlin ran well but finished an asterisk mark 17th after being a victim in “The Big One.” In the race he legitimately ran as high as 2nd, and was running in 8th at the time of his demise. In 2018, Hamlin finished 6th. In 2017, Hamlin nearly got his 4th Clash win, but on the last lap while leading he blocked Keselowski which ended up spinning the #11 relegating him to a 13th place finish. In that event he led a race high 48 laps. Hamlin’s two most recent Clash victories have come in 2016 and 2014. In points paying races at Daytona in February over the last six races, Hamlin has a series best 4.7 average finish. (DraftKings $9,600 / FanDuel $11,500 )
3) Ryan Blaney (Starting 14th) – Ryan Blaney is an aggressive superspeedway racer who’ll be a threat to win the Clash. He’ll have a fast car underneath him, and a lot of Ford teammates to work with. That attribute will be huge in a race where the field is small. Last fall at Talladega in the most recent superspeedway race, Blaney raced his way to victory lane. In the Clash, Blaney has two starts under his belt and he’s run well in both races (pair of 4ths). In last years Clash, Blaney had a great car and crossed the finish line in 4th. At the end, Blaney was working with his teammates driving up to the front using the low-line and he was one of just three drivers unscathed in the “Big One.” In the 2018 Clash he also finished 4th. At the start of the final lap while he was running in 2nd he got out of line to make a move for the lead, but it dropped him back a few positions. Last year at Daytona in points paying races, Blaney looked top ten good in both events, but in each of them he wrecked which led to a misleading result. (DraftKings $8,000 / FanDuel $10,000 )