Eligibility Requirements Set For Daytona’s Busch Clash

0
1459
NASCAR and Daytona Int'l Speedway officials have announced the eligibility requirements for the 2021 Busch Clash. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images Photo)
NASCAR and Daytona Int'l Speedway officials have announced the eligibility requirements for the 2021 Busch Clash. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images Photo)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR and Daytona Int’l Speedway officials have announced the criteria for eligibility for NASCAR Cup Series drivers to compete in the 2021 Busch Clash on the Daytona Road Course.

Set for Tuesday, Feb. 9, under the lights, the Busch Clash will mark the first time in history the traditional exhibition-style event will tackle the track’s 14-turn, 3.61-mile road course, which was introduced for the first time ever to NASCAR’s top three national series this past August.

The 43rd annual Busch Clash, which kicks off DAYTONA Speedweeks Presented By AdventHealth, will be held on the same course (with the lone addition a NASCAR fourth-turn chicane) of as the Rolex 24 and the Daytona 200, North America’s premier races for sports cars and motorcycles, respectively.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NASCAR adjusted the format for setting the field for a majority of its races in 2020. As such, the eligibility for next season’s Busch Clash – which has long been tied to Busch Pole Award wins in the previous season – will have a new look.

The eligibility requirements for the 2021 edition are:

  • 2020 Busch Pole Award winners
  • Past Busch Clash Winners who competed full-time in 2020
  • Daytona 500 Champions who competed full-time in 2020
  • Former Daytona 500 Busch Pole Winners who competed full-time in 2020
  • 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff drivers
  • 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Race winners
  • 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Stage winners

In contrast to the tightly packed competition on the speedway’s famed 2.5-mile high-banked tri-oval, the reimagined Busch Clash, which was held for the first time at Daytona in 1979, will utilize approximately three-quarters of the tri-oval along with the challenging infield portion of the road course. That translates into 14 turns instead of the usual four.

“The excitement by both the drivers and our fans leading up to the 2021 Busch Clash At Daytona is unprecedented,” said Daytona Int’l Speedway President Chip Wile. “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.

“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 during Daytona Speedweeks Presented By AdventHealth in 2021 and beyond.”

The 24 drivers eligible to compete in the ’21 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.