Johnson Wins Season-Opening Clash at Daytona

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Jimmie Johnson won Sunday’s season-opening Advanced Auto Parts Clash from Daytona International Speedway after rain ended the race early.

Rain threatened the race throughout the day, and caused the race to be red-flagged three times throughout the afternoon.

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The final red flag followed a wreck that collected 17 of the 20 cars.  With rain imminent, Johnson got a run on Paul Menard and the two made contact.  Menard spun up the track and collected most of the field.

Johnson said he knew he had to make a move with the rain on the horizon.

“Extremely excited to win,” Johnson said.  “It’s not a points race, but it’s a good start.”

Johnson won on a day that was dominated by Hendrick Motorsports.  Earlier in the day, William Byron and Alex Bowman swept the front row for Daytona 500 qualifying.  In the offseason, Byron was paired up with Johnson’s longtime crew chief Chad Knaus, while Johnson was paired with Kevin Meendering.

Johnson said the partnership was already off to a good start.

“This group of Ally team members…have been working so hard and we’re off to a good start,” Johnson said.

“Just really happy for a great day for Hendrick Motorsports…qualifying 3rd for the Daytona 500 then to win the Clash.  There’s been a lot of new things going on; extremely excited to win.”

Unofficial results:

  1. Jimmie Johnson
  2. Kurt Busch
  3. Joey Logano
  4. Ryan Blaney
  5. Alex Bowman
  6. Austin Dillon
  7. Chase Elliott
  8. Aric Almirola
  9. Ryan Newman
  10. Daniel Suarez
  11. Jamie McMurray
  12. Kevin Harvick
  13. Paul Menard
  14. Kyle Busch
  15. Martin Truex Jr.
  16. Clint Bowyer
  17. Denny Hamlin
  18. Brad Keselowski
  19. Kyle Larson
  20. Erik Jones