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Logano takes Clash; Elliott, Junior on front row for 500

(MRN)  Team Penske extended its recent run of success on restrictor-plate tracks Sunday afternoon with Joey Logano’s victory in the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway. Contact between race leader Denny Hamlin and a fast-closing Brad Keselowski on the last lap opened the door for Logano to claim his first victory in the annual non-points special event featuring pole winners from the previous season. Dating back to May of last year, Logano and Keselowski have now combined to give Team Penske four straight wins on NASCAR superspeedways at Daytona and Talladega. Hamlin led a race-high forty-eight laps and took the white flag at the front of the field before feeling the heat from Keselowski, who stuck the nose of his Number-2 Ford under Hamlin as they charged through Turns-1 and 2. Hamlin, seeking his second straight victory in the exhibition race and fourth overall, moved the Number-11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota down the track to block Keselowski but wasn’t quick enough and made contact. Logano steered his Number-22 Ford to the outside and motored past the skirmish, beating runner-up Kyle Busch to the checkered flag by one-point-one seconds. Keselowski finished sixth and Hamlin slipped to thirteenth.

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES

Top 10 Finishers in the 39th Clash at Daytona

DRIVER STARTING POS. LAPS LED

  1. Joey Logano (9) 4

  2. Kyle Busch (13) 5

  1. Alex Bowman (8) –

  1. Danica Patrick (12) –

  1. Kevin Harvick (7) –

  1. Brad Keselowski (Pole) 18

  1. Chase Elliott (14) –

  1. Daniel Suarez (R) (16) –

  1. Chris Buescher (17) –

  1. Jamie McMurray (3) –

A pair of Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets led the way Sunday in Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented by Kroger, with Chase Elliott winning his second straight pole for “The Great American Race.” He’s the son of 1988 Cup Series champion Bill Elliott and the reigning Rookie of the Year. Now, he’s also the first driver with back-to-back Daytona 500 poles since Ken Schrader put three in a row together from 1998 through 1990. Elliott topped the speed chart yesterday with a lap of 192.872 miles per hour. He’ll share the front row with teammate Dale Earnhardt Junior, who is returning to competition after missing the second half of last season while recovering from a concussion. Lap times for the remaining forty drivers will set the starting lineups for Thursday night’s qualifying races, with Elliott and Earnhardt starting from the pole in their respective

150-mile events.

Elliott and Earnhardt are locked into their starting positions for the Daytona 500, regardless of where they finish Thursday. The remainder of the forty-car field for next weekend’s race will be set in the Can-Am Duel twin qualifying races … Other qualifying results of note … Sunday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash winner Joey Logano qualified seventeenth … defending Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin was sixth … Germain Racing’s Ty Dillon is the highest-qualified rookie in the field, twelfth … reigning seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson qualified fourteenth … and Daniel Suarez was fifteenth as he starts his first season replacing Carl Edwards for JGR.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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