Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Jimmie Johnson Wins Advanced Autoparts Clash, Preview To The Daytona 500

Jimmie Johnson Wins Advanced Autoparts Clash, Preview To The Daytona 500

William Byron climbs out of his vehicle after his qualifying run for the Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Chip Ganassi Racing's Kurt Busch finished the race in second place in his #1 Chevrolet while Team Penske teammates Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney finished in third and fourth place in their #22 Ford and #12 Ford, respectively, and Hendrick Motorsports' Alex Bowman finished in fifth in his #88 Chevrolet.

"Last year sucked. I ain't gonna do that no more", Hendrick told The Associated Press just one week before his cars left North Carolina for Daytona.

There is plenty more NASCAR Cup Series action scheduled to take place at Daytona International Speedway over the course of the next week.

"As we talk about money and saving team owners money, Joe Gibbs wrecked five cars", said Harvick, who crashed in Clash practice and then again at the end of the race. The outcome was a big shock after not having much speed in the Chevy Camaro's a year ago as William Byron won his first pole of his career and to start next to him will be Hendrick teammate, Alex Bowman. Wallace, who drives for seven-time DAYTONA 500 champion Richard Petty, finished second in the DAYTONA 500 previous year.

Not unlike the 2018 Daytona 500, the victor of The Clash earned that distinction by wrecking the leader on what proved to be the final lap of the race.

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It was the fifth consecutive year a Hendrick vehicle has won the pole for the Daytona 500 and it was the 700th pole for Chevrolet, the only partner Hendrick has had in racing.

Of course, every year we get done with The Clash and try to extrapolate a conclusion in advance of the 500 and the conditions just aren't the same. It is also the first time a team has swept the first four positions in Daytona 500 qualifying.

"Knowing the rain was coming you could see it coming and I knew that was my lap to make the move I had a great run down the back", Johnson said. "That was my first dealership". It's the last way I want to win a race. It's all my dad ever raced.

"Just a great day".

And that was before Johnson bulldozed his way into victory lane. In the rain-shortened race that was stopped twice for inclement weather, Paul Menard led 51of the 59 laps. It was what he had to do to win an exhibition race worth little more than a trophy, and he was unremorseful as he watched video replays that showed him causing the crash. Johnson's win continued a banner day for Hendrick Motorsports. "I made a move and got to the inside and was side drafting him, and his auto started wobbling. The odds of making the Daytona 500 did not seem reasonable enough to stretch our resources, so the team feels that our assets can best be put towards a future race". And the racing formula for the showcase race is unlike the remainder of the NASCAR schedule, in which a completely different rules package will be used to determine the champion.

And on the opening weekend of the season at Daytona International Speedway, they both have already won something apart.

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