A week from the Daytona 500, Hendrick Motorsports had an impressive Sunday in Florida. After the team solidified two of their cars on the front row for the race in seven days, veteran driver Jimmie Johnson won the “Advance Auto Parts Clash” exhibition race. The lead came on the final green lap when Johnson collided with race leader Paul Menard, sending him into the pack of cars behind him. A red flag came out on the 58th of scheduled 75 laps due to rain, with the race subsequently ending afterwards.
“(A) Really big day for the 48 team… An epic day across the board,” said Johnson during the post-race press conference. He went on to say that today’s success was “a great sign for the week ahead.” His last Cup Series win came in 2017 at Dover International Speedway, with his highest 2018 placing being third at Bristol Motor Speedway. Johnson is a two time Daytona 500 winner.
The day had numerous run-ins with sporadic weather, with two red flags going out earlier in the race. There were slight amounts of rain visible during the Daytona 500 Qualifying earlier as well.
Paul Menard had a successful outing before finding himself in a wreck on lap 54. He started on pole position, joined by Kyle Busch, who fought in the middle of the pack for most of the race. Most of the field was involved in the collision at the end.
NASCAR will have four days of racing to start on the 15th with their two Clash races. On the following days there will be NextEra Energy 250, the NASCAR Racing Experience 300 and the Daytona 500.