Event: Advance Auto Parts Clash (non-points race)
Series: Monster EnergyNASCAR Cup Series
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Format: 75 laps, broken into two segments of 25 laps and 50 laps
Start/Finish: 12th/4th (Running, completed 75 of 75 laps)
Race Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
● Danica Patrick (Started 12th, Finished 4th / Running, completed 75 of 75 laps)
● Kevin Harvick (Started 7th, Finished 5th / Running, completed 75 of 75 laps)
● Kurt Busch (Started 10th, Finished 17th / Accident, completed 16 of 75 laps)
● Patrick started 12th and raced as high as fifth in the opening 25-lap segment.
● The No. 10 TaxAct Ford Fusion team pitted under caution at lap 19 for four tires and fuel and again for fuel only between segments.
● Patrick took the green flag for the second segment in the 11th position.
● She dropped back to 16th near the mid-point of the race, but rallied back to the top-10 with two laps to go.
● Patrick successfully avoided a multicar accident involving the leaders on the final lap and scored a fourth-place finish.
● The result marked Patrick’s first top-five in the Clash. Her previous best finish was a 10th-place effort in 2015.
● Field was comprised of 2016 pole winners, former Clash winners, former Daytona 500 pole winners and 2016 playoff participants.
Danica Patrick, Driver of the No. 10 TaxAct Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Talk about today’s race. “I will say that I got a little lucky, but there’s a lot of that in speedway racing. It was a nice way to start things off in the TaxAct Ford today. These Fords seem pretty fast. Roush Yates (Engines) does a great job. I got dropped back in the very back for a little bit, but once they started shuffling around, I got a big run. I felt fast, but it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time and having the right help behind you, too. It got harder and harder toward the end of the race with fewer cars out there, but we were in the right place at the right time.”
With today’s race being run during the day instead of last night, do you feel like you’re a step ahead for next week’s Daytona 500? “I would agree with that. The way that the cars are handling in the heat of the day is good practice for the 500, more so than it would have been if we would have run at night by all means.”
Billy Scott, Crew Chief for Patrick and the No. 10 TaxAct Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
How would you assess today’s race? “It was a good start to Speedweeks. We had good pit stops and Danica and her spotter Brandon (Benesch) got to work well together and get ahead on communication for Thursday, which matters a lot now because there are points available in the Duel races. It was also a good way to start things off with a lot of new team members on the No. 10 TaxAct Ford team and the new relationships with Ford and Roush Yates Engines.”
Daytona 500 pole qualifying, where Patrick, Harvick, Busch and Clint Bowyer will be among 42 drivers going for the pole for the 59th annual Daytona 500. Qualifying is set to get underway at 3:10 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 19, with live coverage provided by FOX. The Can-Am Duel – twin 150-mile races which will set the rest of the Daytona 500 field – take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23 with live coverage on FS1. Speedweeks at Daytona then culminates with the Daytona 500 at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 1 p.m.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!