By Toby Christie, NASCAR Editor
It was beginning to look like the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season would get off to an inauspicious start, as the first race of the year — The Clash at Daytona — had yet to find an entitlement sponsor with just a month until the race was set to start. However, Advance Auto Parts was announced as the new sponsor for the season-opening exhibition race on Wednesday.
According to a track press release, the automotive aftermarket parts provider has also signed on to be the Official Auto Parts Store of Daytona International Speedway.
“Advance Auto Parts is proud partner with Daytona International Speedway to kick off the 2017 NASCAR season,” said Advance Auto Parts Marketing and Sponsorships Manager Matt Davis. “Daytona is the birthplace of NASCAR and we couldn’t be more excited to be the official auto parts of Daytona International Speedway and entitlement sponsor of the Advance Auto Parts Clash.”
The Clash has kicked off the MENCS season since 1979, and has had several different formats and names since it’s first installment. There was quite a buzz when the speedway announced that they were changing the race name back to The Clash.
“The Clash was a classic race name, one that truly resonated with our fans,” said Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile. “It evokes the rich history of both NASCAR and our facility. We are honored to have Advance Auto Parts – a company that resonates with our current fans – join us as we bring the name back to our Speedweeks schedule. We’re coming full-circle for this event, honoring our past while also looking to the future.”
This year’s edition of the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona will be a 75-lap race. There will be a mandatory pit stop caution period at lap 25.