Courtney Force To Drive The Pace Car #AAPClash
The Advance Auto Parts Clash will open the 2017 NASCAR season on the evening of February 18th. A total of twenty drivers are eligible to participate in the annual preseason, seventy-five lap, two segments, non-points race at the iconic Daytona International Speedway. The event will be broadcast live on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
The annual all-star event was first held in 1979, and originally known as the Busch Clash. A number of name changes ensued over the years, but now the once-iconic label is back.
"The Clash was a classic race name, one that truly resonated with our fans," said Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile. "It evokes the rich history of both NASCAR and our facility. We are honored to have Advance Auto Parts -- a company that resonates with our current fans -- join us as we bring the name back to our Speedweeks schedule. We're coming full-circle for this event, honoring our past while also looking to the future."
The number of Clash participants has ranged from a low of seven in 1981 to a high of 28 in 2009. Unlike previous years, the starting field for the 2017 Advanced Auto Parts Clash at Daytona will not be a predetermined number of cars; rather, the field is limited to drivers who meet more exclusive criteria. (20 drivers are eligible for this year’s event).
Interesting fact: Buddy Baker (1979), Dale Earnhardt (1980), Jeff Gordon (1994), Dale Jarrett (1996) and Denny Hamlin (2006) all won the first Clash at Daytona in which they competed. This year, Alex Bowman, Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott and Daniel Suárez will be making their debut in the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona.
Head Scratcher: Not quite sure why, but NASCAR has confirmed that Daniel Suárez will be allowed to compete in the Advance Auto Parts Clash as a replacement for the retired Carl Edwards. However, Clint Bowyer, who is taking over Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Ford Fusion, is still ineligible for the event.
I'm looking forward to it. You think @AllWaltrip will let me and @JeffGordonWeb get a few words in? https://t.co/VTkSIl5Nkn— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) February 10, 2017
Although Dale Earnhardt Jr. is actually one of the twenty drivers to qualify for the 2017 Clash, he will skip the race to join Fox’s usual broadcast team of Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Gordon. It will be Jr.’s first time calling Cup Series action. He assisted with a XFINITY Series race broadcast last summer.
So this is happening! I get to drive the pace car for the advanceautoparts Clash at @disupdates!… https://t.co/bFsGIzo6BL— Courtney Force (@courtneyforce) February 14, 2017
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