DAYTONA BEACH, Fla – Starting on the pole for the season opening Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona (3 p.m. ET/FS1/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) hasn’t always been an advantage. Just once in the last 29 years has the pole winner won the annual All-Star race (Denny Hamlin 2014) at the Daytona International Speedway. In fact, starting on the front row in general isn’t much luck.
Only three times in the last 26 years has the winner come from the first or second starting positions. Although, all three were since 2010 though.
For Paul Menard and Kyle Busch, both are hoping that the past trend of unlucky front row starters ends with one of them.
Menard, will start from the pole for Sunday’s race when he earned the top starting spot via a blind draw. It’s actually his third pole in this race (2009, 2015, 2019).
Busch, will join Menard’s No. 21 Ford on the front row as his No. 18 Toyota will lineup alongside. Busch, is a former winner (2012) as he started second that year too. His team Joe Gibbs Racing has won three of the last five Clashes.
Defending Clash winner Brad Keselowski will start third as Ryan Newman rolls off fourth. Alex Bowman will round out the top five in his No. 88 Chevrolet.
All three Penske cars will start in the top four Rows as Penske has won the last two Clashes.
Both Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin will have to start in the last row due to going to backup cars after a crash in practice on Saturday morning. Coincidentally enough, both drew qualifying spots 16th and 17th respectively.
The 20 car field is made up of competitors who won a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole in 2018, former Clash winners who were competing on a full time basis in the series in 2018, former Daytona 500 winners who competed full time last season and drivers who qualified for last year’s playoffs.
Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona Starting Lineup
Row 1: Paul Menard, Kyle Busch
Row 2: Brad Keselowski, Ryan Newman
Row 3: Alex Bowman, Kevin Harvick
Row 4: Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney
Row 5: Austin Dillon, Daniel Suarez
Row 6: Jamie McMurray, Martin Truex Jr.
Row 7: Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson
Row 8: Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola
Row 9: Kurt Busch, Erik Jones
Row 10: Chase Elliott (Backup Car), Denny Hamlin (Backup Car)