Friday, 19 August 2022

Is Busch Clash wreckfest a sneak preview of Daytona 500?

Posted On Monday, 10 February 2020 06:40 Written by
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Yes, Erik Jones actually won the Busch Clash in this car. He was one of six drivers to finish the race, which was marred by several big wrecks. Yes, Erik Jones actually won the Busch Clash in this car. He was one of six drivers to finish the race, which was marred by several big wrecks. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

As I watched Joey Logano’s car turned into a lawn mower, Jimmie Johnson take a brutal hit into the wall, and so many other cars losing sheet metal today, part of me was thinking that this Busch Clash crashfest (which came late in the race after mostly single file racing through the early parts) may be an anomaly. It’s a non-points race, first of the season, etc., and won’t carry over to Sunday’s Daytona 500.

But that part of me is probably wrong. My other half, the realistic one, knows that winning the Daytona 500 is probably going to be the biggest win of their career for most of the drivers on the grid. So while I’m somewhat confident we’ll have more than 6 cars finishing the Daytona 500, don’t be surprised if the crazy blocks and big-time wrecks just keep on coming when the field of 40 takes the green on Feb. 16.


It’s nothing new, as Daytona usually has at least one “Big One” … but the Clash was a step above in terms of ridiculousness, and did not deliver what most true fans want: Clean, competitive racing. It’s hard to enjoy something where the yellow flag is flying more than the green flag.

Here’s hoping for cooler heads prevailing next week, but I wouldn’t put any money on it. And as a side note, after seeing how little happened earlier in the race, I say the Clash should be shortened to 50 laps or less.

And congrats to Erik Jones, who somehow pulled out a victory in a car that looked like yesterday’s lunch. 

Ford vs Toyota: The dislike is real
In his sharp words while being interviewed after being eliminated from the race, Brad Keselowski made a point that stood out to me. He said the wreck took out all the top Fords and allowed a Toyota to go on and win the race.

What that signals to me is that manufacturer rivalry intensity is growing. The impetus of course is that Toyota won 19 of 36 races last year in the Cup series, and the title with Kyle Busch. Ford’s top drivers (including Brad and Joey Logano at Penske, and Kevin Harvick at SHR) are not going to want to let that happen again. So even in an era when most of the drivers are friendly with each other, once they get on track those rivalries surrounding the car makes will no doubt come into play even more than usual in 2020.

I look forward to seeing how an increased focus on these manufacturer rivalries will spice up the action on track in 2020.

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Matt Myftiu can be reached on Twitter @MattMyftiu, or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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