The events leading up to the 2021 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway will look a bit different, starting with the Busch Clash, the track announced Wednesday (March 4).
The schedule will be much more condensed, as all events will be run within six days.
Most notably, the Busch Clash will be on Tuesday, Feb. 9 under the lights on Daytona’s road course. The course has been used for IMSA’s Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Daytona 200, which feature sports cars and motorcycles, respectively.
“We continue to look for opportunities to differentiate the Busch Clash from the Daytona 500, and obviously everything we do around Speedweeks presented by Advent Health is about building toward the 500,” Daytona president Chip Wile said. “This is about how we can continue to push and elevate the Busch Clash to be something different. And we’ve done that with a lot of new initiatives the first weekend.
“We’ve seen growth year over year with the Busch Clash and that weekend, but to see the resurgence in road-course racing and the excitement around it from the fans, we thought, why can’t we do this.”
“The famed road course at Daytona has a long and storied history with sports cars and motorcycles and now we can write a new chapter on it with stock cars,” Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s Vice President of Racing Development, said. “Fans coming to the track will get to see six consecutive days of exciting NASCAR action, with no days being the same.”
The Busch Clash also brings a new viewing area for fans: Daytona’s infield.
“NASCAR fans have asked for more road-course competition and the industry is listening,” Wile said. “With the talent level the Busch Clash brings to the table, the race will now clearly have its own look and feel during Speedweeks in 2021.
“The new placement on the Speedweeks schedule also adds to the anticipation. That switch will make for a fuller Speedweeks calendar. Fans also will have the opportunity to engage in a festive infield atmosphere similar to the Rolex 24 at Daytona.”
Following Tuesday’s Busch Clash will be Daytona 500 Qualifying presented by Kroger, which will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 10. Then on Thursday evening, the Cup Series teams will compete in the Bluegreen Vacations Duel races to set the rest of the lineup. The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race will be on Friday, Feb. 12.
The Xfinity Series’ season opener and the ARCA Menards Series’ Lucas Oil 200 will be the events in a Saturday doubleheader.
Finally, the Daytona 500 will be held on Valentine’s Day: Sunday, Feb. 14.