DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Brad Keselowski led a Ford sweep of the top-four finishing spots in Sundays Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway. Team Penske teammates Joey Logano finished 2nd and Ryan Blaney 4th while Kurt Busch came home 3rd.
The Clash, an exhibition race made up of 2017 pole winners and former Daytona pole winner, pitted a 17-car field against each other in a 75-lap sprint to the finish.
Keselowski led 43 of the 75 laps, a even bigger feet when considering he started last after a random draw of starting positions. The Team Penske trio ran 1-2-3 for the last quarter of the race before Blaney’s attempted move with two to go shuffled him back before rebounding for fourth after a multi-car accident on the final lap.
In Daytona 500 qualifying, which sets the field for Thursday’s Duel races, Ford was led by Kevin Harvick’s eighth place finish. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was 9th, Joey Logano 11th and Paul Menard 12th.
MONSTER ENERGY CUP RACE TOP-10 FINISHERS
1st Brad Keselowski
2nd Joey Logano
3rd Kurt Busch
4th Ryan Blaney
5th Austin Dillon
6th Denny Hamlin
7th Kyle Busch
8th Erik Jones
9th Kevin Harvick
10th Kyle Larson
REMAINING FORD FINISHERS
16th Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion (Finished 1st)
WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND DOWN THE STRETCH? “I was worried about the run but the car was way overheating there at the end and I was more worried about it blowing up than anything else. Doug Yates and his guys did a good job giving me something real durable to take all that and keep digging. I am really proud of the whole effort here. What a way to start speedweeks, putting the Miller Lite Ford in Victory Lane. I am really proud of my team.”
THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME IN VICTORY LAND DURING SPEEDWEEKS. “It means a lot. I have never won anything here during speedweeks and I feel like I have choked them away to be quite honest. You need one to break through. Hopefully this is our breakthrough.”
WHAT WAS THE HANDLING LIKE OUT THERE? “The cars are a handful. They are supposed to be. This is professional racing and they are supposed to be hard to drive. This was no exception today. This is probably the hardest I have ever had to drive a car at Daytona, but I am not complaining.”
Joey Logano, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion (Finished 2nd)
“It is fun when you are up there running and you don’t know what is going to happen. The suspense keeps building as you are running single-file. Three to go, two to go, here comes the white flag. When do you make the move? Do you make a move? Sometimes you make and it is never the right thing. Everything has to time out just right. You are waiting to see what everyone else is going to do and you are thinking about the type of people they are and what the possible moves are they will make. Then as soon as we hit the white flag Blaney was able to go to the bottom, I had to stay on top because I would have gotten passed by the 48. I thought I would get a good push on the backstretch. The 41 had a hell of a run. Then they wadded them up.”
Kurt Busch, No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion (Finished 3rd)
“Project number one was to do all the laps so that we could understand more about our tires and our setup and the way that the car was going to handle. Then step number two was to have fun. I had a blast. I wanted to make another move on the last lap but ran out of steam because the guys behind me got too wide. I couldn’t jump in there and go after the Penske guys. It is a good day for Ford and good day for us and Billy Scott, my new crew chief. Now we will go back and debrief about our car.”
Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Menards/Peak Ford Fusion (Finished 4th)
“I was just really trying to time the run and that is what I was messing with with Joey behind me. I thought we were in a good spot. Even though Brad is one of the best at doing this, I thought we had a good chance at it. We had a decent run through the trio val and I probably didn’t pull out at a very good time. I thought it was enough but I got hung out. I should know better than that. I need to learn from that. I am proud of our team today, Menards and Peak, our first race with them. I think we learned a bunch for next week. I hope we can apply it.”
“I thought the car would be a handful and at times they were. You can get pretty loose and the bumps shoot you around. Not too bad. Something to be aggressive with, which is what you need. You can always get a little more and maybe we will learn more about that in the Duels and 500.”