The 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will officially kick off this Saturday, Feb. 18. The Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona will feature who's who in this year's race, although this has no implication for the real 2017 season. But we will get to see cars racing and hear the roars of the engines.
The Daytona Advance Auto Parts Clash is a 75-lap exhibition race, split into two segments with a competition caution at Lap 25 separating the segments. There are 20 eligible drivers. However, only 17 are reportedly going to participate. The starting lineup is determined via a random draw right before the race begins.
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Fansided reports that the Clash at Daytona will have no points. And this will be the first time that the drivers are taken to the tracks pitting against each other since the 2016 season in Miami.
Who are driving for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Clash at Daytona?
The starting field for this year's Clash at Daytona has been limited to a driver exclusive criteria. Part of this Saturday's clash is only those who were 2016 pole winners, former Daytona 500 pole winners who competed full-time in 2016, former Clash race winners, and drivers who qualified for the 2016 Chase.
Daniel Suarez will be driving in No. 19, replacing Carl Edward's spot. There are 12 2016 pole winners, comprising Alex Bowman who will be driving the No. 88 car, Kyle and Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, and Denny Hamlin.
Meanwhile, the 2013 Daytona 500 pole winner Danica Patrick is also joining the exhibition race. Plus, Chris Buescher will make his debut in No. 37 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet. Jamie McMurray has to step up his game and make it to the finals. And Kyle Larson might be looking to build on his success as part of the NASCAR playoffs, reports Fox Sports.
There were 4 other drivers who did quality for the exhibition race. However, 2 of them have already retired, Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will not be driving during the Clash due to concussion precautions. And Greg Biffle has no ride in 2017.
The 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Clash at Daytona will be this Saturday at 8:00 pm ET. The event will take place at Daytona International Speedway. So, be sure to tune in and cheer for your favorite driver as the race is about to heat up this weekend.