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To be eligible, drivers must meet one of five criteria: past Daytona 500 winners and past Daytona 500 pole winners who raced full-time last season, previous Clash winners who raced full-time a year ago, pole winners from last season and drivers who qualified for the playoffs in 2018.

All Hendrick drivers finished in the top 4 in qualifying in both rounds.

"It's been a pretty awesome day, " Hendrick said smiling Sunday evening following Johnson's victory in the Clash. The question is, can this momentum carry over into the Daytona 500 and beyond?

NASCAR has ejected the vehicle chiefs for Chase Elliott, Ty Dillon, and Austin Dillon through the Daytona 500 for repeated inspection failures before qualifying for the race.

"William [Byron] can attest to this; we've had a lot of late nights, a lot of long hours", Knaus said.

"I'm not really sure, I have to see a replay".

"When Jimmie pulled out, I moved down a little bit and the next thing I know I'm getting turned in the left rear", Menard said.

Kyrie Irving day-to-day with strained right knee
In his final season in Utah, Hayward averaged 21.9 points, while hitting 39.8 percent of 3-pointers. Even after Irving's exit, the Clippers outscored the Celtics 75-44 and stifled Boston on defense.

Johnson got lucky as the bottom came out and they declared him the victor. "They were our teammates, but I think we showed that we've got plenty of speed, which will help us in the 500". I got that move inside of him and was hopeful the 1 (of Kurt Busch) was gonna be following me through.

The coveted starting spot hasn't meant much for NASCAR's season opener over the last two decades, though.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and veteran crew chief Chad Knaus showed one thing Sunday at Daytona International Speedway: They can be successful without each other.

"It's no different than an National Football League team when you've got a really good coach and a really good quarterback and a really good team, but for some reason it is exhausted and you need a spark", Hendrick said. "You don't want to take a chance of tearing up a really good vehicle, but you've got to figure out what to race". The final tally included three victories for Elliott and no drivers in the championship-deciding finale for the second consecutive year. "The reason I say that is because you're trying to bring a lot of guys into the race".

Having won at least one race since his debut in 2002, it was an unfamiliar feeling to be shut out in 2018.

Richard Childress Racing's Austin Dillon, Hendrick Motorsports' Chase Elliott, Stewart-Haas Racing's Aric Almirola, Roush Fenway Racing's Ryan Newman and Stewart-Haas Racing's Daniel Suarez rounded out the top 10 by finishing in sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th place in their #3 Chevrolet, #9 Chevrolet, #10 Ford, #6 Ford and #41 Ford, respectively. I've had that question for 35 years, or as many years as I've run two cars. Only four cars made it out of the wreck. "I can't believe it".