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Same Criteria, New Day for The Clash

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The Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway is always a great way to start the season, and next year will be no different – except for the day.

Rather than running the event on Saturday night prior to Sunday’s Daytona 500 qualifying, the race will run immediately following the time trial session on Sunday, February 11.

“A double-header, featuring The Clash and Daytona 500 qualifying, is a great way to start the 2018 season,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “The urgency created by the non-points race sets a tone for the season, providing a strong preview of the competition we expect will be a mainstay all year long.”

The change was made in hopes of increasing the number of fans in attendance for both, while day-time competition on a superspeedway being known for better racing due to cars sliding around a little more in fighting ill-handling conditions.

“For four decades, the Advance Auto Parts Clash has been a staple of the Speedweeks lineup,” Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile said. “The event has a rich history and serves as a preview to the Can-Am Duel qualifying races and the DAYTONA 500. Combining the Advance Auto Parts Clash and DAYTONA 500 Qualifying on the same day will deliver race fans a full day of NASCAR action.”

The rest of the event remains the same, once again broken into a pair of segments with a caution at Lap 25 separating them. Eligibility criteria remains the same as 2017, with no pre-determined number but limited to 2017 Coors Light Pole Award winners, former Clash race winners, former Daytona 500 pole winners who competed full-time in 2017 and drivers who qualified for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

Eligible drivers:

2017 Coors Light Pole Award Winners (14)

• Ryan Blaney, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Martin Truex Jr.

Former Daytona 500 Coors Light Pole Award Winners (3)
• Austin Dillon, Jimmie Johnson, Danica Patrick

2017 Playoff Drivers (3)
• Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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Ashley McCubbin

Currently the Executive Editor for Popular Speed, Ashley McCubbin also runs Short Track Musings, while handling media relations for OSCAAR. Currently living in Bradford, Ontario, she spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area taking photos.