Back To Racing: The Advanced Auto Parts Clash


It’s good to have racing again. The rain-delayed Advanced Auto Parts Clash was a great teaser for the season to come. With all the changes, it’s good to know some things are still the same. Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin are still aggressive, and the finishes at Daytona are still exciting.

Even with The Advanced Auto Parts Clash and qualifying behind us, there’s still numerous unanswered questions. JGR Toyotas led much of the Sunday race, two HMS Chevys are on the front row, and the Penske Fords obviously accounted well for themselves. There’s no way of reading who may be a clear-cut favorite. Junior Nation has to be hopeful with their favorite driver on the front row. Gibbs fans should be feeling good about how their cars raced. All there really is to do is let them settle on the track in Thursday’s duels, and Sunday’s edition of the Great American Race.

I don’t know about you, but I thought the racing was pretty good. With that being said, the Advanced Auto Parts Clash is not to be confused with the Daytona 500. How segmenting the race and all the other changes will affect the racing remains to be seen. It would stand to reason that the changes SHOULD curb the joy rides in the back of the pack, you still have to first finish to finish first. It’s hard to imagine there won’t be some top drivers who will play it safe until crunch time.

This fan can’t wait to see how the latest round of young guns fare. There’s a growing number of them, and there are those such as Chase Elliott and Daniel Suarez rolling in top flight rides. That’s no guarantee of success, but they’ve got all the right stuff in their corner. Personally, it will be nice to see fresh faces in the front.

Bench racing is more fun when there’s actual racing to fuel the conversation. Can’t wait for Thursday, and then Sunday.