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How the Advance Auto Parts Clash works
MORE : Full starting lineup " Practice results The exhibition event known as the Advance Auto Parts Clash (Feb. 18, 8 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) is the kickoff to the 2017 NASCAR season. The non-points paying event at Daytona International Speedway features a select field of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers at the 2.5-mile track. How does the race work? What is the format? How does one qualify for the event? NASCAR.com answers those questions and more. Programming info for The Clas h : When: Feb. 19, 11:35 a.m. ET Where: Daytona International Speedway TV: FS1 Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Defending race winner: Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing What is the format? The 75-lap, 187.5-mile race will be split into two segments. A competition caution at Lap 25 will separate the segments. How do drivers qualify for this event? Drivers are eligible for this event by the following ways: 2016 Coors Light Pole Award winners, former Clash race winners and former Daytona 500 pole winners who competed full-time in 2016. All 16 drivers from the 2016 playoffs are also eligible. Which drivers are eligible to race then? " Entry list for 'The Clash' 20 drivers meet the requirements. They are: Chris Buescher (2016 playoff qualifier) Greg Biffle (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Alex Bowman (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Kurt Busch (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Kyle Busch (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Austin Dillon (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Dale Earnhardt Jr . (Former Clash Race winner) Carl Edwards (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Chase Elliott (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Denny Hamlin (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Kevin Harvick (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Jimmie Johnson (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Matt Kenseth (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Brad Keselowski (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Kyle Larson (2016 playoff qualifier) Joey Logano (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Jamie McMurray (2016 playoff qualifier) Danica Patrick (Former Daytona 500 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Tony Stewart (Former Clash Race winner) Martin Truex Jr . (2016 Coors Light Pole Award winner) Some of those names are not driving in 2017 or have yet to secure rides That's a good point. Biffle does not have a ride as of yet for the 2017 season, so he will not be competing. Edwards stepped away from racing last month, but NASCAR has allowed his replacement, Daniel Suarez , to drive in the race. Stewart has retired from NASCAR competition. So that puts the field at 18. Bowman and Dale Jr. drove the same car in 2016; how can they both be in the race? They won't. Alex Bowman will drive the No. 88 in The Clash as a nod to the work he did as a substitute driver while Dale Earnhardt Jr . was out last season with concussion-like symptoms. Instead, Dale Jr. will be in the TV booth calling the action on FS1 with commentators Mike Joy, Jeff Gordon and Darrell Waltrip. So the field will be made up of how many cars? Seventeen drivers will make up the field: Buescher, Bowman, Kurt Busch , Kyle Busch , Austin Dillon , Elliott, Hamlin, Harvick, Johnson, Kenseth, Keselowski, Larson, Logano, McMurray, Patrick, Suarez and Truex Jr. How is the lineup determined? A draw will be held to determine drivers' starting positions. In past years, the crew chiefs have drawn for position. Hamlin, last year's winner, started the race 15th . " See the starting lineup Are there any points on the lin e? No, this is a non-points event, just like the Monster Energy All-Star Race in May.
Dillon, Papis react to post-race incidents
Ty Dillon expresses his frustration with Chase Elliott on their last-lap wreck and Max Papis recalls his rough racing with Mike Skeen at the end of the Chevrolet Silverado 250.
Papis gets slapped
Max Papis holds his composure after being slapped by Mike Skeen's girlfriend after the Chevrolet Silverado 250.
