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Chase Elliott triggers NASCAR's first wreck in 2019 before the season actually started

Chase Elliott triggers NASCAR's first wreck in 2019 before the season actually started

The green flag will drop on the NASCAR season today with the exhibition Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway. That year, Menard drove the No. 27 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, and this time he'll pilot the iconic No. 21 Ford Mustang.

Former Clash victor Kyle Busch will line up alongside Menard on the front row for Sunday afternoon's 75-lap event.

Defending event victor Brad Keselowski starts third, followed by Ryan Newman and Alex Bowman.

This year's Clash field is comprised of Busch Pole Award winners from the previous season, as well as former Clash winners, Daytona 500 winners and Daytona 500 pole winners who competed full time in 2018 and any 2018 playoff drivers who didn't qualify for the race by one of the other criteria. Six times the victor of the Clash has gone on to win the first official race of the season, with the most recent being Denny Hamlin in 2016. The cars utilize the same restrictor plate package that is used in the Daytona 500 next week and the track is the same 2.5-mile layout Daytona always is, so the only real changes is the race length and having about half as many cars starting the race as normal. Hamlin and Chase Elliot will start in the back row with backup cars after wrecking their primary cars in Clash practice. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:24 p.m.

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