NASCAR has set a 24-driver lineup to compete in the revamped 2021 Busch Clash, the unofficial opener to the new Cup Series season.
The non-points event will be held on Tuesday night, Feb. 9, on the Daytona International Speedway Road Course, the same 14-turn, 3.61-mile course used each year by the Rolex 24 (aside from an additional fourth-turn chicane).
Recently, eligibility for the Clash has been mostly based on the pole winners from the previous season but the COVID-19 pandemic forced NASCAR to cancel most qualifying and practice sessions during the 2020 season.
To fill the 2021 field NASCAR utilized the following criteria:
· 2020 Busch Pole Award winners
· Past Busch Clash winners who competed fulltime in 2020
· Daytona 500 winners who competed fulltime in 2020
· Former Daytona 500 Busch Pole winners who competed fulltime in 2020
· 2020 NASCAR Cup Series playoff drivers
· 2020 NASCAR Cup Series race winners
· 2020 NASCAR Cup Series stage winners
“NASCAR’s initial visit to the Daytona Road Course in August delivered big time, with incredible competition, adding to the legacy of the famed road course made famous with sports cars and motorcycles,” said speedway president Chip Wile.
“Having the Busch Clash At Daytona on Tuesday night also adds to the anticipation of an action-packed Speedweeks calendar. With the talent level in the field, the race will now clearly have its own look and feel.”
The 24 drivers eligible to compete in the 2021 Busch Clash include: Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Clint Bowyer, Chris Buescher, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, William Byron, Cole Custer, Matt DiBenedetto, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Tyler Reddick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Martin Truex Jr.
Johnson, Kenseth and Ty Dillon don’t currently have plans to compete in the Cup Series in 2021 and may not participate.
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