Diamonds in the rough: NASCAR eBay findings
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! RELATED: Read more Inside Groove ITEM 1: Richard Petty autographed photo w/ Rick Wilson at the zoo It's what you've dreamt of for the past 25 years -- an autographed photo of Richard Petty. And Rick Wilson. AT THE ZOO. Alternative: Men's NASCAR Classics light blue Richard Petty 80th birthday shirt While the photo would look great at your desk at the office instead of that picture of your family, a T-Shirt featuring The King might do a better job out in public. ITEM 2: NASCAR sheet metal No. 4 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John's quarter-panel A piece of sheet metal from Kevin Harvick 's Jimmy John's car that just reads "Freaky." Give the guests stopping by your racing cave the wrong idea. Alternative: Unsigned Kevin Harvick Fanatics authentic display case with race-used sheet metal Protect yourself from sharp metal edges with a display-case protected piece of Happy's car. ITEM 3: 2003 Wheels High Gear No. 69 Greg Biffle rookie racing card A Greg Biffle rookie card -- No. 69, of course. Alternative: Greg Biffle pit row cornhole game set Greg Biffle cornhole. I think he would have wanted it this way. ITEM 4: Ryan Newman action figure An action figure of Ryan Newman spilling a bottle of sports drink. Butter fingers! Alternative: Men's Ryan Newman New Era black team relation knit beanie Protect your head from rogue sports drink spray. ITEM 5: Dale Jr. NASCAR 3M Hard Charger Award A novelty check for $25,000. If you successfully cash it, you've got a pretty decent return on investment. Alternative: NASCAR Superstore $25 Gift Card Why have $25,000 in novelty dollars when you can have 25 real dollars' worth of NASCAR merchandise? ITEM 6: Ron Hornaday No. 2 pit board sign Does Ron Hornaday live in your neighborhood? Wave this sign out front of your house and find out -- he'll surely stop! Alternative: WinCraft NASCAR street sign You might get a little more buy-in from your cohabitants with the alternative. ITEM 7: Mike Bliss Advair race-used fire suit Was your Mike Bliss Halloween costume feeling incomplete? No longer. Alternative: Men's Kyle Busch orange M&M's Halloween t-shirt Of course there's no true alternative to a complete Mike Bliss driver suit and helmet. ITEM 8: Dale Jarrett No. 88 race-used tire side wall picture Finally! The answer to your longtime question: "Where can I find a photo of Dale Jarrett to put inside the sidewall of my tire?" Alternative: Dale Jarrett collectible lot of 15 trading cards You might be able to assemble all these trading cards on a piece of poster board, and enjoy 15 pictures of Dale Jarrett instead of just one. ITEM 9: Mike Wallace No. 91 Spam Racing denim jacket Want to show your love of Mike Wallace 's tenure in Joe Falk's No. 91 Spam Racing machine from the late '90s? What better way than with a 20-year-old denim jacket? Alternative: Rusty Wallace black vintage car t-shirt While Mike Wallace merchandise is hard to come by in this decade, you can always count on brother Rusty to come through with vintage shirts. ITEM 10: Dale Jr. wakeboard You've often asked yourself: "How can I combine my love of NASCAR and passion for wakeboarding?" Look no further than this Dale Earnhardt Jr .-from-the-early-2000s-themed wakeboard. Alternative: Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2017 wall calendar Of course, there's no substitute for a wakeboard -- but this calendar can help you remember when it's time to hit the ... waves? (Or whatever it is that wakeboarders say). ITEM 11: Dale Sr. knife set in metal tin car What do we have here? If you guessed "a car resembling the late Dale Earnhardt's that's been stretched out in Microsoft Paint and has wheels that don’t touch the ground," you're right! Alternative: Dale Earnhardt checkered flag black name and number bandana How about a nice bandana instead? ITEM 12: Race-used Cougar hood It's a hood. With a cougar. Alternative: Fanatics authentic Daytona generic chair with black track bottom It's hard to beat actual seats from Daytona International Speedway . ITEM 13: Kyle Busch ID holder Holy heck! A genuine "Kyle Bush" ID holder! And you’d better believe it's emblazoned with that famous No. 18 (well, a No. 18 that doesn't really resemble the real thing). Alternative: WinCraft NASCAR color frost key ring How about something a little more official? (And speaking of ... ) ITEM 14 : NASCAR race official race-used fire suit There's no telling what you could do when you show up to the race in an Official's uniform. Alternative: Men's Fanatics branded black NASCAR t-shirt It's probably a safer bet to show your love of NASCAR with a simple t-shirt than impersonating a race official. Trust me on that one.
Ten years later: Harvick recalls Daytona 500 victory
Watch Kevin Harvick's last-lap pass of Mark Martin that carried him to his first Daytona 500 win on Feb. 18, 2007.
