William Byron wins Daytona pole as Hendrick Motorsports dominates qualifying

13 February, 2019, 19:53 | Author: Suzanne Horton
  • Elliott

(19) wreck during the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway.

There were four lead changes and four cautions in the race, which was stopped with 16 laps remaining because of the weather. In the rain-shortened race that was stopped twice for inclement weather, Paul Menard led 51of the 59 laps.

Besides the controversial finish with Johnson, there really wasn't much to write on about this race since the field was a single file for the majority of the race. The Duel consists of two 150-mile races that determine positions 3-40 in the DAYTONA 500 field. No more green flag laps were contested following this wreck. Second place Jimmie Johnson, with a feeling of urgency of impending rain, dove low.

"You know, it's a transition for both of us, and we're both working through it on the professional side, but the personal side, we've been great friends for a long time." said Johnson, "Both of us want to make sure that our friendship is one that lasts a lifetime and that we're here for each other outside of - inside the racing bubble, but certainly outside with family and all the other stuff that goes with it".

Soon thereafter, the skies opened up, and the track was lost - ending the event. "I could see it coming", Johnson said.

"I thought we were going to be somewhere in the hunt", Byron said. "I saw my move and I had to take it".

Hendrick Motorsports is now 2-for-2 at Speedweeks with the front row for Sunday's season-opening Daytona 500 and Johnson's victory in the exhibition Clash. Kevin Meendering leading this team.

"Extremely excited to win", Johnson said. Those two races were Berryhills on Cup Series races, to this point.

Paul Menard took some of the blame for the multi-car crash, but was not very happy with the level of aggressiveness by Johnson.

Additionally, Harvick pointed out the cost of more than 20 crashed race cars as another reason to ax the Clash after this year's running.

"It just drug Menard around with him, and that's some of the instability in the draft that these cars show", Busch said. "I'm ready to get more of this". One other note is that I would recommend only playing GPPs this week with maybe a small dip into the cash contest pool.

Once again, it seems like the only cars that could make headway on the bottom were the Penske Fords, when that group was led by Joey Logano. After being shuffled back during the final stint, he was able to miss this chaos, and finished third.

"It's no different than an National Football League team when you've got a really good coach and a really good quarterback and a really good team, but for some reason it is exhausted and you need a spark", Hendrick said. "There's just different things that any and every team and every driver deal with, so to work through today and to win today just kind of, I think, helps with some of that outside pressure on where the team is". A few minutes later rain halted the scheduled 75-lap race again, and NASCAR declared it official. If you've made it this far into the post, thank you.


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