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Sunday’s Busch Clash to feature 18-driver field at Daytona

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NASCAR has announced the 18 drivers who will compete in this Sunday’s Busch Clash at Daytona International Speedway (3 p.m. ET on FS1).

The non-points race will go 75 laps around the 2.5–mile superspeedway and be broken down into two segments. A competition caution on Lap 25 will separate the two segments.

The field for the 42nd edition of what many just call “The Clash” is made up of entrants who meet one of these five criteria:

  • 2019 Busch Pole Award winners
  • Former Clash winners who competed full-time in the previous season
  • Former Daytona 500 winners who competed full-time in the previous season
  • Former Daytona 500 pole winners who competed full-time the previous season
  • Drivers who qualified for the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs

Those drivers in Sunday’s race are: Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, William Byron, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr.

Two other drivers – Daniel Suarez and Daniel Hemric – are also eligible due to having earned Cup poles last season, but will not compete.

Suarez signed with Gaunt Brothers Racing last week and the team announced it would not run The Clash, while Hemric is racing in the Xfinity Series this season.

Hamlin (2006, 2014 and 2016) and Harvick (2009, 2010 and 2013) are the winningest active drivers in Clash history with three wins apiece.

Johnson won last year’s exhibition race, which was shortened to 59 laps due to rain. Sunday will likely be the last Clash for Johnson, who is retiring at the end of the season.

Dale Earnhardt Sr. is the all-time leader with six Clash wins.

Of those in Sunday’s field, Johnson has the most starts in The Clash (17), followed by Kurt Busch (16), Harvick and Newman (15 starts apiece).

Busch Clash entry list 2020

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Coca-Cola 600 resumes after rain delay

Coca-Cola 600
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The Coca-Cola 600 is back under way following a rain delay.

The caution was issued on Lap 49 for rain and the field was brought to pit road. The red flag was issued at 7:07 p.m. ET and lifted at 8:16 p.m. ET.

The top five at the time of the stoppage was Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick and Joey Logano.

Check back for updates.

 

Denny Hamlin team faces potential penalty after ballast falls off car

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Denny Hamlin was involved in an incident even before Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 got underway that could result in a hefty penalty.

A chunk of tungsten ballast — which teams use to bring Cup cars up to minimum weight standards — fell off Hamlin’s car on a parade lap.

The incident puts Hamlin’s crew chief Chris Gabehart and several others on the team in violation of the NASCAR rule book, which means a hefty penalty could be in the offing.

According to the NASCAR rule book, the penalty is 12.5.2.7.4.d: Minimum safety penalty options — “Loss or separation of added ballast from the vehicle will result in a four Race suspension of the crew chief, car chief, and head engineer. If NASCAR cannot identify which series or vehicle the lost ballast originated from, all vehicles entered for that Event from and associated with the team organization identified on the lost ballast may receive the suspensions.”

If NASCAR implements the potential penalty, Gabehart and others could miss the following four races: May 27 at Charlotte, May 31 at Bristol, June 7 at Atlanta and June 10 at Martinsville.

Several of those tracks are good for Hamlin, including winning the Bristol summer night race last year, as well as was fourth at the Martinsville playoff race last fall and 11th at Atlanta.

NASCAR ordered Hamlin back to pit road where the No. 11 crew added a new chunk of ballast to Hamlin’s car. He returned to the race eight laps down.

Here’s what a fabricator from rival team Stewart-Haas Racing tweeted about the incident:

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Coca-Cola 600 starting lineup

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Chevrolet drivers swept the top three rows for tonight’s Coca-Cola 600, led by Kurt Busch‘s pole-winning lap of 181.269 mph.

Jimmie Johnson was next with a lap of 181.214 mph. He was followed by Chase Elliott (181.002 mph), Matt Kenseth (180.923), rookie Tyler Reddick (180.905) and Austin Dillon (180.741).

Ford driver Joey Logano, who starts seventh after a lap of 180.451 mph, was the top qualifier not driving a Chevrolet.

TO THE REAR: Matt DiBenedetto (backup car), Brad Keselowski (unapproved adjustment), Aric Almirola (unapproved adjustment), JJ Yeley (unapproved adjustment) and Timmy Hill (unapproved adjustment)

Click here for Coca-Cola 600 starting lineup

Kurt Busch on pole for Coca-Cola 600

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Kurt Busch will lead the field to the green flag for tonight’s Coca-Cola 600 after claiming the pole Sunday afternoon at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

It is Busch’s 28th career pole and first at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Busch is joined on the front row by Jimmie Johnson. Chase Elliott qualified third and is followed by Matt Kenseth and rookie Tyler Reddick. Austin Dillon was sixth, as Chevrolet drivers took the top six spots.

Click here for qualifying results

Aric Almirola spun coming to take the green flag to begin his qualifying lap. He grazed the wall with his rear bumper.

Matt DiBenedetto slapped the wall off Turn 4 during his qualifying lap and will go to a backup car and start at the rear of the field.