Elgin Sweeper renews partnership as official sweeper of NASCAR Green
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! ELGIN, Ill. – Elgin Sweeper , the leading manufacturer of street sweepers for general street maintenance, special industrial and airport applications, has renewed its partnership with NASCAR Green™ for three years and will continue to serve as the Official Sweeper of NASCAR Green . "Elgin Sweeper has provided trackside support for NASCAR for more than 15 years. Since we entered into our NASCAR Green partnership four years ago, we have experienced incredible success," said Mike Higgins, vice president and general manager of Elgin Sweeper. "Our company shares NASCAR's passion for, and commitment to, protecting the environment through sustainable practices." "Elgin Sweepers are essential to maintaining a clean and dry surface during our events," said Jim Cassidy, senior vice president, racing operations at NASCAR. "Every race weekend, Elgin Sweepers deliver dependable and clean technology that helps us return to green flagging racing more efficiently." Official Sweeper of NASCAR Green As the Official Sweeper of NASCAR Green, Elgin Sweeper is present at each NASCAR race event weekend to support NASCAR's Air Titan equipment to dry rain-soaked racetracks, saving jet fuel and reduce NASCAR's overall carbon footprint. In addition to supporting the Air Titan equipment with the revolutionary Elgin Crosswind ® Specialty Track Sweeper , the company helps clean and dry the tracks during caution periods when necessary. "For years, most racetracks borrowed a local street sweeper, or used a small machine designed for sweeping parking lots," Higgins said. "As the Official Sweeper of NASCAR Green, Elgin Sweeper has raised the bar in terms of racetrack sweeping, drying and conditioning, mitigating dust left behind from absorbent products used to clean fuel spills on the track, and removing rubber and debris in and around the pit area." Elgin Crosswind Specialty Track Sweeper In 2016, the Elgin Track Sweeper helped with drying rain-soaked tracks and vacuuming up standing water, rubber and debris around the pit area at 76 races of the National Series and more than 200 National Series practice sessions. "Based on our Crosswind GRS unit used to vacuum liquid glycol from airport runways, the Elgin Track Sweeper includes unique technology features developed specifically for a racetrack setting," said James Crockett, product manager at Elgin Sweeper. "These features include a thermal imaging camera that helps the operator locate liquids that may be camouflaged from the naked eye; a side air-blast nozzle capable of moving air at 270 mph for locations such as grass on the inside field, pit areas and weepers; a reverse sweep system equipped with radar; a 20,000 CFM-rated fan; a hydraulically-driven side broom with plastic bristles; and a soft-wall attachment to vacuum out behind the cracks on the racetrack and the soft wall before and after each race. "By speeding up the time it takes to clean and dry the track, the Elgin Track Sweeper assists the overall process of keeping the race event on schedule," Crockett said. "By doing so, the overall operations energy usage around the track – electricity used in the suites, media centers and lighting systems – is also significantly reduced." Crockett added that the powerful and effective technology incorporated in the Elgin Track Sweeper has been used in sweepers purchased globally by military customers to help keep their respective air force and navy runways clean of debris. Shared Power technology The company's proprietary shared technology system diverts the formerly wasted energy from the sweeper's chassis engine back to power the Elgin Track Sweeper itself. "This technology offsets about 16 metric tons of carbon dioxide being put into the environment over the course of a full NASCAR season, which is the equivalent of planting 372 new tree seedlings," Crockett said. Elgin Track Sweeper by the numbers • The first Elgin Track Sweeper was built in 2001 for the Kansas Speedway . • The sweeper picks up to 50 gallons of water per minute. • The sweeper saves roughly one gallon of diesel fuel per hour. • The sweeper's 10-foot sweep path covers the width of 1.5 race cars. • 16 NASCAR-certified drivers operate the Elgin Track Sweeper throughout the race season.
GMS Racing aims to stay on fast track to success
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! How far GMS Racing has come in such a short amount of time can be seen when visiting the Statesville, North Carolina, shop. "Win banners," NASCAR XFINITY Series rookie Spencer Gallagher says. "It starts out with myself and Grant (Enfinger) running ARCA cars, and you can trace the lineage all the way down to the very last banner right now which is Johnny (Sauter) and that championship. "Getting to walk into our shop and look at that lineup and just watch the chronology of GMS come along, it's an awe-inspiring thing." GMS Racing is at the top of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series mountain heading into 2017. Sauter delivered the company its first championship in his first season here. GMS also went to Victory Lane six times in 2016 with four different drivers. "It really was one of those surreal moments when Johnny crossed the finish line at Homestead, and I sat there and thought to myself, 'We've gone from zero to championship in 36 months,' " Gallagher said. In other words, the organization's hard work paid off. What started with two trucks and one ARCA car has rapidly expanded to a multi-vehicle operation with entries in two of NASCAR's national series. Just how did the company go from being just another also-ran to contenders? Gallagher doesn't hesitate to hand out credit. "I think it all begins with getting your competition director, Mike Beam, on board," Gallagher said. "That man is the single best thing we've done since we started racing. As my father (team owner Maurice Gallagher) likes to say, you want great people everywhere, but a lot of times organizations are built on three or four really fantastic people in a couple places, and your job is to go find those. You need to find the genius among the geniuses and those are