The unofficial start to the NASCAR season is just days away.
Sunday’s Clash exhibition race, formerly known as myriad names including the Busch Clash, Sprint Unlimited, and Budweiser Shootout, will feature 17 drivers and be run after pole qualifying for the Daytona 500. That’s a departure from recent Clashes, which have been run on Saturday night and only run on Sunday afternoons because of rain reasons.
There were 20 drivers eligible for the Clash, but three aren’t participating because they aren’t running full-time in 2018. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth have retired and Danica Patrick’s only NASCAR start is the Daytona 500.
Here are the 17 drivers participating and how they got into the race. Joey Logano won the 2017 race thanks to a late crash.
Jamie McMurray – Made 2017 playoffs
Brad Keselowski – Won two poles in 2017
Austin Dillon – Made 2017 playoffs
Kevin Harvick – Won four poles in 2017
Chase Elliott – Won one pole in 2017
Denny Hamlin – Won two poles in 2017
Ryan Blaney – Won two poles in 2017
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – Won one pole in 2017
Kyle Busch – Won eight poles in 2017
Erik Jones – Won one pole in 2017
Joey Logano – Won two poles in 2017
Ryan Newman – Made 2017 playoffs
Kurt Busch – Won one pole in 2017
Kyle Larson – Won three poles in 2017
Jimmie Johnson – Made 2017 playoffs
Martin Truex Jr. – Won three poles in 2017
Kasey Kahne – Made 2017 playoffs
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