Click here to read the post-practice, post-qualifying article on the Clash.

It was a long winter, but we’re finally going to get to see the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series cars on track on Sunday afternoon with the 2019 Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona (75 laps).

The main large contest that DraftKings is offering for this race is the $125,000 Octance, with $20,000 going to 1st place. The entry fee is $8 with a maximum entry limit of 150 per user.

20 drivers will compete in this year’s Clash, which has been most recognizably known as the Budweiser Shootout in past years. This year’s Clash field consists of the 2018 Busch Pole Award winners as well as former Daytona 500 champions, former Daytona 500 Busch Pole Award winners, as well as drivers that made the 2018 Playoffs and didn’t satisfy any of the aforementioned criteria.

Average Finish of Clash Drivers

Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Among the 20 drivers that will compete in this exhibition race on Sunday afternoon, Brad Keselowski owns the best average finish among those with more than one career start in this race. As is no surprise, he’s near the top of the list when it comes to salary in DraftKings as well.

Here’s the average career finish of the 2019 Clash drivers in this race specifically. All in the field have made at least one career start in the event.

# of Clash
Alex Bowman$6,8003.01
Ryan Blaney$8,0004.01
Brad Keselowski$9,4007.86
Erik Jones$6,5008.01
Daniel Suarez$7,5008.01
Kyle Larson$6,0008.34
Kyle Busch$7,8008.812
Kevin Harvick$9,6008.914
Joey Logano$9,2008.910
Denny Hamlin$8,3009.013
Chase Elliott$8,50010.02
Austin Dillon$5,40010.54
Jimmie Johnson$6,30011.116
Kurt Busch$7,30011.415
Jamie McMurray$5,60011.812
Ryan Newman$5,30012.114
Martin Truex, Jr.$7,00013.37
Aric Almirola$8,90014.03
Paul Menard$5,80014.84
Clint Bowyer$8,70014.85

Daytona Clash Winner History and DraftKings Strategy

Daytona International Speedway is a restrictor plate track, which means you mainly need to focus on one thing when it comes to putting together your DraftKings lineup: place differential. This is a 75-lap shootout, so there’s a limited number of points available for laps led (18.75 FPTS), and fastest laps are extremely difficult to predict at a track like this.

Additionally, time and time again we’ve seen drivers starting well outside the top 10 come out and win the Clash event. Looking back at this race since 2002, eleven of the seventeen (64.7%) winners have started 14th or worse, and only four (23.5%) have came from a top 5 starting spot. The last one to do that? Denny Hamlin in 2014.

WinnerLaps Led
201817Brad Keselowski43
20179Joey Logano4
201615Denny Hamlin39
201516Matt Kenseth21
20141Denny Hamlin27
201317Kevin Harvick40
20122Kyle Busch3
201117Kurt Busch3
20102Kevin Harvick21
200927Kevin Harvick1
20087Dale Earnhardt, Jr.47
200714Tony Stewart11
200615Denny Hamlin16
200517Jimmie Johnson16
200415Dale Jarrett1
200319Dale Earnhardt, Jr.13
20023Tony Stewart31

Now, with that all being said, this is a limited field: 20 drivers isn’t the standard 40-car field we have for a typical restrictor plate race. So while the place differential focus is important, there’s going to be drivers that start up front and finish there as well. That’s just how it works with such a small field. So, essentially what I’m saying is this: don’t be afraid to take a chance with a driver starting inside the top 5 on Sunday–I’d avoid the front row–and possibly two more starting inside the top 10.

I’m ready to put together my DraftKings lineup now! Who should I pick?

Yeah, I’m anxious too to get back into the DraftKings realm of Fantasy NASCAR. But we don’t even know the starting lineup for Sunday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash yet, so it’d be a waste of time to do any major tinkering with lineups.

The starting lineup for this year’s Daytona Advance Auto Parts Clash will be determined by random draw on Saturday, February 9, 2019, at 6:30 pm ET. Check back soon after that for driver projections and my full strategy for Sunday’s race.

As someone who has always been obsessed with numbers, Fantasy NASCAR has been the perfect fit with me. I pride myself on the quality of my analysis for each race, and am glad that I have been able to help others along the way. I've been a serious Fantasy NASCAR player for over 10 years now, and I'm just getting started.