the people you build a team around." Beam joined GMS Racing in January 2015 and said the organization just about threw everything away and started over. Maurice Gallagher not only put faith in Beam's leadership but also followed it with his commitment to making it work financially. Beam has been nothing but impressed by Maurice Gallagher, calling him a unique man who loves competition, winning and building companies. When he signed on, Beam didn't have two years to make GMS Racing better off, but he admits the two talked about needing a clear direction in that time frame. One of the first things Beam wanted to instill in the organization was a sense of consistency in how the shop operated. That meant making sure areas such as the wind tunnel or the aero departments were in line. He worked with getting the crew chiefs and the car chiefs operating in the same way, which translated to having the drivers feel the same thing every week. "Basically just bring some consistency in the program, and trust me, we're still working on that," Beam said. "It's getting better, but to be where we're at now, everyone's come a long way. It's been a lot of work." In 2017, Sauter and crew chief Joe Shear Jr. will defend their title while Justin Haley and Kaz Grala embark on their rookie seasons. Furthermore, Kevin Bellicourt and Jerry Baxter have signed with the organization to crew chief for Haley and Grala, respectively. While the Truck Series program looks primed for continued success, Spencer Gallagher is moving into the XFINITY Series with Joey Cohen serving as his crew chief. It will be the first time GMS has fielded a full-time XFINITY Series effort, and the organization has set itself up well by purchasing chassis and engines from Hendrick Motorsports . Beam says GMS will count on JR Motorsports to help them get their XFINITY organization up and running, as well as assist with the wind tunnel program. "(JR Motorsports') Ryan Pemberton and his group are doing a great job helping us with that," Beam said. "The team with them is going to be priceless because those guys have gone above and beyond and they're racing well. Spencer having, I don't want to say a teammate, but to have somebody (to lean on) because Elliott Sadler is such a good guy and Justin Allgaier ; they're just really good people. "I feel like it was best to get aligned with people like that for us to go to the next level." Both Gallagher and Beam are eager to see what this year brings, knowing they have just as strong a lineup as 2016. There's an air of believing "we can do great things" around the shop since they've already shown themselves they can, Gallagher says. Beam is a little more reserved. He preaches every day that one cannot just be involved at GMS Racing but must be committed. There is also the constant reminder that it's all about winning. Which Beam feels the organization needs to do more of this year because few got away in the past. However, Beam and Gallagher can both agree GMS Racing is better off now than it was two years ago. "We're not going to panic if we don't get off to a really good start, but I feel like we will," Beam said. "Everybody's just got to execute. I feel like our lineup is really good. I feel like everybody seems to work together (well), and I keep telling everybody, this is all about GMS. Everybody works together. And I think everybody's buying into that."
Stages, enhancements add to pit road pressure
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! NASCAR's race enhancements have set up stages that will see drivers battling for stage wins and playoff bonus points. The impact of accumulating playoff points has a big benefit during the 10-race playoff in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series that starts in September, and it could lead to added pressure on pit road. A playoff point from a stage win could end up representing the difference between a driver advancing deeper into the playoffs or being eliminated based on the amount of playoff points one carries into a round. Those point perks could be delivered to a driver by some clutch work on pit road. That fact is not lost on Mike Lepp, the senior athletic advisor at Joe Gibbs Racing , who was the organization's longtime athletic director working with the team's pit crews. "With the new format -- can you get those stage wins with a pit stop? Yes, you can," Lepp told NASCAR.com. "All you got to do is go back to the All-Star Race. If you go back and look at that All-Star stop, which is similar to what this is, we went from fourth to first." RELATED: Fast facts about the race enhancements
Tyler Reddick seizes opportunity with Chip Ganassi Racing
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! Tyler Reddick won't be competing full time in 2017, but the former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series racer expects to log just as many laps this season as he did this past year. After two full seasons of seasoning with Brad Keselowski Racing, Reddick will split seat time with Kyle Larson this season in the No. 42 NASCAR XFINITY Series entry fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. BBR Music Group will provide sponsorship for multiple races with Reddick. His first scheduled start with the team will be the season-opening Powershares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway (3:30 p.m. ET, Feb. 25, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.) "A full-time schedule in the Truck Series is 23 races," Reddick told NASCAR.com. "The partial (XFINITY) schedule will be 18-20, so when you think about that ... and add up all the laps, you're probably going to get more seat time than you would running a full-time truck schedule, you'll probably have more tires for practice. So actually I'm probably going to get about the same or maybe a little more seat time than I did running full time in the Truck Series. That's still a lot of great opportunities to learn and get better and hopefully have some good runs with the team." Reddick, 21, won three times in the Truck Series. He finished second in points in his first full season in 2015 with wins at Daytona and Dover. He added a victory at Las Vegas last year but slipped to ninth in