In the first race of the 2018 NASCAR season, it’s The Clash where drivers who made the playoffs, sat on a pole in 2018, or have won a pole can qualify for the race.
This year there were 20 eligible drivers with 17 of them taking to the track for the 75 lap race. There will be a competition caution at lap 25.
After a drawing by the crew chiefs, the starting lineup for The Clash is:
Martin Truex Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Dale Earnhardt Jr, Matt Kenseth, and Danica Patrick also qualified for The Clash but are not a part of the race.
Austin Dillon brings the field down for the green flag and gets out in front of the field tfor the lead of the race.
After starting the race n last place, Brad Keselowski has moved up to 14th after the first lap.
Lap three Denny Hamlin passes Austin Dillon to take over the lead of the race.
Lagging at the back of the field, Kasey Kahne is in danger of losing the draft on lap five.
Lap six the cars are single file with Denny Hamlin leading the race.
Lap seven Kyle Larson got loose but saved the car and the track stays green.
Lap nine Denny Hamlin is still out in front of the field.
Lap 10 Chase Elliott passes Denny Hamlin to take over the lead of the race.
Lap 14 Chase Elliott gets passed by Austin Dillon. The two drivers swap the lead back and forth for a few laps with Austin Dillon taking over the lead of the race on lap 16.
Brad Keselowski is in the top five on lap 17.
Lap 17 Chase Elliott retakes the lead after passing Denny Hamlin.
Lap 19 Chase Elliott holds on to the lead of the race as drivers get two and three wide behind him jockeying for position.
With the first pit stops approaching, it will be the first time the teams will face servicing the cars with only five over the wall crew members under competition conditions. Last season crews were making pit stops in the eleven second range, this season pit stops are much slower – in the 16 to 17 second range.
Lap 23 Chase Elliott leads the race by less than a tenth of a second.
Lap 23 Joey Logano challenges Chase Elliott for the lead with the two drivers swapping the lead. Joey Logano takes over the lead of the race.
Lap 25 Joey Logano leads the race.
Before the caution flag comes out, several of the drivers bring their cars down pit road for service.
NASCAR throws the caution flag once all 17 cars have completed the lap.
Kevin Harvick leads the race.
Jimmie Johnson was caught driving through too many pit boxes.
Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 30 and holds on to the lead.
Lap 33 Brad Keselowski continues to lead the race.
Jamie McMurray brings out the caution flag on lap 34 when he gets turned around and brushes the wall after getting loose when Kurt Busch came up on his bumper. McMurray ended up making a run through the grass after brushing the wall.
Several drivers bring their cars down pit road for service. With a fuel run of around 46 laps the drivers could not make the remainder of the race without making a fuel stop.
After taking only two tires, Brad Kesleowski and Chase Elliott will bring the field down for the green flag restart. Ryan Blaney also took only two tires.
Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag restart with 37 laps remaining in the race but Brad Keselowski takes over the lead of the race.
With 35 laps to go, Brad Keselowski continues to lead the race. Jamie McMurray is one lap down.
With 33 laps to go Martin Truex Jr challenges Brad Kesleowski for the lead but Keselowski holds on to the top spot.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr went below the double yellow line and passed a driver – which is a violation – and had to serve a pass through penalty. A driver can avoid a penalty only if he was forced below the line by a fellow driver.
With 28 laps to go, Jamie McMurray has taken his car to the garage. Brad Keselowski continues to lead the race.
With 24 laps to go, Brad Keselowski holds on to the lead of the race. Prior to the race, Keselowski said that he would move through the field to take the lead of the race.
Only 20 laps remaining in the race and Brad Keselowski continues to lead the race. After serving his pass through penalty, Keselowski puts Ricky Stenhouse Jr a lap down.
Seventeen to go, Brad Keselowski has a tenth of a second lead on Ryan Blaney.The top nine drivers are separated by less than a second.
Only 12 laps remaining in the race, Brad Keselowski holds on to the lead with Ryan Blaney in second and Joey Logano in third.
Nine to go and the drivers reach speeds of 201mph with Brad Keselowski holding on to the lead of the race.
Leader Brad Keselowski has debris on his front grille but it doesn’t appear to be causing him any trouble.
Six to go and Brad Keselowski continues to lead the race.
Martin Truex Jr also has debris on his car, but his temperatures are rising.
Four to go and Brad Keselowski continues to lead the race.
Jimmie Johnson gets turned around and wrecks on the final lap after getting a bump from Kyle Larson. Kyle Busch was also involved in the wreck.
After starting the race in last place, Brad Keselowski wins the race with team mate Joey Logano following. The win was an early birthday present for Keselowski.
The results of The Clash:
Martin Truex Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr