Brad Keselowski scored the win Sunday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway.
Keselowski held off a charge from Team Penske running mate Joey Logano and was in front when a multi-car accident broke out behind him on the final lap. Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Kasey Kahne and others were involved in the melee jockeying for position.
But NASCAR kept the green flag in the air and Keselowski was able to cross the finish line first to score the win in the annual pre-season event.
“It’s a great way to start the season…I’m happy for everyone on my team, this is the first time I’ve ever won something in Speedweeks,” Keselowski said in Victory Lane.
Keselowski led 41 of the day’s 75 laps. He started last in the 17-car field.
“It feels really good,” Keselowski said. “Last year we started first and it didn’t go our way. We were joking after the drawing, (crew chief) Paul Wolfe usually does the drawings, he didn’t do it this year and we got last. So we said, ‘Look, this will be the year that we win it,’ and sure enough, here we are.”
Last year’s winner Logano came home second to give Team Penske the 1-2 finish.
“It was really hard to be patient there in the last laps,” Logano said of the field racing single file for nearly twenty laps at the end of the race. “You didn’t want to make a move too early and lose positions but needed someone to go with you of course to make it happen. That was tough but I’m glad the way it worked out that if it wasn’t me, Brad won the race.”
Kurt Busch and Ryan Blaney were next to five Ford the first four finishing positions. Austin Dillon rounded out the top five.
Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, Kevin Harvick and Larson completed the first 10 finishers.
Johnson’s accident led to the seventh straight season he was eliminated and did not finish the Clash.
‘Yeah, I got turned,” Johnson said. “Larson and I were just talking about that in the Care Center. I need to go back and look at the video and see if he really did get me center and if that could have been a contributing factor to it. A lap before that, I think the No. 41 (Kurt Busch) got into me and pushed me pretty hard and everything was fine. So, in my head I cleared that concern and was looking out the windshield sitting in a great spot, but unfortunately didn’t make it back.”
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams return to the track for Thursday’s Can-Am Duel races.