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Johnson captures win in rain-shortened Clash

From Hendrick Motorsports 

BY GRAY CALDWELL

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Sunday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway, 20 drivers – including Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman – hit the track for the first racing action of the season.

The Clash – the annual season-opening exhibition event – was scheduled for 75 laps, but rain forced an early end to the race.

When the race was called, Jimmie Johnson was in the lead and the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion earned the win, his second career Clash victory and sixth career Speedweeks win.

“It feels good,” Johnson said. “Just really happy about obviously a great day for Hendrick Motorsports, for Chevrolet, for Ally coming on board and qualifying third for the Daytona 500 and then to win The Clash.”

The move to the lead resulted in a multiple-car incident behind the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

“Knowing the rain’s coming, you can see it coming, I knew that was probably my lap to make the move and I had a great run down the back,” Johnson explained. “I’m here to win races, and this Ally car’s fast.

While Elliott and Bowman were caught in the incident, both were able to stay on the track with minimal damage.

Bowman was fifth and Elliott was seventh when the race was called, giving them both top-10 finishes in The Clash.

Johnson’s win extended Hendrick Motorsports’ streak to seven consecutive seasons with at least one Speedweeks win.

“It’s not a points race,” Johnson said, “but it’s a good start.”

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