When you think of the "Big One" going down at Daytona International Speedway, the first race that comes to your mind is probably the Daytona 500. But, the "Great American Race" is technically the second race of the NASCAR Cup Series season to be held at Daytona, with the first being the Busch Clash. Well, historically anyway. Since 2022, the race has become way more of a spectacle, and its home racetrack is now the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. But, from 1979 to 2021, NASCAR headed to the famous "World Center of Racing" to host its annual exhibition race.
Now, as we alluded to before, the Busch Clash has seen some massive wrecks over the years. The most recent (and arguably most controversial) went down in 2019, when Jimmie Johnson made an aggressive move to steal the lead; a move that ended up triggering the dreaded "Big One." The chaos-causing maneuver did end up winning Jimmie the race, but it definitely didn't make him any friends on the track that day.
The 2019 Busch Clash, which was officially known as the Advance Auto Parts Clash, was the first Clash to be shortened due to rain, with the scheduled 150 laps halved to 75. It was Paul Menard who took the early advantage that day at Daytona Beach, as he drew the pole and led for 51 laps. This actually broke the record held by Dale Earnhardt Jr. for most laps led in the event. But, even though he'd walk away from the race as a record holder, it wasn't Menard who would see the checkered flag in the end.
On lap 56, Jimmie Johnson saw his opportunity to take the lead from Menard, and he took it. During an attempt side-draft, however, Johnson made contact with Menard, which triggered the "Big One" that involved 17 of the 20 cars in the field. Now, thanks to the ensuing craziness, Johnson was the leader as the field circled the track under caution. That's when the rain started to fall hard.
NASCAR decided to call the race on lap 59, as it was red-flagged for the third time, and the rain showed no sign of easing up. So, in fairly anti-climatic fashion, Johnson was officially declared the winner. As it turns out, the victory not only marked his second Clash win, but also his final NASCAR-sanctioned victory. Hey, maybe it's not the way he ultimately would've liked to go out, but a win's a win.
MORE: Joey Logano Recalls Last Year's Historic Clash at the Coliseum: "The Biggest Clash Win You Can Imagine"
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