points. RELATED: See Reddick's No. 42 look for 2017 "I could have worked out an opportunity to where I possibly could have remained at BKR one more year but there were definitely some other things going on and some other opportunities to be had," he said. "Fortunately, the right person kind of got us pointed in the right direction, got us talking with Chip's people and got the ball rolling there. ... "We were just really fortunate that the guys with Ganassi wanted me to be in their vehicle." Larson and Justin Marks shared driving duties last year for the No. 42 team, which will continue to be led by crew chief Mike Shiplett. Larson also drives the organization's No. 42 Chevrolet in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ; he picked up XFINITY Series wins at Pocono and Texas while Marks earned the victory at Mid-Ohio last year. Ganassi also fields additional teams in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series , with driver Jamie McMurray , and the XFINITY Series, with Brennan Poole . It's that depth and talent, Reddick said, that makes running a partial schedule just as attractive as running full time elsewhere. "There are a lot of really good people in the shop and on the road that are within Chip Ganassi in the XFINITY and on the Cup side," he said. "Whether it be a partial schedule with this team or someone different -- the advantage with this team is they have Cup cars, they have XFINITY cars and they are more than a single-car team. There's a lot of good people involved here. "The other big gains from this are having someone like Kyle Larson that I'm sharing the car with. Being able to go to the race track and when I'm outside the vehicle, being able to take in a different perspective just from afar." It's a similar situation to his move into the Truck Series, when he initially ran a partial schedule for Keselowski in 2014 and shared seat time with the owner/driver as well as fellow racer Joey Logano . "I got to learn a lot just from those guys," Reddick said. "Sitting outside and watching them work with the guys ... seeing how they worked with them, how they go about their race, what their race plan is and how they communicate with one another. You wouldn't think it would do much but it really helps to get things moving in the right direction. I thought it really helped me on my first year." It's not the first time Reddick and Larson's paths have crossed. Both grew up in California -- Reddick hails from Corning, while Larson is a native of Elk Grove -- and the two often competed in the same events. Larson eventually migrated to Sprint cars while Reddick, at his family's urging, chose the dirt late model route. "My family was scared to death of Sprint cars and scared I was going to get hurt so we decided to go dirt late model racing," he said. "That's where our backgrounds split. But where we learned how to race and drive was pretty much the same -- in those early outlaw cars. "So similar backgrounds; obviously we took two different paths there toward the end but somehow we've ended back up in the same place." Although he will only run between 18 and 20 races with the team this season, Reddick expects to be competitive. The No. 42 entry finished seventh in the owners' championship a year ago and Reddick said that's a team goal from the outset. As for his goals, Reddick said he hopes to step in and compete for top-five finishes out of the box. "Top 10s would be great but I know this team is capable of that with anybody in the car. I want to get these guys top fives right off the bat," he said. "They are capable of it and I have to do my part. I know this team has won races with Kyle and Justin." A win, he said, would be "very reasonable." "I'm not just trying to say 'Oh yeah, I can win a race' or come across as being boastful or ... arrogant," he said. "That's how good this team is -- they're very capable of that and I'm not going to sell it short. They won multiple times last year. "If I do my part and don't make any mistakes throughout the course of a race, that's something that's very reasonable that we can accomplish. No pressure, right? I just have to do my part and be smart about it." &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
Mike Bumgarner named Sadler's Miami crew chief
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Nov. 15, 2016) -- JR Motorsports race operations manager Mike Bumgarner will serve as crew chief of the No. 1 OneMain Financial team this Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway as driver Elliott Sadler vies for the NASCAR XFINITY Series championship. Bumgarner will fill the role normally occupied by Kevin Meendering. Meendering is serving a one-race suspension as it was determined last Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway that two lugnuts were not satisfactorily fastened to the No. 1 car at the end of the Ticket Galaxy 200 . NASCAR announced the infraction and penalty following the event. "We let Kevin ultimately make this decision because it's his team," said general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller. "Kevin chose Mike to sit in the crew chief's seat and for good reason -- he is experienced atop the pit box and very dependable. We have a great deal of confidence in Mike to give Elliott his best opportunity to win on Saturday." As one of the drivers left standing in the XFINITY Series Championship 4, Sadler can win his first NASCAR title in Saturday's season finale. The Emporia, Virginia, native enters the race with three wins in 2016, 13 top-fives and 28 top-10s in 32 starts. He will compete against JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier and Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez . Bumgarner, a native of Huntersville, N.C., is a 22-year veteran in NASCAR. He spent 18 years at Hendrick Motorsports , where he worked on cars for Terry Labonte , Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch . In 2007, he was crew chief on Busch's No. 5 Chevrolet, which won four races and three pole awards. Bumgarner came to JRM in 2013 as crew chief for Kasey Kahne and Brad Sweet in the No. 5 NXS entry. The following year he was promoted to oversee race operations for all JR Motorsports teams.