Rained-out Clash sets up Sunday doubleheader at Daytona
Good news, race fans: The weather in Daytona Beach is perfect today, which should make for a great day of racing at the world center of speed.
Last night, the Advance Auto Parts Clash was rained out, so NASCAR will run the 75-lap exhibition race at 11:30 a.m., with live television coverage starting on FS1 at 11 a.m. ET.
A total of 17 cars are entered in the Clash, which will be run in two stages: A 25-lap first segment and a 50-lap final segment. The Clash starting grid was set by random draw, with Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Team Penske Ford on pole, flanked by Denny Hamlin, the three-time and defending Clash winner and his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
At 3 p.m. on FOX, it will be time for Daytona 500 qualifying, which is unique in NASCAR.
A total of 42 drivers are entered for 40 starting spots, with the 36 Charter teams all guaranteed a starting spot. That leaves six open teams fighting for the final four spots.
All 42 cars will do a single lap of qualifying this afternoon. Of those, the 12 fastest will advance to Round 2, which will determine the front row for the Daytona 500.
Only the front row will be locked in today. Starting positions 3-40 will be set Thursday evening during the two Can-Am Duel 150 Daytona 500 qualifying races. The Duels will also determine which two drivers will miss the 500.
The last 14 years have produced 14 different Daytona 500 pole winners and we could see a 15th this afternoon.
Fortunately, the weather is much improved: Between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., the maximum chance of rain at any time is 15 percent, according to weather.com.
So it ought to be a great day of competition at Daytona.