Erik Jones wins wreck-filled Busch Clash in third overtime attempt

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Erik Jones survived four wrecks in the final 22 laps and three overtime restarts to win Sunday’s Busch Clash at Daytona International Speedway.

He did it with arguably the most damaged of the six cars that finished the 88-lap race, which began with 18 cars. Jones was listed as being involved in three of the four wrecks.

Jones received a push from teammate Denny Hamlin, who was a lap down, and passed Ryan Newman and Austin Dillon on the final lap to claim the win in the exhibition race.

Jones beat Dillon, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Larson, Newman and Hamlin. Those were the only cars that were running at the end.

“Not (a race) I would have thought we’d (have) won,” Jones told FS1. “It was an awesome race. I got to give a huge thanks to Denny there in the 11. He stuck with us there that whole last lap. It wasn’t the fastest car I don’t think left in the race. But we brought it home. I owe him one for that, for sure.”

MORE: Race results

MORE: Keselowski upset with Logano after wreck

Jones said he was surprised by how damaged his race-winning car was.

“I knew it was pretty tore up, I could see the hood, but I didn’t know the nose was so busted in until I saw it,” Jones said. “We recreated the Terry Labonte picture (from his win in the 1995 Bristol night race) with our crew, so I’m excited to see how that turned out. … I’ve won with some beat up cars racing at short tracks, but they never looked quite like that. It’s one I’ll always remember.”

With so much mayhem over the last portion of the race, Jones said he was “just laughing a lot of the time at the end.

“Because No. 1, I couldn’t even believe we were still going. And No. 2, that we were up front and having a shot. … I was having a great time. I would love to have that car and point it out and tell the story of it.”

The fourth wreck, which led to the final restart, occurred in Turn 4 as a result of contact between Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson.

The third wreck occurred on the first overtime attempt, when Denny Hamlin got loose while trying to fend off Elliott’s attempt to take the lead and spun. The ensuing carnage included 11 cars, almost every one left in the event.

The wreck that created the need for overtime occurred on a restart with three laps to go in the scheduled 75-lap distance.

The field hadn’t even crossed the start-finish line when contact between William Byron and Ryan Newman in the outside lane caused Byron to swerve. He was then hit from behind by Kevin Harvick, which sparked a chain reaction that collected 10 cars.

“Obviously I gunned it like you normally would on a speedway,” Byron told FS1. “You don’t normally spin the tires that bad. If anything, you spin them a little bit. Obviously pretty dumb to spin the tires like that. I don’t know if there was something on the track or what. It was not the best moment.”

That restart was set up by a wreck at the front of the pack with nine laps to go in the scheduled distance. Joey Logano was leading and trying to hold off a charge from Kyle Busch when they made contact as they exited Turn 4. That caused Busch to lose control and slam into Logano. Brad Keselowski and three others were involved.

Keselowski, who led a race-high 33 laps, slammed the side of an ambulance in frustration after leaving his car.

NOTABLE: At 88 laps, this was the longest Busch Clash yet … Jones earned Joe Gibbs Racing its ninth win in the Clash. All have come since 2001 … All five of Toyota’s wins in the Clash have come in the last eight years.

NEXT: The Daytona 500 qualifying duels at 7 p.m. ET Thursday on FS1

 

Former NASCAR Chairman Brian France defends leadership style in interview

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Former NASCAR Chairman Brian France defended his leadership style when running the stock-car series and said in an interview with Sports Business Journal that he was working on leaving the sport before he was ousted after his DWI arrest in August 2018.

The interview with Sports Business Journal marked France’s first public comments since his arrest.

France became NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in September 2003, assuming the position from his father, Bill France Jr.

Brian France held that position until Aug. 6, 2018, when he took a leave of absence after his arrest for driving while intoxicated in Sag Harbor, New York. He was replaced by Jim France and did not return to NASCAR.

Brian France pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated in June 2019. As part of the agreement, he was required to complete 100 hours of community service and undergo alcohol counseling. If he completes those and does not run afoul of the law, his misdemeanor charge will be reduced to a non-criminal infraction in June 2020.

France told Sports Business Journal that he was actively talking to and identifying potential replacements before his arrest but did not go into detail.

France, who oversaw the TV deal with NBC and Fox that goes through 2024 and created the Chase/playoff format, defended his absence from the track during his reign. France did not attend every race and that became an issue in the garage, raising questions about how involved he was with the sport.

“I understand that kind of criticism, but there is no other sports league that gets any criticism like that,” France told Sports Business Journal of the time he spent at the track. “I’ve always found that a bit interesting that no one else asks another commissioner how many football games or practices he made.”

