NASCAR Cup: Advance Auto Parts Clash postponed
By AMANDA VINCENT
The Advance Auto Parts Clash Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series exhibition race, originally scheduled for Saturday night, has been delayed by rain. The race has been rescheduled for 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday, preceding front-row qualifying for the Daytona 500, scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday.
The 2017 edition of the Clash will feature 17 drivers, with drivers being eligible by virtue of being 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup competitors, last season pole sitters, former Daytona 500 pole winners and/or being past Clash winners. Daniel Suarez was added to the Clash line-up as driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, as a result of Carl Edwards’ abrubt departure from the team last month. Although eligible, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will not compete. Instead, Alex Bowman, who became eligible by winning the pole at Phoenix International Raceway as a fill-in for Earnhardt last season, will drive the No. 88 Chevrolet.
When the Clash gets underway, Brad Keselowski will start from the pole, by virtue of a blind draw on Friday.
“We had good speed, from what we can tell,” Keselowski said. “It’s hard to get a full picture when only half the cars draft, but it was a good start. We have some things to work on handling-wise, so we’ll get through that and figure it out.”
Denny Hamlin, last year’s Clash winner, will start next to Keselowski on the front row.
Keselowski and Hamlin were the fastest cars in Friday’s two practice sessions, Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin were the fastest two drivers in Friday practice sessions. Keselowski led the first practice session with a 191.604 mph/46.972-second lap, while Hamlin led the second practice with a 196.526 mph/45.795-second lap.
The race is scheduled for a 75-lap distance, split into two segments by a competition caution after the completion of lap 25.