Brad Sixth After Hectic Finish in the Clash

Brad Keselowski made a statement in Sunday’s season-opening Advanced Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway.

The Monster Energy Cup Series kicked off its 2017 season with a non-points exhibition, but that didn’t make for any less drama and excitement on the 2.5-mile restrictor-plate track.

After taking the white flag, Brad used a big draft from teammate Joey Logano to make a pass attempt on leader Denny Hamlin in the middle of turns one and two, but the No. 11 Toyota blocked the No. 2 SKF Ford Fusion. No caution flag flew, as Hamlin spun out but later regained control. Meanwhile, the loss of momentum ended BK’s chances at a victory as he drifted back to sixth.

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Neither BK nor Hamlin were upset after the race, but afterward Brad reiterated the message he sent on the track.

“It is the Clash. It’s not the 500,” Brad said. “I guarantee he knows and everyone else who’s watching today, that I’m going to make that move again and you better move out or you’re going to end up wrecked.”

Logano followed BK right past Hamlin and into the lead, claiming another restrictor-plate triumph for Team Penske.

Kes led 18 of the 75 laps at Daytona, his first competition at the world famous track since he won the Coke Zero 400 in July. Now, he’s eyeing his first ever Daytona 500 victory.

“Last year, we ran really good in the (Clash) and we were terrible in the 500 and it was really disappointing, to be honest,” Brad said.  “But this year I think we’ve learned a lot from that and have applied it and our car seems to be a lot better for the 500 than even for the (Chase), so I’m excited about it. I’m ready to go.”

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