With no points on the line, it didn’t take too long for calamity to strike in Sunday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway.
The 17 drivers in the first race of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season knew the 75-lap Clash was strictly an exhibition race, which means for some it was checkers or wreckers.
On Lap 18, Jimmie Johnson got loose coming out of Turn 4, with the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet tagging the right rear of Kurt Busch’s No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, sending the SHR car hard, nose-first into the outside wall.
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It was the sixth consecutive poor Clash finish for Johnson and with Busch’s car heavily damaged, he was knocked out of the race.
Busch was the first driver to go through NASCAR’s enhanced concussion protocol following the wreck.
“There was an individual that met me out by the car and rode with me in the ambulance. I met with the doctors and just went through sequences to check all the different vitals, and then we were released,” said Busch after leaving the infield care center. “Just a little bit of an upgrade. You can tell they’ve made an effort and it’s nice to have that security.”