After dodging rain for many of the laps at Daytona International Speedway Sunday, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series non-points Clash ended early with a big crash.
After two red flags for rain, the field was trying to close out the 75-lap race when on lap 58 Jimmie Johnson tried to make a move on Paul Menard entering turn 4. The two cars touched, and Menard’s Ford was sent spinning. A total of 17 of the 20 cars entered were involved. The race was put under yellow, and soon after the rains came again, this time heavier that they had all afternoon. Having gone the official distance, the race was red flagged and Johnson, who had emerged from the crash nearly unscathed was declared the winner.
“I knew the rain was coming,” Johnson said. “I was trying to set-up my move and make my run on the No. 21 car. I had it kind of set-up down the backstretch a few laps prior to that and then my opportunity came along, I made that move to the inside and then we kind of got together. I’m not sure if just the air breaking his bumper plane pulled his car over or if he was late to block, but it was just really a racing thing honestly. So, I made my move and unfortunately he got sideways and it collected a bunch of cars.”
Menard who led most of the race was scored 13th.
“Unfortunately, we just got turned there,” he said. “I didn’t really know what happened until I saw a replay. I felt like it was aggressive side-drafting. I got turned to the inside and hooked to the right and all hell broke loose.”