It is officially that time of the year. Speedweeks is officially underway. For the first time ever the Busch Clash at Daytona is going to be run on the road course at Daytona. This race is an exhibition race that has been traditionally run on the speedway. For years NASCAR fans have been begging for the Cup Series to run at the Daytona road course. Before the pandemic, NASCAR announced at last year’s clash that the Cup Series would move to the road course. Now it’s time to kick off the season with the Daytona 500 just days away.
Format and Eligibility
The race will be a total of 35 laps on the 3.61-mile race track. On lap 15 there will be a competition caution due to no qualifying or practice prior to the race.
In order to be eligible for the Busch Clash, a driver must be invited to the event. But there are several other ways to qualify for the Busch Clash.
- All Busch Pole winners qualify for the race
- Anyone who has won the Busch Clash is eligible
- Anyone who has won the Daytona 500 can enter
- Any former Daytona 500 Pole sitter can enter the race
- All playoff drivers from 2020 are eligible for the Clash
- All race winners from 2020 are eligible
- Anyone who won a stage in the 2020 season can enter the race
The Starting Lineup
As a result of the pandemic still haunting the world, NASCAR is still carrying their safety procedures from 2020 to the 2021 season. As of now, only 8 events will have practice and qualifying and this race will not be one of them. The field was set with a virtual drawing last night. Ryan Blaney drew the pole for the Busch Clash with Alex Bowman starting second. The field will look like this with 21 drivers participating in the Daytona Clash.
- Ryan Blaney
- Alex Bowman
- Denny Hamlin
- Brad Keselowski
- William Byron
- Tyler Reddick
- Chase Elliott
- Cole Custer
- Erik Jones
- Joey Logano
- Ryan Newman
- Matt DiBenedetto
- Chris Buescher
- Ty Dillon
- Kurt Busch
- Kyle Busch
- Kevin Harvick
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Austin Dillon
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
- Aric Almirola
The Last Time NASCAR Ran at the Daytona Road Course
Last August the NASCAR Cup Series ran their first-ever race at the Daytona road course. This was one of the many changes to the schedule with this race replacing the Watkins Glen race. Chase Elliott continued his road course dominance with a win at Daytona. Chase Elliott led the most laps leading 34 of the 65 laps. Denny Hamlin was the runner up finishing second at Daytona and he just came up short on dethroning Chase Elliott
Where to Watch and Listen to the Race
The race will begin at 7 pm Eastern time. The race is on Fox Sports 1 with NASCAR Raceday beginning at 6 pm. Radio coverage of the Busch Clash will be on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM. PreRace coverage will begin on both networks at 6 pm Eastern Time.
What to Expect
The Busch Clash has always been a challenge for the NASCAR Cup Series Drivers. This year the race will take on new challenges with running a night race on the road course. The race will be a learning experience for everyone with the regular-season race being run on the road course in 2 weeks. With all that said, now it’s time to kick off the 2021 NASCAR season. No points on the line just bragging rights and a trophy to be won. Get ready because NASCAR is back.