The NASCAR season officially picks back up tonight with The Clash, a non-points paying race being held on the Daytona Road Course. Read on to see my prediction for who will win the race, as well as my top 10, dark horse, and driver to avoid predictions.
Race winner: Chase Elliott- It’s hard to pick against the hot hand and Elliott is about as hot as they come on road courses, with 5 wins and 8 top 10’s in 12 career starts, including a win last year on the Daytona Road Course. Until I see someone step up and legitimately challenge Elliott on road courses, it’s just about impossible to pick against him on this style track.
Top 10: William Byron- Byron is an intriguing pick, with 4 top 10 results in 8 career starts on road courses. Byron finished 8th on this road course last year and I believe he will fare well enough in this limited field event to bring home another top 10.
Dark horse: Chris Buescher- Buescher has shown some real road course prowess in recent years, finishing in the top 20 10 times in 13 career starts. Being a former teammate to road course extraordinaire AJ Allmendinger, Buescher has the experience to contend on road courses. Buescher also finished 5th on the Daytona Road Course last year and I believe he can capitalize on his past success and turn that into a top 10 tonight.
Driver to fade: Ty Dillon- Although Dillon has finished inside the top 20 10 times in 18 career road course starts with a best finish of 15th, there isn’t much room for improvement when you consistently finish between 15th-20th and there are only 21 drivers in the field. For that reason alone, Dillon is destined to finish in the 15th-20th range.