The 2019 Clash at Daytona always signals the start of the 2019 NASCAR season to me. This year it seems like we were just turning over a new year and BOOM its race season. The thing about the clash is that it’s all about bragging rights. There are no points. It’s also a good time for teams to run in race conditions that will be similar to the Daytona 500 because Thursday’s Duel Races will be run during the evening and will not give the teams any real feedback that would necessarily be useful for the big show on Sunday.
The Clash itself was red flagged twice for rain and once at the end of the race for a major accident involving at least half of the 20 car field. This accident was “one of those racing deals” that happened when Paul Menard came down the track as Jimmie Johnson was coming up the track. Jimmie hit Paul’s left rear fender which sent Paul Menard sideways which collected the field coming up behind him. It put Jimmie in the race. The race was then stopped with a handful of laps left as the rain again descended on the cars that were sitting on pit road.
Jimmie Johnson was in the lead after the collision with Menard and declared the winner when they decided the weather would prohibit them from continuing the race. Ironic that Jimmie won the clash with his new crew chief Meendering when Knaus led Byron to the pole for the Daytona 500. Seems both are doing well after their off-season divorce.
For me- the hardest part of this new season is going to be remembering the driver changes. It seems wrong to me to see MTJ in the 19 and Kurt Busch in the 1. Those are going to be the hardest ones for me to remember. I don’t know about you all, but I am ready for the Daytona 500. Have at it boys!