The Super Bowl of NASCAR has finally come back around, and I have to say, it sneaked up on me this year. 

Our sweet baby girl was born after Thanksgiving, and I feel like time has both flown by and slowly crept by at the same time. We had a rough first month, but once we realized she had a dairy allergy and got her tummy issues worked out, everything fell into place. 

My older child is 4, so it’s very different having an infant again. Losing sleep, changing diapers and bottle-feeding are things that I haven’t missed, but we love being her parents. 

But in January, I got back to trying to keep up with everything going on in racing – like Jeff Gordon’s induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame a week ago, Kurt Busch’s move to Chip Ganassi Racing and even Jimmie Johnson’s announcement that he’s running the Boston marathon this year. 

Johnson made an announcement to announce an announcement, which was that he would run in the marathon. Many fans didn’t think the announcement was going to be about retirement, but some did, and they were relieved that it wasn’t the case, but also wondering why in the world he made a big deal about such a thing. 

Kyle Busch also recently announced that there have been discussions about a contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing, but they just have to put the pen to paper and make it official. 

Speedweeks began last weekend with the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona. 

Johnson won the event with a new crew chief and a new sponsor, but not without a little drama. 

Johnson made contact with Paul Menard late in the race as he moved to the inside, causing Menard to spin and collect most of the cars in the field. Johnson insisted it was simply a racing incident and the two spoke with each other during the week. 

“It is what it is, right? I felt like I was holding a wheel as good as I could,” said Menard. “I thought up front would be a pretty safe place, too, but Jimmie did what he did to try to win. It was not intentional. Maybe I moved down a little bit. I don’t know if there was no room for error, and two cars collided. So that’s what it is. I spent the last two days at Disney World with my two little kids and had a good time.” 

Menard, who finished 13th, led 51 laps and broke the record for most laps led by a driver in The Clash. 

It started raining during a caution, bringing out the red flag. The checkered flag was thrown on lap 58. 

Kurt Busch finished second, followed by Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Alex Bowman rounded out the top five. 

I hope Johnson’s win was a sign of a better year for him this season. The Daytona 500 is looking up for Hendrick Motorsports, too. Hendrick drivers Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott start on the front row Sunday. 

The Daytona 500 begins Sunday, Feb. 17 at 1:30 p.m. on FOX.

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