How Busch Clash Winners Finish in the Daytona 500

Winning the Busch Clash doesn’t earn you any points, but it does get your year off to a great start. Maybe even a little momentum. But does that victory have any impact on how you finish in the Daytona 500?

Clash Correlations 2002-2019

Let’s look at how Busch Clash winners did in the Daytona 500 the same year.

A pie chart showing that you've got more chance to finish 36th or greater than finishing 2nd-5th after winning the Clash

The answer is: not so much.

If you win the Busch Clash, you’ve got about the same likelihood of finishing in the top ten as you have finishing out of the top ten.

In fact, more drivers have finished 36th or higher (i.e. gotten wrecked) as have finished in the Top 5. That’s got everything to do with the nature of superspeedway racing. You’re the king one week and the jester the next.

Some Other Clash/500 Finishes

Only one Clash winner from the last 18 years has gone on to win the Daytona 500. That would be Denny Hamlin, in 2016

According to jayski.com, only 6 times in NASCAR history has the Clash winner continued on to finish first in the Daytona 500. The feat was accomplished by only five drivers.

  • Bobby Allison (1982)
  • Bill Elliott (1987)
  • Dale Jarrett (1996 and 2000)
  • Jeff Gordon (1997)
  • Denny Hamlin (2016)

Out of those six drivers, only

Only 2 of those drivers have not only finished first in the Clash and the Daytona 500, but also taken the Daytona 500 Pole. That would be:

  • Bill Elliott (1987)
  • Dale Jarrett (2000)

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