Johnson Turns Menard and Wins the Advance Auto Parts Clash

AP Photo/John Raoux

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – RIS – Jimmie Johnson, in a controversial move, tried to pass leader Paul Menard while causing a multi-car “big one,” and went on to a rain stopped Advance Auto Parts Clash exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway.  With weather coming, Johnson moved below Menard and the cars touched, spinning out Menard and wrecking most of the field.  The race was quickly called due to rain showers, and Johnson was declared the winner.

The race was called with 16 laps remaining.  Driver Ryan Blaney said there was rain prior to the dustup between Johnson and Menard.

“Our race cars don’t drive very good when it’s raining,” Menard said.  “and we had to do that for a couple of laps.  That was pretty sketchy.”

For Johnson it was his second victory in “The Clash” and capped a dominant day for Hendrick Motorsports, which won the Daytona 500 Busch Pole Award with William Byron and had all four of its drivers finish 1-4 in qualifying.

Menard was trying to become the first Wood Brothers Racing driver to win “The Clash,” and he led 52 of the first 56 laps and rode a dominant car on the preferred outside line. But the side-draft move by Johnson sent Menard spinning toward the wall and out of contention.

“Jimmie does that a lot at these tracks, so that‘s unfortunate,” Menard told a television reporter.. “Aggressive side-drafting caused that wreck.”

Johnson said he was going to call Menard soon.

Kurt Busch finished second in his debut with Chip Ganassi Racing, with defending series champion Joey Logano (Team Penske), Ryan Blaney (Team Penske) and Alex Bowman (Hendrick Motorsports) completing the top five.

Unofficial Race Results for the The 41st Annual Advance Auto Parts Clash - Sunday, February 10, 2019
Daytona International Speedway - Daytona Beach, FL - 2.5 - Mile Paved
Total Race Length - 59 Laps - 147.5 Miles
Track Race Record: Bill Elliott ; 02/08/87; 00:15:10; 197.802

Pos, Driver, Car, Laps, Status
1) Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Chevrolet, 59, Running
2) Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet, 59, Running
3) Joey Logano, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, 59, Running
4) Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Menards/Peak Ford, 59, Running
5) Alex Bowman, No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet, 59, Running
6) Austin Dillon, No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet, 59, Running
7) Chase Elliott, No. 9 Mountain Dew Chevrolet, 59, Running
8) Aric Almirola, No. 10 Smithfield Prime Fresh Ford, 59, Running
9) Ryan Newman, No. 6 Wyndham Rewards Ford, 59, Running
10) Daniel Suarez, No. 41 Haas Automation Ford, 58, Running
11) Jamie McMurray, No. 40 AdventHealth Chevrolet, 58, Running
12) Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Busch Beer Car2Can Ford, 57, Running
13) Paul Menard, No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, 55, Accident
14) Kyle Busch, No. 18 M&M's Chocolate Bar Toyota, 55, Accident
15) Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker ATVs Toyota, 55, Accident
16) Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Mobil 1 Ford, 55, Accident
17) Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, 55, Accident
18) Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford, 55, Accident
19) Kyle Larson, No. 42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet, 55, Accident
20) Erik Jones, No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota, 55, Accident

Time of Race: 1 Hrs, 20 Mins, 1 Secs. Average Speed: 110.602 MPH Margin of Victory: Under Caution
Stage 1 Top 10:
Stage 2 Top 10:
Race Comments: Jimmie Johnson won the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway, his second victory in the non-points paying Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. Prior to the start of the race, the following car(s) dropped to the rear of the field under penalty for the reasons indicated: 9, 11 (backup).
Failed to Qualify: (22) 1 Kurt Busch, 37 Chris Buescher, 38 David Ragan, 6 Ryan Newman, 34 Michael McDowell, 27 Casey Mears, 71 Ryan Truex(i), 47 Ryan Preece #, 40 Jamie McMurray, 95 Matt DiBenedetto, 62 Brendan Gaughan(i), 42 Kyle Larson, 43 Bubba Wallace, 13 Ty Dillon, 36 Matt Tifft #, 96 Parker Kligerman(i), 15 Ross Chastain(i), 00 Landon Cassill, 32 Corey LaJoie, 52 Cody Ware #, 51 BJ McLeod(i), 66 Joey Gase(i).
Caution Flags: 4 for 20 laps; Laps: 9-12 (Weather [Red Flag: 21:31] [None]); 27-32 (Lap 25 Segment Conclusion [None]); 41-47 (Weather [Red Flag 8:05] [None]); 57-59 (#2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 11, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 40, 41, 42, 48, 88 Incident Backstretch [None]).

Ron Fleshman

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2019, Issue 2, Posted 6:36 PM, 02.10.2019