Jim France is at the track nearly every weekend. Brian France told Sports Business Journal that while his uncle attends more races to match his objective, “(it) didn’t match up with mine, so I had to take the criticism on my way to managing the commercial side.”

France, who endorsed Donald Trump for president at a Feb. 29, 2016 rally at Valdosta State University in Georgia, accompanied President Trump on Air Force One to Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, according to the pool media report.

Monday’s Daytona 500: Restart time, weather and more

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Let’s try this again.

After rain postponed Sunday’s race, Cup drivers will get back on track Monday at Daytona International Speedway to complete the Daytona 500. And the forecast looks very good for Monday’s race.

The race was halted after 20 of 180 laps with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leading.

Here are today’s details:

(All times are Eastern)

RESTART: Command to fire engines at 4:02 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 4:12 p.m. 

DISTANCE: 180 of the scheduled 200 laps remain to be run on the 2.5-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 65. Stage 2 ends on Lap 130.

TV/RADIO: Fox’s broadcast begins at 4 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s broadcast begins at 4 p.m. and also can be heard on mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: The wunderground.com forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with a high of 73 degrees and a 3% chance of rain when the race resumes.

RUNNING ORDER:

  1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  2. Joey Logano
  3. Aric Almirola
  4. Ryan Newman
  5. Kevin Harvick
  6. Brad Keselowski
  7. William Byron
  8. Jimmie Johnson
  9. Ty Dillon
  10. Timmy Hill
  11. David Ragan
  12. Chris Buescher
  13. Matt DiBenedetto
  14. Chase Elliott
  15. Ross Chastain
  16. Alex Bowman
  17. Kyle Larson
  18. Kurt Busch
  19. Austin Dillon
  20. Cole Custer
  21. Michael McDowell
  22. Tyler Reddick
  23. Ryan Blaney
  24. Bubba Wallace
  25. Reed Sorenson
  26. BJ McLeod
  27. Corey LaJoie
  28. Brendan Gaughan
  29. Ryan Preece
  30. Justin Haley
  31. Martin Truex Jr.
  32. Kyle Busch
  33. Erik Jones
  34. Christopher Bell
  35. Denny Hamlin
  36. Clint Bowyer
  37. John Hunter Nemechek
  38. Quin Houff
  39. Joey Gase
  40. Brennan Poole

Daytona 500 postponed to Monday

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The Daytona 500 has been postponed until Monday, NASCAR announced Sunday evening.

The race is scheduled to take the green flag at 4:05 p.m. ET Monday. The garage will open at 1:30 p.m. The race will air on Fox.

The wunderground.com forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with a high of 72 degrees and an 11% chance of rain when the race is scheduled to resume.

The race was scheduled to take the green flag Sunday at 3:18 p.m. ET but that was pushed back because of President Donald Trump’s participation in ceremonies before the race. He gave the command to start engines and his motorcade led the field on a pace lap. An extra pace lap was done to honor Jimmie Johnson, who is making his final Daytona 500 start.

As the field was set to take the green flag at 3:29 p.m. ET, rain in Turns 1 and 2 prevented the start. Rain fell throughout the track and led to a 51-minute delay.

When the race resumed, the field completed 20 laps before rain led to a caution at 4:36 p.m. ET. The field again was brought to pit road and the race was stopped. NASCAR told teams they could uncover cars on pit road at 6:18 p.m. ET but almost immediately there were reports of rain drops around the track. Drivers were called to their cars but never got in them. It began to pour around 6:44 p.m. ET. The race was called at 6:50 p.m. ET

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. led the opening 20 laps. He is followed by Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick.

Sixth through 10th is Brad Keselowski, William Byron, Jimmie Johnson, Ty Dillon and Timmy Hill.

This is the second time the Daytona 500 has been postponed by rain. It happened in 2012.

Daytona 500 once again under rain delay

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Rain has once again put a damper on the 62nd Daytona 500.

The race got through the first 20 laps of the scheduled 200-lap event before the yellow flag came out, sending cars back to the pits.

Pole Sitter Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and his Chevrolet has led all laps since the green flag fell. Fords make up the next five spots (Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski), while the highest Toyota’s driver — Martin Truex Jr. — is back in 31st place.

It was the second time rain has impacted the event. After seven pace laps, the start of the race was delayed for 51 minutes due to rain. Engines were re-fired at 4:14 p.m. ET

The race is airing on Fox.

We will keep you updated on the status of the race and when it resumes.