A Daytona doubleheader looms again two months from now, and the drivers populating the second portion of the Feb. 10 on-track action — the 2019 Advance Auto Parts Clash preseason race — are now known.
Daytona and NASCAR officials announced Thursday the 20 eligible drivers for the annual event, and the manner in which they qualified. The Clash, a 75-lap race with a competition caution at Lap 25, is preceded by Busch Pole Award Qualifying for the 61st running of the Daytona 500.
“There’s no better way to start the season,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “The close, door-to-door action you see in the Advance Auto Parts Clash is a precursor to the intense competition you’ll see in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series throughout 2019.”
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The Clash field is comprised of drivers who were 2018 Busch Pole Award winners, former Clash winners who competed full-time in 2018, former Daytona 500 winners who competed full-time in 2018, former Dayton 500 pole winners who competed full-time in 2018 and drivers who qualified for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
“It’s a tremendous day of racing for our fans,” said Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile in a track release. “Having Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger followed by the Advance Auto Parts Clash makes for a sweet first Sunday of Speedweeks and will have fans fully tuned up for the 61st running of the ‘Great American Race’ on Feb. 17.”
Eligible drivers for The Clash are:
2018 Busch Pole Award Winners (13)
• Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Paul Menard, Daniel Suarez and Martin Truex Jr.
Former Daytona 500 Champions (2)
• Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman
Former Daytona 500 Busch Pole Award Winners (2)
• Austin Dillon, Jimmie Johnson
2018 Playoff Drivers (3)
• Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski