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The 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is the 71st season of professional stock car racing in the United States, and the 48th modern era cup series season. Austin Dillon enters as the reigning Daytona 500 champion, while Kevin Harvick is the defending series champion.

2018 Top 16 Standings

1.Kevin Harvick (13 Wins)

2.Kyle Busch (6 Wins)

3.Martin Truex Jr (5 Wins)

4.Joey Logano (1 Win)

5.Kyle Larson (Eliminated in Round 3)

6.Clint Bowyer (2 Wins) (Eliminated in Round 3)

7.Kurt Busch (1 Win) (Eliminated in Round 3)

8.Ryan Blaney (1 Win) (Eliminated in Round 3)

9.Aric Almirola (Eliminated in Round 2)

10.Chase Elliott (1 Win) (Eliminated in Round 1)

11.Erik Jones (1 Win) (Eliminated in Round 2)

12.Brad Keselowski (1 Win) (Eliminated in Round 2)

13.Denny Hamlin (1 Win) (Eliminated in Round 2)

14.Daniel Suarez (1 Win) (Eliminated in Round 1)

15.Jimmie Johnson (Eliminated in Round 1)

16.Austin Dillon (1 Win) (Eliminated in Round 1)

17.Alex Bowman

18.Ryan Newman

19.Ricky Stenhouse Jr

20.William Byron (Rookie of the Year)

21.Paul Menard

22.Jamie McMurray

23.AJ Allmendinger

24.Darrell Wallace Jr (R)

25.Michael McDowell

26.Chris Buescher

27.David Ragan

28.Kasey Kahne

29.Ty Dillon

30.Matt DiBenedetto

*Note:AJ Allmendinger won the Charlotte Roval, but was not in the Playoffs, therefore his win is not showcased

Manufacturers Championship

Ford:19

Toyota:14

Chevrolet:3

Teams and drivers

Chip Ganassi Racing:Chevrolet

1:Jamie McMurray

42:Kyle Larson

Team Penske:Ford

2:Brad Keselowski

12:Ryan Blaney

22:Joey Logano

Richard Childress Racing:Chevrolet

3:Austin Dillon

31:Ryan Newman

33:Ty Dillon

Stewart Haas Racing:Ford

4:Kevin Harvick

10:Aric Almirola

14:Clint Bowyer

41:Cole Custer (R)

Roush Fenway Racing:Ford

6:Matt Kenseth

17:Ricky Stenhouse Jr

99:Chris Buescher

Hendrick Motorsports:Chevrolet

5:Tyler Reddick (R)

9:Chase Elliott

24:William Byron

88:Alex Bowman

Joe Gibbs Racing:Toyota

11:Denny Hamlin

18:Kyle Busch

19:Daniel Suarez

20:Erik Jones

Germain Racing:Chevrolet

13:Daniel Hemric (R)

Wood Brothers:Ford

21:Paul Menard

Go FAS Racing:Ford

32:Matt DiBenedetto

Front Row Motorsports:Ford

34:Michael McDowell

38:Ryan Reed (R)

JTG Daughtery Racing:Chevrolet

37:Matt Tifft (R)

47:AJ Allmendinger

Richard Petty Motorsports:Ford

43:Darrell Wallace Jr

Rick Ware Racing:Chevrolet

51:Timmy Hill 3-5, 15, 20-21, 24, Cody Ware 2, 6, 25-30, Kevin O'Connell 16, Corey LaJoie 1, 10-13, 17-18, 32-34, Carl Long 14, 19, 36, Harrison Rhodes 7-9

TriStar Motorsports:Ford

72:Cole Whitt

Furniture Row Racing:Toyota

77:Christopher Bell (R)

78:Martin Truex Jr

Leavine Family Racing:Chevrolet

95:Kasey Kahne

Part Time Teams

Front Row Motorsports

35:Trevor Bayne 1

Beard Motorsports:Chevrolet

62:Brendan Gaughan 1

Gaunt Brothers Racing:Toyota

96:DJ Kennington 1, 10, 18, 31

StarCom Racing

00:Derrike Cope 2-3, 5, 7, 12-13, 15, 21, 27, 30, 34, 36, Garrett Smithley 8, 14, 19, 23, 32, Brandon Jones 9, 28, Joey Gase 4, 20, 24, Jeffrey Earnhardt 11, 25, Landon Cassill 6, 26, 33, Spencer Gallagher 17, Alex Labbe 35

Premium Motorsports

15:Joey Gase 6, 8, 22, 27, 32, Ross Chastain 2-3, 26, 28, 35

55:Reed Sorenson 1

BK Racing:Toyota

23:Gray Gaulding 1-13, 15, 17-21, 24-31, 35-36, Alon Day 16, 29, Gary Klutt 22

83:David Ragan 1, 10, 18, 31

Driver Changes

-Jimmie Johnson announced his retirement after the departure of Lowes and struggling immensely throughout 2018. Tyler Reddick is named his replacement with sponsorship from BurgerFi, Axalta and One Main Financial. Reddick will contend for Rookie of the Year

-Kurt Busch announced his retirement from the series, and Stewart-Haas Racing replaced him with Cole Custer, the 2018 Xfinity Series Champion. He will contend for Rookie of the Year

-Furniture Row Racing adds back the #77 car to the organization, with the driver being Christopher Bell, who will contend for Rookie of the Year

-Ty Dillon moves up from Germain Racing to Richard Childress Racing, who reopens their 3rd team after leaving It vacant in 2018. Daniel Hemric replaces him in the #13 and will contend for Rookie of the Year

-Roush Fenway Racing extends to a 3 car team in 2019, with consistent performances from Ricky Stenhouse Jr, who barely missed the playoffs. Chris Buescher is announced at the driver of the #99 AAA Ford. Matt Tifft replaces Buescher at JTG Daughtery Racing and will contend for Rookie of the Year

-David Ragan was released from his contract as Roush Fenway Racing and Ryan Reed will compete for Rookie of the Year, replacing Ragan. Ragan will still race at the restrictor plate tracks with BK Racing

-Trevor Bayne was booted from the #6 ride at the conclusion of the 2018 season. Matt Kenseth replaces him full time in 2019. However, Bayne will still get a ride with Front Row Motorsports for the Daytona 500 in the #35

Manufacturer Changes

-On April 17, 2018, Ford announced they would switch to the Ford Mustang in 2019

Rule Changes

-During the offseason, NASCAR announced that all manufacturers and cars would have to meet certain requirements involving their engines, spoilers, and car design to keep the competition equal between all drivers, due to mass complaints about certain drivers dominating throughout the season in 2018. No car had a distinct aerodynamic advantage or disadvantage, which was the main problem for the Chevrolet Camaro's falter last year, grabbing only 3 wins. The Engines were mostly kept the same, but NASCAR marketed hard to let fans know that the sport would be going back to driver ability rather than actual cars doing the work. However, downforce was slightly increased by 1 inch on all car spoilers to make racing slightly more competitive, adding to new race strategies done by teams.

Schedule and Race Results

Advance Auto Parts Clash, February 10

Starting Lineup

1.Paul Menard

2.Erik Jones

3.Clint Bowyer

4.Brad Keselowski

5.Aric Almirola

6.Denny Hamlin

7.Kyle Busch

8.Joey Logano

9.Chase Elliott

10.Matt Kenseth

11.Daniel Suarez

12.Kevin Harvick

13.Ryan Blaney

14.Martin Truex Jr

15.Alex Bowman

16.Austin Dillon

17.Kyle Larson

Note:AJ Allmendinger was originally supposed to run the race, but due to an electrical failure on his #47, he was not able to race. NASCAR also didn't allow Allmendinger to repair his Daytona 500 Qualifying car, which he wrecked in Qualifying.

Race Rundown

Paul Menard drew the pole position for the 2nd time in 5 years, and hadn't participated in the Clash since 2016. He only led for 1 Lap, the very first, as Clint Bowyer shot past him for the lead. Throughout the first 25 laps, there were 9 lead changes among 5 different drivers. Paul Menard, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson all traded paint for the lead on different occasions. After the first competition caution flew on Lap 25, all the leaders pitted, with Joey Logano winning the race off of pit road after only taking two tires, along with the other Penske affiliated cars of Paul Menard, Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski, the latter of which had to come back down pit road for a speeding violation. The race restarted on Lap 28. Logano led until Lap 43 when Denny Hamlin made a move for the lead. On Lap 51, Erik Jones spun down the back straightaway exiting turn 2. However, he held on to the car and was able to continue, or be it at the back of the field. Throughout the Final Laps, the lead changed between many drivers including Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and others. On Lap 66, Denny Hamlin had to come down pit road after suffering a flat tire. He never recovered, and Finished a lap down in 17th. As Hamlin pulled off, Joey Logano who was behind him checked up, and in the process got spun out by Chase Elliott, who was running behind him, bringing out the caution. Logano spun through the grass and only suffered minor damage to the splitter. His race was already ruined though. The race attempted to get back underway. However, with 3 laps to go, rain hit the speedway, and the race finished under caution with all 75 Laps complete. Brad Keselowski won the Clash for the second year in a row, and won the first race with the Ford Mustang. Ryan Blaney and Kevin Harvick finished 2nd and 3rd respectively, giving Ford a 1-2-3 in their first ever race.

Final Results

1.Brad Keselowski

2.Ryan Blaney

3.Kevin Harvick

4.Kyle Larson

5.Austin Dillon

6.Daniel Suarez

7.Alex Bowman

8.Erik Jones

9.Paul Menard

10.Kyle Busch

11.Aric Almirola

12.Martin Truex Jr

13.Clint Bowyer

14.Chase Elliott

15.Matt Kenseth

16.Joey Logano + 1 Lap

17.Denny Hamlin + 1 Lap

Race

# Race Pole Most Laps Led Winner Winning Team Manufacturer Race

Report

Advance Auto Parts Clash Paul Menard Denny Hamlin Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford Report
Can Am Duel 1 Tyler Reddick Chase Elliott Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Report
Can Am Duel 2 Alex Bowman Alex Bowman Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Report
1 61st Daytona

500

Tyler Reddick Report