Last Sunday, as rain came pouring down at Daytona International Speedway, Jimmie Johnson triggered a massive wreck during the Advance Auto Parts Clash that took out nearly the entire 20-car field, but led to Johnson cruising to ultimate victory.
Sure, it probably gave Johnson a decent confidence boost to kick off the 2019 Cup Series season, especially considering that he went winless last season. But all that for an invitation-only exhibition race win? It seems a little unnecessary.
At least, if you ask Kevin Harvick.
During his weekly “Happy Hours” show Monday on SiriusXM’s NASCAR Channel, the driver of the No. 4 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing argued that NASCAR could probably stand to eliminate the Clash at Daytona, at least in its current form.
“The Clash is one of those things that I think we could probably eliminate as we go forward and look at the new schedule,” Harvick said. “The reason I say that is you’re trying to bring a lot of guys into the race.”
“Originally when The Clash was brought about, it was about the pole winners and past winners of that particular race. They had a lot of guys that weren’t pole winners. And you have guys in the playoffs that were in the race,” Harvick continued, referencing the expanded field due to the revised eligibility rules.
Harvick, who crashed during Clash practice as well as the actual race, added that that it might be a good idea to combine The Clash with the All-Star Race, since it would probably help to reduce the massive cost caused by wrecks during the event.
“To me, it would be good to combine with the All-Star Race,” he said. “Maybe you take two positions in the All-Star Race because you’re always on the edge of, ‘Is that enough cars? Is that not enough cars?’ But take The Clash away. Make it a points race. Or make it one of the weekends we take off the schedule.”
“As we talk about money and saving team owners money, Joe Gibbs wrecked five cars. Three hundred thousand dollars a car adds up pretty quick.”
Harvick is known for having his fair share of opinions when it comes to how NASCAR runs things, but he seems to be pretty much right on the money with his latest take.