NASCAR’s unofficial start to the 2020 season will begin on Sunday afternoon for the annual Busch Clash (3 p.m. ET/FS1/MRN) at the Daytona International Speedway. For the 42nd time, the all-star race around the 2.5-mile track will take place as no points, just money and bragging rights are on the line on Sunday.
A pair of Ford’s will lead the 18 car field to green as Ryan Newman drew the top starting spot on Saturday evening. Newman, was the lone Ford outside of the top 10 on the speed charts in the lone practice session of the weekend for the Clash cars on Saturday morning.
The 2008 Daytona 500 champion has never won a Clash before as his best finish is second in 2005. This also serves as his best starting spot too as his previous best was fourth (2010, 2019).
Brad Keselowski will roll off second in his No. 2 Ford. While we don’t qualify for this race, Keselowski has remarkably started up front almost every year. This will mark his seventh top five starting spot in eight Clash tries including six straight.
Martin Truex Jr. will start third while Kyle Larson and Aric Almirola round out the top five.
While starting spots are normally good, ironically enough, it’s not for the Clash. The last five winners have come from a starting spot of ninth or worse including eight of the last 11 from Row 4 or further back.
For practice, Toyota’s led the way this morning with Erik Jones (199.756 mph), Denny Hamlin (199.734 mph), Martin Truex Jr. (199.703 mph) and Kyle Busch (199.645 mph) being -1-2-3-4.
The top non Toyota was Ryan Blaney (198.667 mph) in fifth. Blaney, led a blue oval brigade who went 5-6-7-8-9-10-14. Chevrolet was only 11-12-13-15-16-17-18.
Busch Clash Starting Lineup
Row 1: Ryan Newman, Brad Keselowski
Row 2: Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson
Row 3: Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer
Row 4: William Byron, Alex Bowman
Row 5: Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick
Row 6: Chase Elliott, Erik Jones
Row 7: Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney
Row 8: Austin Dillon, Jimmie Johnson
Row 9: Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin