How the Advance Auto Parts Clash Works

By RJ Kraft |

The exhibition event known as the Advance Auto Parts Clash (Feb. 18, 8 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) is the kickoff to the 2017 NASCAR season. The non-points paying event at Daytona International Speedway features a select field of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers at the 2.5-mile track. How does the race work? What is the format? How does one qualify for the event? answers those questions and more.

Programming info for The Clash:

When: Feb. 18, 8 p.m. ET
Where: Daytona International Speedway
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Defending race winner: Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing

What is the format?

The 75-lap, 187.5-mile race will be split into two segments. A competition caution at Lap 25 will separate the segments.

How do drivers qualify for this event?

Drivers are eligible for this event by the following ways: 2016 Coors Light Pole Award winners, former Clash race winners and former Daytona 500 pole winners who competed full-time in 2016. All 16 drivers from the 2016 playoffs are also eligible.

 drivers are eligible to race then?

20 drivers meet the requirements. They are:
Chris Buescher (2016 playoff qualifier)
Greg Biffle (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner)
Alex Bowman (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner)
Kurt Busch (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner)
Kyle Busch (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner)
Austin Dillon (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Former Clash Race winner)
Carl Edwards (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner)
Chase Elliott (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner)
Denny Hamlin (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner)
Kevin Harvick (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner)
Jimmie Johnson (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner)
Matt Kenseth (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner)
Brad Keselowski (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner)
Kyle Larson (2016 playoff qualifier)
Joey Logano (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner)
Jamie McMurray (2016 playoff qualifier)
Danica Patrick (Former Daytona 500 Coors Light Pole Award winner)
Tony Stewart (Former Clash Race winner)
Martin Truex Jr. (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner)

Some of those names are not driving in 2017 or have yet to secure rides.

That’s a good point. Biffle does not have a ride as of yet for the 2017 season, so he will not be competing. Edwards stepped away from racing last month, but NASCAR has allowed his replacement, Daniel Suarez, to drive in the race. Stewart has retired from NASCAR competition. So that puts the field at 18.

Bowman and Dale Jr. drove the same car in 2016; how can they both be in the race?

They won’t. Alex Bowman will drive the No. 88 in The Clash as a nod to the work he did as a substitute driver while Dale Earnhardt Jr. was out last season with concussion-like symptoms. Instead, Dale Jr. will be in the TV booth calling the action on FS1 with commentators Mike Joy, Jeff Gordon and Darrell Waltrip.

So the field will be made up of how many cars?

Seventeen drivers will make up the field: Buescher, Bowman, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Elliott, Hamlin, Harvick, Johnson, Kenseth, Keselowski, Larson, Logano, McMurray, Patrick, Suarez and Truex Jr.

How is the lineup determined?

A draw will be held to determine drivers’ starting positions. In past years, the crew chiefs have drawn for position. Hamlin, last year’s winner, started the race 15th.

Are there any points on the line?

No, this is a non-points event, just like the Monster Energy All-Star Race in May.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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